Moto G arrives, Google gasps and gamers greet PS4

Ain't nuthin but a G thang

Moto G  Google Gasps and great things for gamers

That week's big news appears to have been sponsored by the letter G. Motorola's got a G thing, Google's caused much grumpiness and the first of the next-gen gaming giants hits the US today.

First up there's the Moto G, which Motorola built to offer iPhone performance and style for a lot less cash.

The "surprisingly affordable smartphone" costs £135 (US$179, about AU$190), rocks a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon, and while it runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean we've been promised a KitKat upgrade by January 2014.

These days Motorola is part of Google, of course, but the Moto G isn't the only cutting-edge Android phone unveiled by the search giant: this week we also got to put the spanking new Nexus 5 through its paces.

Marc Flores reckons that "you can't beat the Nexus 5 at this price point" - it's £300 - and while the lacklustre camera and inconsistent battery life aren't ideal, we're not used to seeing "a device with these kinds of specs at this price point. It's not just the specs, either… because it's unlocked it's free of carrier bloatware and restrictions."

YouTube gets a Plus one

Google was in the news for other reasons this week. Despite its best efforts, the firm has failed to persuade the world to embrace its Google+ social network - so it's trying to force everyone to use it instead. The latest front is YouTube, where you now need a Google+ account before you can leave the friendly, insightful and informative comments the site is famed for.

Moto G  Google Gasps and great things for gamers
YouTube founder won't be adding Google to his circles

Co-founder Jawed Karim was one of many users who said very bad words, but as Marc Chacksfield explains, the move might mean fewer very bad words in the future: "with their public persona at stake they will at least think about what they write."

There was a big change to another major video site this week: Netflix has revealed a brand new look for those of us who access it via our smart TVs. It's based on a brand new software platform that should speed up future updates, and the update will roll out to the Xbox 360, new Blu-Ray players, new Smart TVs, the Roku 3, the PS3 and the PS4 within the next two weeks.

PlayStation to the fore

Did someone say PS4? Yep, the PS4 hits the US today and the UK in a fortnight. On paper at least, the PS4 appears to be a better deal than the Xbox One: it's more powerful (10 times more powerful than the PS3, Sony says), and it's cheaper too - although the price doesn't include the PlayStation Camera, whereas the Xbox price includes its latest Kinect.

Moto G  Google Gasps and great things for gamers
The PS4's camera comes separately but Xbox One includes Kinect

In addition to an enormous 300MB day-one update, the PS4 will get another fix soon - this time to address something that looked awfully like a not-very-subtle attempt to push Sony's own Music Unlimited service.

It emerged last month that the PS4 wouldn't play MP3s or CDs, a decision that was a gift to Microsoft and that generated exactly the kind of warm and cheerful response you'd expect from the famously laid-back world of gaming.

Sony says it'll issue an update to fix the missing features, but that update might take a while to appear: according to Sony Worldwide Studio President Shuhei Yoshida, "the system guys are discussing when we can put these features in". That means: don't expect it in the day-one download.

Sony also denies any alleged skullduggery and shenanigans. But as Kate Solomon points out, it would, wouldn't it? According to Solomon, saying that you didn't have a diabolical music streaming plot is "exactly what somebody who'd masterminded a failed diabolical music streaming plot would say."