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 dinner and drinks.
While E3 may have been a no-show this year, June still has come up big with game news as other shows take its place. But that’s not all! Apple also had a few things to say this month, so come check out what’s been announced with our Tech Bytes roundup for June 2022!
Apple Unveils Their Next Iteration M2 Processors
Apple’s proprietary M1 chip made its debut nearly two years ago, garnering much positive reception for its performance and power efficiency. Now, after having powered-up versions in M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra, Apple is finally introducing its proper successor with the M2 chip.
Announced at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), M2 boasts an improved 20 billion transistor count, 24GBs of unified memory, and 10 cores — contributing to an 18% better CPU performance and 35% faster GPU performance over the original M1.
The new M2 chip will make its debut on two devices. The first is the MacBook Air, which will also receive some design tweaks in having a notched display and a return to MagSafe charging. The other device to get M2 is the MacBook Pro, which will retain its current design. The new MacBook Air is slated for July, while the new MacBook Pro will come this month.
iOS 16 gets iPhone Lock Screens More Creative
Beyond Apple’s hardware announcements, the company also had news for their software. For smartphones, this was the new iOS 16.
Since launching in 2007, the lock screen on iPhone has remained largely unchanged. With iOS 16 however, it will bring users lock screen customisation, complete with custom fonts, filters and the inclusion of widgets to personalise your phone — the fonts particularly get a cool effect that mimics depths of feel. In addition, you can also create multiple lock screens and assign them to different focus modes.
Notifications also get an improved experience on the lock screen. They appear right at the bottom of the screen now, and there is a “live activities” notification feature that notifies users on stuff like live sports scores or a delivery order in progress.
Users will be able to enjoy iOS 16’s new lock screen improvements, among other features, later this year for those with an iPhone 8 or newer.
Resident Evil 4 Remake Revealed
Capcom has had a habit of making remakes for their Resident Evil games, with the recent Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 making their way onto people’s consoles and PCs in 2019 and 2020, respectively. No surprise then to see that a remake for Resident Evil 4 has also been in the works.
Formally revealed during PlayStation’s recent third-party-centric State of Play showcase, the game will make its way onto players’ hands come 24 March 2023. Developed on Capcom’s proprietary RE Engine, Resident Evil 4 Remake once again follows series favourite Leon S. Kennedy as he embarks on a mission to rescue the US President’s daughter.
In addition to regular platforms, the game is also being worked on for Sony’s next-generation PlayStation VR2 system; likely to come later after its initial launch.
Square Enix Unveils Final Fantasy VII Remake’s Sequel
After the successful release of Final Fantasy VII Remake in 2020, everybody has been waiting for news about the game’s next part. Finally we have it, and part two will be officially called Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.
Rebirth will take place outside of Midgar, which was the first game’s location. And while Cloud is set to make a return in the game, fans will also see Crisis Core protagonist Zack Fair — who makes an appearance in the teaser trailer.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is expected to come out between the end of 2023 to early 2024. Square Enix also revealed that Rebirth would be the second part of a trilogy, with the final part already beginning pre-production in development.
Hideo Kojima Partners with Xbox
Hideo Kojima is one of gaming’s biggest creators, and whatever he makes becomes big news in the industry. Thus far, he has been mostly aligned with PlayStation, having recently developed Death Stranding for the platform in 2019. This time though, he will be making a game for the green side of the console systems.
At the 2022 Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase, Xbox Head Phil Spencer announced that Kojima would be collaborating with Xbox Game Studios for a new project. Little is known about the project — there’s no gameplay or even a name to associate it with — but Kojima does tease that it will be a brand new concept that uses “Microsoft’s cutting-edge cloud technology”.
We will have to wait to see what Kojima’s game with Xbox will look like, but it is another title to add to Xbox Game Studios’ burgeoning portfolio following their recent acquisitions.
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Receives Redesign
When you hear the phrase 2-in-1 laptop, you might think of a laptop that rotates 360 degrees to mimic a tablet. This would have been precisely the case for Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 until now; the device has undergone a transformation.
The new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 instead is a standalone tablet with a keyboard attachment that allows it to function as a laptop — quite similar to how Apple’s iPad works with the Magic Keyboard accessory. The attachment, called the XPS Folio, supports three angle adjustments (100°, 112.5°, 125°) and is joined by another accessory, the XPS Stylus, which allows users to draw on the screen and lasts for up to 50 days.
Inside, Intel’s 12th Gen processors power the device with i5 and i7 options. Meanwhile, the display is a 13-inch 3:2 (2880 x 1920) screen with two Thunderbolt 4 at the side. The webcam is a 1080p camera, but at the rear, there’s a higher resolution 4K webcam that can be used to take videos or photos.
Singapore will be able to receive the new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 from 19 July 2022 onwards, but the price is still yet to be announced.
Dragon’s Dogma 2 Announced
2012 game Dragon’s Dogma has been a cult favourite for years, and fans have been waiting long for a proper continuation of the series, having seen a Japan-exclusive MMORPG game and a Netflix series release since the original game’s launch. And in June, their wish was granted.
During the livestream for the franchise’s 10th anniversary, Director Hideaki Itsuno belatedly announced that a sequel is in development, aptly called Dragon’s Dogma 2. No gameplay details have been revealed, but the game is confirmed to be using Capcom’s RE Engine.
While getting the game this year might be wishful thinking, we might be able to expect more news soon in September, when the annual Tokyo Game Show is taking place.
Visuals courtesy of Apple Singapore, Capcom, Square Enix, Xbox Game Studios, and Dell.