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.
It is the shortest month in the year, but that doesn’t mean we’re short on news in the world of Tech and Gaming. See what February 2022 has unveiled and gotten us excited about in our Tech Bytes round-up for the month!
Sony Acquires Bungie
Following Microsoft’s massive purchase of Activision Blizzard, Sony also revealed their own big acquisition news.
The company announced that Bungie, the developers behind the original Halo trilogy and the Destiny series, will be joining the PlayStation family after acquiring them for a fee worth $3.6 billion — PlayStation’s most expensive purchase thus far.
Unlike previous game studio acquisitions, though, Bungie is slated to continue publishing future games and content for various platforms rather than exclusive to PlayStation. Instead, the purchase was made to foster collaboration between PlayStation Studios and Bungie, leveraging their expertise on live-service games. Indeed, Sony further revealed plans to release more than 10 live-service games before March 2026.
The acquisition itself will come as a surprise to many. Sony only acquires studios based on a history of working with them. While Bungie fits that mould, having collaborated with them on Destiny since PS4’s launch, this is the first time they are letting a studio remain multi-platform. With live-service games rising in popularity though, Bungie’s know-how will no doubt help PlayStation in that area.
Samsung unveils the new Galaxy S22 smartphone line
Samsung’s new Galaxy S22 series was announced in early February, revealing three new smartphones which will make up their flagship line.
At the top of the line is the new Galaxy S22 Ultra. If you remember the Note series from Samsung, the Ultra essentially is its successor. Like the previous Note phones, it comes with a built-in S-Pen that now has an improved response time of 9 milliseconds for its stylus. Aside from that, it comes with a new design at the back, with the camera lenses (a 108MP primary shooter, 3x and 10x telephoto cameras, and ultra-wide) now individually housed instead of using a camera bump.
Both the Galaxy S22 and S22+ will meanwhile remain very familiar in their design. However, they have improved on the material of the devices, using Gorilla Glass for the front and back.
The new Galaxy S22 line will be widely available in Singapore come 4 March 2022. The Galaxy S22 Ultra, S22+ and S22 will retail at S$1,719, S$1,468, and S$1,178, respectively.
Samsung refreshes tablet line with the Galaxy Tab S8 series
Phones weren’t the only thing on the agenda for Samsung Unpacked 2022. Their new line of tablets were also formally announced at the event. Introducing the new Galaxy Tab S8 series from Samsung!
Likewise, there are three devices within the line, and the highlight would be the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra. It is a massive tablet, coming with a 14.6-inch OLED screen that can also do a refresh rate of 120Hz. It also seems to be the first tablet to have a notch to house its front-facing cameras.
Two smaller tablets make up the Galaxy Tab S8 series. The Galaxy Tab S8+ is the bigger of the two, and its screen measures 12.4-inch while the regular Galaxy Tab S8 will have an 11-inch screen. Both tablets are capable of running a 120Hz refresh rate, but the Tab S8+ will use an OLED panel in comparison to the Tab S8’s LCD panel.
Singapore will see the Galaxy Tab S8 series reach its shores on 4 March 2022. The Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, Tab S8+, and Tab S8 will be available starting at S$2,188, S$1,548, and S$1,198 respectively.
Cyberpunk 2077 finally released for the latest generation of consoles
CD PROJEKT RED’s Cyberpunk 2077 has been plagued by technical issues since its launch, resulting in a game far from what it was hyped to be. However, the developer has since taken the time to fix these issues, and over a year since its release, they are finally giving PS5 and Xbox Series players the long-awaited ‘next-gen’ update.
It comes by way of Patch 1.5, which adds new improvements like faster load times, ray-tracing, and dynamic 4K. PS5 players additionally have support for haptic feedback and adaptive triggers for the DualSense controller.
Perhaps in an attempt to regain some goodwill from disgruntled gamers, CD PROJEKT RED also allows people to trial the game for up to five hours, which will run till 15 March. Any progress made during that time can be brought over should you buy it.
While the verdict is still out on whether CD PROJEKT RED has atoned sufficiently for their mistakes, this new update represents the best possible state the game has been in for a long time. So if you’ve been waiting since launch for it to be fixed, now’s a good time as any to dive in.
Street Fighter 6 is announced
The iconic fighting game franchise Street Fighter turns 35 this year, and on this milestone occasion, they are ready to reveal its newest entry.
The aptly-titled Street Fighter 6 was announced after the Capcom Pro Tour concluded, showcasing a trailer with Ryu as the centrepiece. Ryu himself looks to have had a design overhaul, featuring a more realistic look compared to his appearances in previous games — perhaps teasing the RE Engine?
Not more was shown during the reveal trailer, but Capcom promises more details on the game will arrive during the middle of the year. The last mainline game, Street Fighter 5, was released back in early 2016, and the emergence of Street Fighter 6 will undoubtedly whet the appetite of fighting game fans who have been patiently waiting for a new game to arrive.
Sony’s PlayStation VR2 gets an official first look
Sony’s PlayStation VR2 (PSVR2) has received numerous little info drops from last year, with the latest confirmation on its official naming last month. This month sees another small teaser from the company on its upcoming VR machine.
A full look was given on what the final headset device will look like when it becomes available to the public. While it looks similar in shape to its predecessor, it aesthetically follows more in line with the PS5’s look; opting for an all-white facade.
What the headset offers though, is more than just a colour change. Players will be able to experience their VR games at 4K HDR and frame rates amounting to 90/120Hz. It also supports foveated rendering, ensuring that games remain crisp wherever the person is looking without sacrificing power. In addition, the 110 degrees field of view keeps the player immersed in the world.
There has been no release date or price revealed yet, but with the ramp-up in the rate of tiny details being released, we should expect PSVR2 to receive a proper showcase in the coming months.
This marks 2022 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 2022, as we bring you more byte-sized news every month!
Visuals courtesy of Sony PlayStation, Samsung Singapore, CD PROJEKT RED, and Capcom.