Welcome to Tech Bytes! In this series, we bring the biggest news hitting the Tech and Gaming fields, getting them into a simple brief for you to quickly catch up on, so you’re up to speed over that dinner and drinks.
February may have the fewest days in a month, but that does not mean it lacks in news. Check out what has been making the news thus far!
E3 set to return for 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic saw the cancellation of many events in 2020, with gaming’s biggest spectacle, E3 being one of those casualties.
Good news does arrive this year, as organisers Entertainment Software Association (ESA) confirm that the event will return and take place from 15 June to 17 June. However, the experience for E3 2021 will be different from previous years as the ESA looks to go the digital route, with proposals being tossed around.
This would see the event starting off the week before with previews from the media, with demos released to the public on consumer platforms for gamers to experience them. Multiple two-hour-long keynote sessions from games partners will also be held alongside an awards show and a preview night on 14 June.
While these details are yet to be confirmed, this seems to be the ESA’s attempt to win back the favour not just of their partners in the gaming industry, but also from fans who have mostly grown disillusioned with the once hyped event. We’ll have to see if they are successful come June.
NVIDIA RTX 3060 to drop very soon
Your options among NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series is about to get bigger soon as their new RTX 3060 hits retailers on 25 February.
Announced last month, the new GPU card from NVIDIA is positioned as the cheapest option to get into the RTX 30 series, while still getting features like DLSS and ray-tracing — all at a cost of US$329.
This is seen as targeting owners of a GTX 1060 GPU card, whose popularity with consumers sees it top the charts in the Steam Hardware & Software Survey, but is also a card that could age in performance as more next-gen games are released in time.
The RTX 30 series cards still remain hard to procure for consumers worldwide, so keep your eye out when the RTX 3060 is launched.
Microsoft announces FPS Boost
The power of the new 9th gen consoles is there to see, not just in the new games coming out for the systems but also in older games, such as reducing load times. Microsoft is taking this further with the announcement of their new FPS Boost feature for the Xbox Series consoles.
FPS Boost will see the older backwards compatible games take advantage of the next-generation consoles’ increased capabilities and gain massive boosts in frame rate that are doubled or even quadrupled from their original performance. And it is available now.
Previously, developers would have had to put in extra work to release a patch to their game to fully utilise the power from the new consoles. However, FPS Boost is all done in-house at Microsoft, which not only frees up time for developers but also allows more games to see that boost in performance.
Far Cry 4, New Super Lucky’s Tale, Sniper Elite 4, UFC 4, and Watch Dogs 2 are the games that currently benefit from the feature with its launch, with more games to be added to the library in the coming months. So what game are you most looking forward to using this feature on?
Nintendo outlines its future games releases
It has been a long coming, but Nintendo has finally unveiled a new general Direct that showcases what they have in store in the future.
The big Nintendo news coming out of the Direct were the reveals of Splatoon 3 and Project Triangle Strategy. Splatoon 3 brings new weapons like a bow and a new location for the sequel called the Splatlands, a desert-like map area. Project Triangle Strategy seems to be in the same mould as Octopath Traveller but isn’t a direct sequel to the 2018 game, having a new group of characters for the game.
While news for the sequel of Breath of the Wild did not appear (instead of promising to come later in the year), Zelda info did arrive in the form of the announcement of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD for Switch. Originally released on the Wii, the re-release now enables you to play the game without the need for motion controls. It is set to release on 16 July 2021, with a special game-themed Joycon also available to purchase on the same day.
Other big Nintendo news includes updates to existing games, such as the introduction of Pyra and Mythra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 into the roster for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will also receive an expansion pass that will give platers two waves of content during the year.
Popular older games will also be making their debut on Switch, with the likes of Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, Tales From the Borderlands, Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for the Neighborville Complete Edition and SaGa Frontier Remastered announced during the Direct.
Finally, new trailers were also released for upcoming hotly anticipated games like Monster Hunter Rise, Bravely Default 2 and No More Heroes 3. The latter finally got a release date of 27 August 2021.
You can check out the full list of announcements here.
This marks 2021 February’s edition of Tech Bytes, and we hope this roundup gives you a little insight into tech to be excited about. Check with us again in March 2021, as we bring you more byte-sized news every month!
Visuals courtesy of Entertainment Software Association (ESA), NVIDIA, Microsoft, and Nintendo.