Tech Bytes: August 2023

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.

Gamescom lights up this August’s tech and gaming scene with several announcements at the event. Also, a few game news were made in the lead-up to the big showcase in Germany. Check out all the details you may have missed in our Tech Bytes round-up for this month!

AMD announces Radeon RX 7800 XT and 7700 XT

Tech Bytes August 2023: AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT and 7700 XT

With 1440p gaming becoming increasingly popular, there is now another option for your PC to bolster your gaming performance from 1080p. AMD’s newest graphics cards are the Radeon RX 7800 XT and 7700 XT, announced while Gamescom ran.

These GPUs are aimed squarely at 1440p gaming, touting a performance of over 60fps for the latest games. For example, with the 7800 XT in particular on max settings, you’ll get 75 fps for The Last of Us Part 1, while Star Wars Jedi: Survivor will run at 77 fps on average — outstanding results for such graphically intensive titles.

Further specs from the GPUs show that the 7800 XT will have 16GB of GDDR6 memory. Meanwhile, the 7700 XT will carry 12GB of GDDR6 memory.

The Radeon RX 7800 XT and 7700 XT will launch on 6 September 2023, priced at S$799 and S$695, respectively. They will also launch alongside the newest version of FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR). FSR 3 will add frame generation as one of its features as well as Native Anti-Aliasing, which helps to anti-alias and sharpen the graphics using FSR techniques.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III revealed

Tech Bytes August 2023: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III

Activision’s rebooted ‘Modern Warfare’ series will have its very own trilogy after the company announced Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III.

The game picks up directly from the events of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, with Captain Price and Task Force 141 facing off against Vladimir Makarov. Open Combat Missions are a new addition to the game, allowing players to explore additional paths and choices during the single-player campaign. That means players can choose their approach — going stealthy or opting for a louder run and gun playstyle — and the levels also feature Armaments, which let you use killstreak-like tactical items.

As for multiplayer, new maps and old favourites return in modern form, including all 16 launch maps from the original Modern Warfare 2 (2009). A brand new mode called Cutthroat Mode is also introduced, which pits a team of three against another. Fans of the Zombies mode will also experience its return with what Activision describes as the “largest Call of Duty zombies map ever”.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III will be released on 10 November 2023 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series consoles, and PC. 

ASUS unveils world’s first 32-inch 4K OLED gaming monitor

Tech Bytes August 2023: ASUS 32-inch 4K OLED Monitor

We’ve talked about 1440p gaming becoming more accessible, but 4K gaming is also on the rise. There aren’t as many options for a 4K gaming monitor right now, but ASUS is bringing one to the table with their newest monitor.

Touted as the world’s first 32-inch 4K OLED gaming monitor, the ROG Swift OLED PG32UCDM aims to provide a visual spectacle for gamers with the use of QD-OLED technology for its display panel — producing a peak brightness of 1000 nits and great colour performance.

Additionally, the monitor will also have a 240Hz refresh rate, graphene cooling, USB-C power delivery, KVM, and picture-in-picture among its list of features. 

There’s no date and price yet announced for the ROG Swift OLED PG32UCDM, but it is expected to launch in Q1 2024. Keep your eyes peeled for it during that period if you want to upgrade your monitor setup.

Sony details new PlayStation accessories — PlayStation Portal, Pulse Explore, and Pulse Elite

Tech Bytes August 2023: PlayStation Portal

Earlier this year, Sony teased new accessories for the PlayStation 5 console during their big PlayStation Showcase event. Now, they’ve revealed new information about the latest products, including an update to their existing headset.

The previously-named Project Q gets a proper title — PlayStation Portal. As detailed before, it will have an 8-inch LCD screen that will showcase games in 1080p resolution at 60fps, with DualSense functionality included. It will primarily function as a streaming device, connecting remotely to your PS5 over Wi-Fi. Sony notes that you don’t have to use the same Wi-Fi network for it to work, meaning that you could ostensibly play this anywhere if you have a good signal. However, it won’t support games being streamed from cloud streaming.

While an audio jack is included for wired listening, the device won’t have Bluetooth. Instead, it will use “PlayStation Link” to connect to wireless audio devices. The new Pulse Explore wireless earbuds and Pulse Elite headset are the first devices with that feature. The technology provides low latency, lossless audio and easy switching when connected, though you still need to use a dongle for it to work with the PS5 or PC. In terms of audio performance, both devices will have custom-designed planar magnetic drivers for audiophile-level listening.

No date has been announced regarding when all three products will be released, but it is set to arrive later this year. The PlayStation Portal will be priced at US$199.99, while the  Pulse Explore and Pulse Elite will retail at US$199.99 and US$149.99 respectively.

Portable gaming gets competitive with Qualcomm’s handheld gaming chips

Tech Bytes August 2023: Snapdragon G Series

With the Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch at the forefront of portable gaming, it is no surprise that many companies want to share in the success. Qualcomm’s latest chips made specifically for handheld gaming are set to bolster what is becoming a burgeoning landscape.

The Snapdragon G Series has three chipsets that offer several different ways to experience gaming on the go. Snapdragon G1 is designed for devices focused on game streaming, with its performance geared toward delivering lag-free connectivity and battery life. Meanwhile, the Snapdragon G2 is made for a mix of mobile and cloud gaming, 

Snapdragon G3 is the flagship tier for enthusiasts, with the Snapdragon G3x Gen 2 being its latest product. From its predecessor, featured in the Razer Edge 5G device, the chip offers 30% faster CPU performance and two times faster GPU performance — enabling high-end gaming features like hardware-accelerated ray tracing and game super-resolution, among others. 

Qualcomm is currently working with several companies to create systems around the new chips, including Ayaneo, which specialises in handheld devices. Expect to see more portable gaming products in the near future.

This marks August 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 September 2023, as we bring you more byte-sized news every month!

Visuals courtesy of AMD, Activision, ASUS,  Sony PlayStation, and Qualcomm.

*Article updated with local pricing for 7800 XT and 7700 XT

Russell Matthew Loh

Watcher of films and player of games. Dabble with writing in between.

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