Talking tech since 2003

Happy Sunday! Thanks for checking in for the Weekend Wrap-Up, where we fill you in on the biggest tech stories from the past week. Companies making news this week include Amazon, Microsoft and Samsung. Let’s find out why.

Amazon Unveils Fire Stick

Amazon has the Fire TV set-top box, but if you’re invested in the Amazon ecosystem and you’ve been hoping for something a little more portable — say, something like Google’s Chromecast stick — then you’re in luck. Amazon pulled the curtain back on the Fire Stick this week, which is actually more capable than the Google device it competes with. It doesn’t just receive streams — it actually acts as a sort of set-top box on its own. It’ll drop on November 19, but can be pre-ordered from Amazon. The price? $39.

xbox-one2-300x138Microsoft Knocks $50 Off Xbox One Bundles

If you’ve been thinking about buying an Xbox One, there may not be a better time than right now. Microsoft announced a holiday promotion this past week that will discount every Xbox One bundle by $50. That includes the Kinect bundles normally priced at $499, as well as the $399 Xbox One consoles that don’t include the sensor. And there are some interesting bundles now, too — the Assassin’s Creed bundle, for example, includes last year’s Black Flag and this years Unity. It’s a great deal.

Microsoft Band Announced for $199

It was thought that Microsoft might try to get into the wearables game, and sure enough, the company announced the Band fitness… well… band, this week. It’ll work with more than Microsoft’s own Windows Phones, too, allowing those with iPhones and Android devices to get in on the Band fun. And the Band can actually be used without your phone, at least when it’s collecting data about your workouts. So Microsoft has a fitness band now — but will it get deeper into the wearables game in the future, perhaps with a watch? Hmm…

Samsung Gear S Launches on November 7 at a Variety of Prices

While we’re on the subject of wearables, Samsung has a pretty sizable stable of them, and its newer Gear S is set to launch on November 7. I wish I could tell you that consistent is pricing across all the different carriers, but if I told you that, I’d be a liar. I’ll direct you to the post I wrote a few days back so that you can get carrier specific pricing information, as well as the dates that the Samsung Gear S will arrive at your specific carrier.

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