Tech Bytes: February 2024

Welcome to Tech Bytes! In this series, we bring you the biggest news hitting the Tech and Gaming fields, putting it into an excellent, simple brief for you to quickly catch up on so you’re up to speed over dinner and drinks.

With this year being a leap year, it’s time to leap into the big news from the tech and gaming sphere. For February 2024, we hear all about Xbox’s new games strategy and the successor to one of Fujifulm’s most popular cameras — all are revealed here in our Tech Bytes roundup.

Hideo Kojima is working on a new Action Espionage game, PHYSINT (working title)

The Metal Gear series is as iconic to the games industry as the man behind it. But while the franchise is still in stasis, Hideo Kojima will be returning to the genre which made him so famous with his next project.

At the recent State of Play from PlayStation, Kojima wrapped up the showcase by announcing that his next title will be a brand-new original IP in the action espionage genre. Tentatively called PHYSINT, he describes it as a “next-generation action espionage game” which will use cutting-edge technology and talent in its creation.

Kojima was also quick to emphasise how early it is in its development, which will only begin in earnest once Kojima Productions has finished work with Death Stranding 2 (slated to come out in 2025). But while we won’t know much about the project for some time, Kojima does hint that the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group film production and distribution company Columbia Pictures is involved.

Xbox will be bringing Xbox-exclusive games to PS5 and Nintendo Switch

The early weeks of February were dominated by rumours of Xbox making a dramatic switch in their game release strategy. Reactions swirled when Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer sent out a cryptic tweet announcing Xbox will make an update the following week. But the reality was far less dramatic.

No, it isn’t that all the Xbox-exclusive games are being ported to rival systems like the PS5 and Nintendo Switch. Instead, only four of them were making their way to the two aforementioned consoles — later confirmed to be Grounded, Pentiment, Sea of Thieves, and Hi-Fi Rush. These games will be available in the coming months, with Pentiment already released this month.

Gears of War, Starfield, and other games like the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Great Circle will remain only on Xbox and PC; though this comes with an asterisk attached. While these titles won’t be part of the batch of releases coming to other systems, Spencer did not rule out the possibility of them coming in the future, saying, “I don’t think we should as an industry ever rule out a game going to any other platform.”

So, PlayStation and Switch owners might still have to wait a little longer to experience Xbox’s lineup of titles. For now, at least, there are four new games to try out.

Riot Games formally introduces their fighting game 2XKO

Tech Bytes February 2024: 2XKO

If you’ve not been following the League of Legends scene, you may not have known that developer Riot Games has been working on a League-themed fighting game. Announced back in 2019, the then-titled Project L finally has a name attached to it — 2XKO.

2XKO is a free-to-play 2v2 tag-based fighting game where players can choose from a roster of characters from the League of Legends universe, with Yasuo, Ekko, and Illaoi among them. The unique aspect of the game is that players can play cooperatively with a friend rather than the traditional 1v1 competitive play. 

The game is targeting a 2025 release, with playable demos available worldwide for fans to try out in the lead-up to its launch. The first opportunity you can do so is at Evo Japan in April 2024. At-home playtests will be held before the end of the year, and interested participants can sign up at the official 2XKO website.

Fujifilm announces the X100VI

Tech Bytes February 2024: Fujifilm X100VI

If you need a reference for how powerful TikTok can be, you only need to look at its effect on the Fujifilm X100V camera. After going viral on the platform, it got so popular that the company had to stop new orders in order to fulfil existing demand. But if you’re one of the many still waiting to buy it, you might want to get its successor instead. 

It’s called the Fujifilm X100VI, named as such because it is the sixth edition in the line. Externally, the camera looks much like its predecessor — still that sleek, compact, vintage body design that captured the hearts of so many. However, the internals see upgrades that transform it into a more capable camera.

The big one will be the new 40-megapixel sensor, which allows for more detail to be recorded and gives more flexibility in cropping. But the X100VI will also have the latest X-Processor 5, a feature that provides improved autofocus for subject detection. It also comes with In-Body Image Stabilisation (IBIS), with up to six stops of stabilisation to help preserve image sharpness. Lovers of the film simulation feature will also get to try out the 20 configurations loaded in the camera, including the latest Reala Ace film simulation.

The Fujifilm X100VI will be released at the end of the month at US$1,599. If you have yet to make your order for it, you’ll have to wait a little longer; pre-orders for the camera are already sold out. 

Xiaomi reveals new Xiaomi 14 series

Tech Bytes February 2024: Xiaomi 14 Series

Photography is the focus of the new Xiaomi 14 series, which was just announced this month. Collaborating with Leica, the company is bringing some serious specs for its latest smartphone line.

Showcasing the full photography prowess is the Xiaomi 14 Ultra. It has a unique circular quad-camera setup, with the primary camera using a one-inch 50-megapixel sensor for sharpened images. It’s accompanied by three additional 50-megapixel cameras, which include a Leica 75mm telephoto with a 3.2x optical zoom, a periscope with a 5x optical zoom, and an ultrawide with a 122-degree field of view. In terms of video capabilities, users will be able to shoot at up to 8K 30fps.

To fully get into the photography experience, there is a separate photography kit for the 14 Ultra for users to try. Equipping it adds a camera grip, a two-stage shutter button, a zoom lever, a customisable video recording button, and an additional custom dial. Besides that, you can also use the kit as an external charging battery bank that adds 1500mAh of battery life.

Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 14 will offer a triple-camera setup in a more traditional square camera cutout. That being said, it will emulate much of the Ultra’s camera specs, including the 50-megapixel ultrawide and Leica 75mm telephoto. Both phones are also equipped with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 to ensure top-level performance.

The Xiaomi 14 series will launch in Singapore on 8 March 2024, though no prices have yet been revealed.

This marks February 2024’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 2024, as we bring you more byte-sized news every month!

Photos of Fujifilm X100VI by Leo Chia of the DANAMIC Team. Additional visuals courtesy of Xbox, Riot Games and Xiaomi.

Russell Matthew Loh

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

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