Sony’s new controller and no new iPhone SE

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OPINION: It’s Sunday, which means its time for us to recount our picks for the winner and loser of this week’s headlines. 

It’s been a relatively quiet week, with many companies having exhausted any major January announcements at CES 2023. Highlights from this week include Intel showing off its fastest CPU yet, a new hi-res Sony Walkman and a date for what we hope will be the Spotify HiFi launch we’ve been waiting for. 

Keep reading to find out who our winner and loser are this week.

PlayStation Project Leonardo accessible controller kit

Winner: Sony 

Our winner this week is Sony after the company announced a new controller designed to make gaming on the PS5 more accessible. 

The controller – codenamed Project Leonardo – was unveiled at CES this month, and is designed to make the PlayStation console more accessible for players with limited motor control, such as difficulty holding a controller for long periods of time, pressing small groups of buttons or positioning fingers on a standard controller. 

The controller kit features a circular design that can be modified with swappable components, including analogue stick caps and buttons in different shapes and sizes. Gamers can switch up the buttons, layout and the distance of the analogue stick to the gamepad. 

As far as software customisation goes, players can also make changes to button mapping, including using multiple buttons for the same function or assigning two functions to the same button. 

There’s also the option to store programmed button settings as control profiles and switch between them by pressing the profile button, with up to three control profiles supported on any one console. 

Project Leonardo lays flat, meaning it can be placed on a tabletop or wheelchair tray and can be secured to AMPS mounts and tripods. The controller can even be paired with a DualSense wireless controller or a second Project Leonardo so players can move between the controllers and play collaboratively. 

Unfortunately, Project Leonardo is still in development, meaning we’ll need to wait a bit longer to see the controller hit store shelves. However, this does mean that Sony has more time to fine-tune it with feedback from gamers so we’re excited to see the final product. 

The 4.7-inch display of the iPhone SE 2022

Loser: Apple 

This week’s loser is Apple as rumours spread that the company has decided to cancel the iPhone SE 4. 

The latest leak comes from respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors).

According to Kuo, Apple had initially planned to use the iPhone SE 4 announcement as an opportunity to showcase its new, in-house 5G modem. However, that plan appears to have been scrapped as the modem reportedly won’t be ready until 2025. This leaves Apple likely to continue using Qualcomm modems into 2024. 

So, where exactly does that leave the iPhone SE 4? Kuo doesn’t go into detail as to why exactly Apple would ditch the SE, but he does say that the supply chain has been given instructions to cancel the production and shipment plans for the phone, which seems pretty damning if true. 

It’s a shame that Apple seems to be abandoning its cheapest iPhone. We were fans of the iPhone SE 3 and the fast performance and great camera it delivered (not to mention iOS at an affordable price). 

Of course, it hasn’t officially been confirmed that Apple will cancel the phone. If it does however, we hope the company will come out with another affordable model – or even better, reduce the price of the flagship iPhone to make up for this loss.

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