In San Francisco at 10am local time, the second day of Samsung's developer conference began.
Samsung tried to diversify and, in an hour of broadcast, managed to play a couple of Galaxy Watch watches, have a short conversation with Tim Sweeney (Fortnite creator, Epic Games studio) and John Hankey (Pokémon Go game, Niantic studio) and even take a selfie and tweet with the whole audience in Twitter. The presenter on the stage said: 'Get ready, now I will tweet!', And then turned his back to the audience. It was very exciting.
Temporary takeover by @ ylee911 at # SDC18 with the # Note9. So excited to show off the #SPen SDK. pic.twitter.com/6d1cBhWG7t
– SAMSUNG DEVELOPERS (@samsung_dev) November 8, 2018
Unfortunately, the entertainment component prevailed over the informational one, but still I managed to catch a few interesting facts that, I think, will be of interest to everyone, and not only to developers and owners of Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
2018 is the year that Samsung decided to clearly define its stance towards gaming. In short, games are the future, and Samsung's flagships are the best gaming smartphones (they didn't say the latter directly, but the subtext is obvious), and the company will make history. Samsung has a long way to go for this performance. According to Thomas Ko, vice president of the Service Management Group, the gaming direction was created back in 2015. And all this time, Samsung has been systematically building relationships with leading game studios. Epic Games, Niantic, SQUARE ENIX, Super Evil Megacorps and others were cited as examples.
Half a step to the side. During his speech, Thomas Ko mentioned about his place of work that Samsung Digital City is located 40 km from Seoul (the capital of South Korea). This is Samsung's office, but the presenter said that there is a real mini-city there. And Samsung probably built a city of the future there, where they test the latest technology.
Galaxy Store update
So, we decided to tackle the shift of the gaming paradigm on a grand scale. The first thing that awaits users is the rebranding of the Samsung Galaxy Store – a branded application store, the only benefit of which at the moment is the availability of special offers and gifts for Galaxy smartphones. This was not announced from the stage, but I think I can guess correctly the reasons that prompted Samsung to upgrade the store.
Remember, Epic Games is in disagreement with Google. The reason is pretty simple. Each application available in the Google market gives 30% of any transaction, that is, a user bought magic crystals for 100 rubles, 30 coins immediately went to Google's pocket. You can read more about this here:
Developers vs. Google and Apple
Epic Games rebelled against this approach. And at the presentation of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 in August this year, it was said that the Fortnite game will be exclusive to Samsung for the next few weeks. Galaxy smartphone users could log into the Galaxy Store and download the installation file, which downloaded the game directly from the Epic Games website. As time has shown, this approach turned out to be the best, because after the release for all the rest Android smartphones something happened that many feared. A dangerous vulnerability has been discovered. And then Google played back to its fullest, as the company informed Epic Games about the problem with their installation file almost simultaneously with the notification to the rest of the world, that is, without giving time to fix it.
Simple distribution of a file over the network is also bad because there are difficulties in installing it: you need to download, then disable the prohibition on installing third-party applications in your smartphone. Not everyone will do this.
Samsung realized that Google was greedy and that studios were looking for ways to avoid paying 30% and came up with a solution. I am sure that this is exactly the role that the new Galaxy Store is intended for – to be an intermediary between game studios and users. I will not be surprised that the Galaxy Store will soon become available for download to owners of not only smartphones from Samsung, but also any other Android smartphones. And this is important.
Everyone is playing!
After talking about the new Galaxy Store, Sarah Bond took the stage, in charge of the game direction and partnership in Microsoft / Xbox. I really liked Sarah. She had a nice green T-shirt and said very correct things.
There are 8 billion people on our planet, of which 4 billion have smartphones or computers (Sarah used the term 'connected', that is, connected to the network), and of which 2 billion are those who can be classified as gamers. Probably the lion's share falls on various casual toys, like balls in a row, since not everyone has powerful smartphones, but the figure itself is really impressive. A huge number of people play something on a regular basis. Sarah, Microsoft and Xbox see this as an opportunity for the streaming game to take off. An interesting phrase sounded from the stage: there is Spotify, which has changed the approach to music, there is Netflix, which has done the same for videos, and we want the same, but for games.
Probably, at Sony at this moment, the company's top managers choked on their morning coffee, since the words are terrible, and the subsequent video demonstration is even worse.
The video showed how wonderful it is to play Forza Horizon 4 on a smartphone. And this is quite a graphics-demanding game, for comfortable work you need a minimum of NVidia GTX 1060 with 3 GB of RAM.
Great news for the players. And for game studios too, because this is a market expansion. For example, about $ 150 million was spent on the production of Red Dead Redemption 2 and, however, in the first few days, investments were recaptured, but what size of the profit would have been if there were no platform restrictions (now the game is available only for owners of Sony Play Station 4 and Xbox One)?
As Sarah said, Microsoft wants any game to be available on any device, and the developers only needed to make one version without reworking for different platforms. However, there is still room for consoles. For example, the Xbox should represent the flagship gaming experience, and what Sony would represent, Sarah did not elaborate. In my opinion, this is quite interesting and positive news for us.
About electronic signature
Finally, a representative from Wacom, a company that makes very good styluses, stepped onto the scene. He talked a lot about what a wonderful stylus the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has. But that's not interesting. But it is curious that Wacom, in partnership, is developing a technology for the so-called digital signature. The technology is called WILL 3.0.
A digital signature must be equivalent to a simple analog signature, which requires pen and paper. Samsung is already introducing Samsung Pay into its payment system. And the smartphone will be able to recognize you by handwriting.
However, WILL 3.0 is much more complex than just a digital signature. As conceived by Wacom, WILL 3.0 is also about protecting created documents by adding unique author metadata to the document. Wacom also says that the technology will be able to recognize the context and shades of what you write, so that the assistant in your phone can better help you. For example, upon your request, the assistant can remember that you made such and such a note by hand on a smartphone and show it to you. Also, the technology will help you write such complex things as mathematical and chemical formulas, that is, you write them by hand, and the system recognizes beautifully.
Wacom told more than showed, from which it can be concluded that the technology is still at a very early stage, but the idea itself is quite interesting.
The main thing, in my opinion, is that Samsung has acquired partners, and it seems that it is seriously intending to change the gaming landscape. Particularly interesting is the collaboration with Microsoft, which allows you to play on any device.