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.
February brings news from notable names in the tech sphere, like Samsung’s newest flagship phone. Gaming also makes its presence known, with Nintendo bringing their first Direct for the year. Our Tech Bytes round-up brings the big news you may have missed here!
Samsung presents their Galaxy S23 smartphone series
Samsung once again updates its flagship Galaxy line for the year, and it is no surprise that the new smartphones are being called the Galaxy S23 series.
As with last year, the Galaxy S23 series is made of three models— Galaxy S23 Ultra, Galaxy S23+, and a regular Galaxy S23. The Ultra is the company’s top-end SKU, highlighted by its 200MP primary sensor for the camera. It allows for much better night photography as well as more detailed images. It is also equipped with the latest specs as Samsung returns to Qualcomm, powering the phone with a slightly modified Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that helps optimise the device for gaming.
While Galaxy S23+ and Galaxy S23 won’t come with the same 200MP camera, they do come with the same processor as the Ultra, so there isn’t a gap in terms of power. Both also have upgraded battery capacities, with the S23 at 3,900 mAh and the S23+ having 4,700 mAh.
All three phones are now available in Singapore, starting at S$1,188 for the Galaxy S23, S$1,528 for the Galaxy S23+, and S$1,828 for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. For more details on the new series, check out our first look at the devices in our previous article.
Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo to skip E3 2023
After cancelling E3 last year, hopes were high from organiser the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) that a return in 2023 would provide a much-needed springboard for the iconic gaming event. However, this month provided a big early stumbling block before they started.
A report from IGN has revealed that Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo will be skipping E3 2023, which was meant to revitalise the showpiece convention by bringing back its usual in-person format. While there was no confirmation from either of the companies at the time of publication, Nintendo has since officially revealed that they would indeed miss out for this year, lending credence to the report.
All three companies have had a massive role in giving the event its legendary status, so their absence is a major blow. PlayStation stepping away from E3 should not be a surprise, given that they have skipped every edition since 2019. But having both Xbox and Nintendo miss E3 brings a sting to this year’s event. Historically, they have announced big titles like Halo Infinite and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom at their respective showcases. With all three not appearing, it certainly reduces the enthusiasm to watch the convention.
There is at least something to look forward to, with one big company going to E3 2023. Ubisoft confirmed that it would attend this year’s show, teasing that it will bring a “strong line-up”.
The Last of Us will be getting a second season
The Last of Us has translated its success to the small screen, garnering praise from critics and audiences alike for its TV adaptation. And now, you can expect more of it.
HBO has announced that there will be a second season of the show for fans to look forward to. That the news came even before its third episode officially aired speaks to how well-received the TV series has been.
Currently, there are no details on when the second season will drop or whether it will be adapting the second game, The Last of Us Part ll. However, given the additional elements included in this first season, there is a good chance it won’t be a one-to-one adaptation.
February’s Nintendo Direct brings Zelda, Metroid, and Game Boy
The first Nintendo Direct of the year happened this month, and it was a relatively meaty showcase as the company unveiled their plans for the year ahead.
The biggest surprise from Direct is the announcement of Metroid Prime Remastered. That’s right; the original 2022 GameCube title is getting the remaster treatment. Developer Retro Studios helps bring this classic to Switch, visually upgrading it with remade assets and updating its controls for the modern generation. What’s great is that it is already available to play.
Nintendo’s other big news was that Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance (GBA) games will be coming to Nintendo Switch Online. This follows their previous legacy console support for NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, and SEGA Genesis. GBA titles will, however, only be available if users purchase the Expansion Pack option from the subscription. Games like Tetris, Kirby’s Dream Land, Mario Kart Super Circuit, and The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap are among the launch line-up.
Rounding off the show’s highlights were fresh looks at The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Pikman 4. Ahead of its release in May, Zelda teased a bit of the story and showed off enemies, puzzles, and new vehicles like a car and airship to aid traversal. Meanwhile, Pikman 4’s gameplay showcase also revealed a release date for the game — it will come out on 21 July this year.
The OPPO Find N2 Flip enters the foldable flip phone scene
OPPO joins Samsung, Motorola, and Huawei in offering a foldable flip-style phone, and their implementation is remarkably different to the others.
Like other foldable flip phones, the OPPO Find N2 Flip contains a cover screen that can be used when folded, but theirs is touted as the largest available. Measuring at 3.26-inches, the extra screen size allows users to do tasks on it more easily— like checking notifications, answering calls, recording voice notes, and taking selfies, among other things.
Beyond its uniquely huge cover screen, the OPPO Find N2 Flip also is equipped with other high-end specs. The 50MP primary camera and 32MP selfie camera are both of flagship quality and can be used for video calls, with the phone specially optimised for apps like WhatsApp and Zoom. When unfolded, it reveals a 6.8-inch display and features a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth navigation. It also should last a reasonable amount of time with the 4,300 mAh battery.
More details on its official launch for Singapore will be revealed on 2 March 2023 as OPPO readies an announcement on that day. You can catch the launch stream on their official website or Facebook Live.
This marks 2023 February’s edition of Tech Bytes, and we hope this round-up gives you insight into tech to be excited about. Check with us again in March 2023, as we bring you more byte-sized news every month!
Photo of Samsung Galaxy S23 by Russell Loh of the DANAMIC Team. Additional visuals courtesy of Xbox, Nintendo, and OPPO.