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.
April brings some notable stories in the world of tech and gaming. The Activision Blizzard deal takes a twist, and we will be seeing new Steam Deck competitors. For more of the biggest news this month, check out our Tech Bytes round-up!
Activision Blizzard’s acquisition by Microsoft blocked by UK regulators
When news of Microsoft’s intention to purchase Activision Blizzard was released last year, it understandably was a big deal within the gaming industry. However, the road to acquiring the company has been far from straightforward.
This month, it has come out that the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has blocked the US$68.7 billion deal — adding a massive hurdle for Microsoft to overcome if they want the acquisition to be finalised.
The reasoning behind the decision to block it may surprise you. The CMA has indicated that the deal has the possibility to “alter the future of the fast-growing cloud gaming market, leading to reduced innovation and less choice for UK gamers over the years to come.”
Sony has been the biggest opponent to the Activision Blizzard acquisition, giving regulators much evidence on the potential ramifications should the deal go through; cloud gaming wouldn’t have been at the top of that list. In any case, it adds another twist to a story set to continue, with Microsoft intending to appeal the decision.
E3 2023 is cancelled
E3 can’t seem to catch a break. Initially planned for 13 June 2023, the biggest gaming show has officially announced that it will not proceed with an event after all.
ReedPop, the organisers for E3 2023, reasoned that the necessary interest for the show could not be garnered. They also added that companies “wouldn’t have playable demos ready and that resourcing challenges made being at E3 this summer an obstacle they couldn’t overcome.”
This marks the story’s conclusion, which began with reports of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo skipping E3 this year. Then, the domino effect was cast as more companies elected to miss the event, with Ubisoft being the latest name to do so.
It remains to be seen whether E3 will be back next year or even come back at all. In the meantime, Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest will be the next big event to look forward to when it goes live on 8 June 2023.
NVIDIA RTX 4070 announced
NVIDIA’s 40-series family grows again with the latest RTX 4070 graphics card, bringing the most recent DLSS 3 upscaling tech.
The RTX 4070 card is advertised as a 1440p gaming powerhouse, performing at more than 100 fps with ray tracing enabled. It also includes 12GB of GDDR6X and 12GB of VRAM.
It will be made available on 13 April 2023 at a price starting at US$599 for the Founder’s Edition model, giving consumers a more affordable option to upgrade to the new 40-series graphics cards.
ASUS reveals their new ROG Ally handheld gaming PC
Valve’s Steam Deck is a bonafide success, so it is no surprise to see other companies making their own devices to tap into the market. ASUS is the latest name to do so, unveiling their new handheld gaming PC, the ASUS ROG Ally.
Specs for the device are promising. It comes with a 1080p screen and supports a 120Hz refresh rate. Powering the handheld is AMD’s newest Ryzen Z1 series processors, and ASUS claims that the ROG Ally will have double the performance capabilities of the Steam Deck.
The ROG Ally is set to launch in May this year, and though no price has been confirmed as yet, leaks suggest that it could cost just US$699.99, which isn’t too far off from the most premium SKU of the Steam Deck. We will have to see whether it will be as popular as the Steam Deck once it launches.
Suicide Squad game delayed again
Those who have been waiting to play Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will, unfortunately, have to wait even longer; the game has been delayed once again out of its previously confirmed 26 May release date.
Hearing the new release date will bring even more heartache. Now it is slated to come out on 2 February 2023, a delay of over nine months. Rocksteady, the game’s developers, have indicated that the delay will help them ensure that the title will bring “the best quality experience for players.”
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has recently garnered bad press over its games as a service (GaaS) model, which included needing to be online to play it. While the long delay seems to be them attempting to address these issues, it is hard to see how they will be able to fix them in time, given that the game was designed with the GaaS model in mind.
This marks April 2023’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 May 2023, as we bring you more byte-sized news every month!
Visuals courtesy of Xbox, OpenAI, Valve, Atlus, Jabra and Razer.