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.
We’ve come to the second half of the year! While we anticipate some big events to come out later this year, there’s still some time before they happen. To help tide us along, here’s some July news from the Tech and Gaming space or you to check out and get excited about.
Sony Unveils New INZONE Gaming Gear Series
Sony is going straight into the PC space with their newly launched INZONE series, which specialises in gaming gear, suited particularly for the PS5. The interesting thing about this new brand is that it comes directly from Sony itself, not the PlayStation unit.
As part of the launch, the INZONE series is releasing both monitors and gaming headsets. The monitor slate consists of the M9 and M3. Both are 27-inch monitors, but there are notable differences between the two. The M9 is a 4K, 144Hz monitor with full-array local dimming and HDR 600. Meanwhile, the M3 will be 1080p and feature a 240Hz refresh rate, but will not have full-array local dimming and has a lower HDR 400 rating.
Regarding the headsets, there are three options to choose from — the H9, H7, and H3. Both the H9 and H7 are wireless gaming headsets, with the H9 having noise cancellation. Battery life on the H9 is rated at 32 hours, while the H7 compensates for the lack of ANC with an improved 40 hours, and both have a quick charge feature that gets users an hour of use with just 10 minutes of charge. The H3 on the other hand, is basically a wired version of the H7. All three headsets also have 360 Spatial Sound to further immerse you during gaming.
The monitor slate unfortunately will not be made available to the Asia Pacific region just yet, but the H9, H7, and H3 are now available for purchase at S$499, S$399, and S$139, respectively.
Skull and Bones Rises From The Dead
Skull and Bones has endured a harsh development cycle, but it looks like it will finally come to an end. Five years since its reveal, the game now has a solid release date, 8 November 2022.
In the game, players take on the role of an aspiring pirate captain. To work your way up, you need to gain infamy by accepting contracts from other pirates, exploration, treasure hunts, and more. As you grow in stature, you’ll be able to gain new customisation options for your ship, allowing you to personalise it to your aesthetic and playstyle. The game also features online capabilities, and lets players roam the seas with up to two friends. For the adrenaline junkie, there’s also PvP with other players’ spoils up for grabs.
Skull and Bones is eluding the last-gen consoles completely, coming only for the PS5 and Xbox Series consoles. It will also be available for PC and Google Stadia.
Xiaomi’s Latest Flagship Phone Features Its Biggest Camera Yet
Xiaomi recently announced their newest smartphone line, the Xiaomi 12S Series. The line consists of three phones, but the highlight is the top model, the 12S Ultra, which contains a unique quirk as part of its feature set.
The 12S Ultra is equipped with a 1-inch camera sensor, the Sony IMX989, which is huge compared to other phones on the market. That is further validated by the look of the phone, which has a camera bump that completely takes up the upper third of the back. Furthermore, the camera system was specially co-engineered with Leica, helping to capture more light and reduce noise to produce more detailed images, particularly in low-light conditions.
Besides the sensor, the phone contains many features found in flagship phones. It will have a 6.73-inch OLED display, the latest Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip, and 67W wired fast charging alongside the 4,860mAh battery capacity. The phone is slated to release in China first, but we should be able to expect it to come to Singapore at some point in the future.
Alienware’s New AMD Advantage Laptop Contains Fastest Refresh Rate Yet
Is 60Hz too slow? How about 480Hz then? That’s the refresh rate for the recently launched Alienware’s new m17 R5 laptop.
Calling it the most powerful 17” AMD Advantage laptop, it comes equipped with AMD Ryzen 6000 series processors and AMD Radeon RX 6000 series graphics, including the new AMD Radeon RX 6850M XT. That power enables games to run lightning quick, which is where the display comes into play.
The 1080p display brings improved smoothness in animation for easier target tracking, ghosting reduction to minimise distracting effects, and lower system latency which helps users spot other players earlier. Besides the high refresh rate, it also has an in-built low blue light solution for eye-care, and Dolby Vision.
The Alienware m17 R5 is already available in Singapore and priced at S$3,049.
PlayStation Launches New Loyalty Program
Hardcore PlayStation users will gain additional benefits from supporting the brand with a new loyalty program set to be launched later this year.
Named PlayStation Stars, members can earn redeemable rewards from completing various campaigns and activities. One such campaign is the ‘Monthly Check-In’ campaign which only requires you to play any game to receive the reward. Others might ask you to earn specific trophies, win tournaments, or be the first to get a Platinum trophy in your area.
Loyalty points are also up for grabs which you can then use to redeem PlayStation Network wallet funds and select PlayStation Store products. Furthermore, you’ll automatically receive points from purchases if you are a PlayStation Plus member. There are also ‘digital collectables’ — digital representations of items like character figurines — for members to collect, and Sony has clarified that they are not NFTs.
More information about the program will be unveiled at a later date, but the program is certainly something that PlayStation fans can look forward to.
Visuals courtesy of Sony Singapore, Ubisoft Singapore, Xiaomi, Dell, and Sony PlayStation.