The TT Show Episode 14 is here, and of course, this week's big story is the Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer, which dropped moments before Jak and Kosta started recording - so strap in for some genuine immediate impressions. The GTA 6 discussion covers quite a bit, from the visuals to the game potentially skipping PC at launch to why Rockstar released the trailer ahead of schedule.
The Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer isn't the only trailer the duo dig into as they talk about the new Fallout TV show from Amazon for Prime Video and how it captures the series' look, feel, and tone. As a Fallout player, Kosta is more impressed than Jak, but hey. In the world of GPUs, the ongoing GeForce RTX 4090 China ban saga continues, with the recent news that NVIDIA is designing a cutdown RTX 4090D for the region.
This week's episode also covers the early arrival of Windows 12 in June 2024 alongside dedicated "AI PCs," Tesla's Cybertruck's launch, and some sad news about NASA's planned Moon mission in 2025. It turns out progress at Elon Musk's SpaceX isn't where it should be,
AMD is smiling proudly with its RDNA 3-powered Radeon RX 7000 series GPUs flying through the world of Pandora, pumping 100FPS+ inside of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. Check it out:
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is powered by Ubisoft's impressive Snowdrop engine, the same engine that powers The Division 2 and other Ubisoft titles. It looks gorgeous, enabling beautiful ray-traced visuals that create immersive gaming environments like we see in Frontiers of Pandora.
AMD worked closely with Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment to ensure a smooth, high FPS gaming experience at Ultra settings with ray tracing enabled across its AMD Radeon graphics cards and AMD Ryzen processors. What kind of performance can we expect? Well, over 100FPS, starting with the Radeon RX 7600... here's the full list:
TCL is on a gaming monitor announcement spree, where it has teased an interesting new dome-shaped 4K 120Hz OLED gaming monitor... as well as a new 27-inch 8K panel, 65-inch 8K OLED panel, and a gargantuan 57-inch 8K 240Hz mega gaming monitor of the future. You'll need an RTX 5090 or maybe even an RTX 6090 for 8K 240Hz insanity.
The company says it has "redefined the future" with its new monitor technologies, showing TCL's commitment to making a "more advanced, connected and healthy display future". That is being done with a super-dense 27-inch 8K monitor with an adjustable light zone that also packs eye tracking... interesting to see.
TCL also unveiled the first 65-inch 8K 120Hz IJP OLED curved monitor, boasting its huge 33 million pixels at a super-smooth 120Hz refresh rate. 7680 x 4320 @ 120Hz with a 1800R curve... that would be a sight to see, with TCL teasing that "every pixel is viewed, and the frame is perceived in a fully immersive environment".
Intel has announced that it will have its CEO Pat Gelsinger on stage at CES 2024, providing a keynote, where CNBC correspondent Kristina Partsinevelos will join to talk about all things AI.
We know that AI will be a focus of all major tech companies moving forward, with Intel's upcoming "AI Everywhere" event penciled in for December 14, which is just a few days away. We will find out more details about Intel's new Core 100 series codenamed Meteor Lake, which is one of the more interesting CPU designs the company has pumped out, and all eyes are focused on it.
AI, on the other hand, is the core focus of Intel right now... however, the CES 2024 keynote will see Intel talk about its Core 100 series and the Meteor Lake architecture in general and how it is powering waves of new laptops and other Meteor Lake-powered products. Intel will be hosting an Open House at CES 2024 that will be led by Michelle Johnston Holthaus, the GM of Intel CCG (Client Computing Group) where people on the ground will be able to get their hands on some Intel Core Ultra demo systems.
TCL CSOT just announced a bunch of new displays, with its interesting new dome-shaped 4K 120Hz OLED gaming monitor for the PC.
The new gaming monitors were unveiled at DTC 2023 (Global Display Tech-ecosystem Conference 2023), which is being held in Wuhan, China (ooooh). The new gaming monitor features a 31-inch dome-shaped 4K 120Hz OLED panel, with the dome shape helping provide a "3D" feel to the monitor as it would wrap around your face more than a flat or even curved OLED panel.
We don't know much else about the new TCL gaming monitor outside of the 31-inch dome-shaped 4K 120Hz OLED panel, but I'd love to have my eyes in front of one. I reviewed the TCL C825 TV and walked away quite impressed with the 55-inch 4K 120Hz Mini-LED TV; fantastic if you've got a high-end GeForce RTX 4090 to use it with... games like Overwatch 2 and Alan Wake 2 would look astounding on it.
Following its loss in the Gen8 console race, Microsoft shifted its business towards content and services rather than hardware. The bet is paying off.
Xbox has changed in the years leading up to the Activision Blizzard King acquisition. Xbox went from a console to a service that bridges consoles, PCs, mobile phones, and even smart TVs. Xbox even has a very powerful presence on competitor systems thanks to heavy-hitters like Minecraft, Elder Scrolls Online, and Fallout 76. The company prepped its infrastructure throughout 2013-2015 by unifying Windows PCs and Xbox Ones, and now services have accelerated dramatically with the popular Xbox Game Pass subscription.
Microsoft's core strength has always been services, software, and subscriptions, and it made sense to adapt Xbox into this model--After all, hardware isn't a very high-margin business, and for Xbox, it's actually a negative-margin business because no Xbox console has ever been sold at a profit. Microsoft makes its money back from software, content, monetization, digital advertising, and subscriptions. Based on Xbox's recent record-breaking $16.2 billion revenues for FY22, ths plan appears to be working well.
It was only a few days ago that Elon Musk rolled out the new artificial intelligence-powered chatbot Grok, developed by his AI company xAI.
Grok was rolled out to Premium+ X subscribers across the United States, and according to official statements, the new chatbot is powered by the generative model called Grok-1. That is an important fact, as it's a different underlying model powering OpenAI's ChatGPT, which is currently GPT-4. Notably, Grok differentiates itself from other competing chatbots by incorporating real-time data from X, enabling it to provide responses on posts occurring on X in real-time.
Now, all AI-powered chatbots are prone to hallucinations, which is when the chatbot provides a response that contains false or misleading information. This phenomenon occurs in all Large Language Models (LLMs), which is the underlying technology powering the experience (Grok-1, or ChatGPT's GPT-4).
Xbox financial exec Tim Stuart explains the core heartbeat of the games business, outlining a strategy that emphasizes expansion and utilization of high-margin models.
Xbox has grown tremendously over the past 10 years. To stay competitive, Microsoft has snapped up first-party studios, built its entire games business around content and services, and disrupted the market with Game Pass. This plan has seen Xbox's gaming slate expand horizontally as well as vertically, as Microsoft built and secured multiple millions-strong live service games with recurring revenue streams.
Wrap those live games alongside premium singleplayer titles into a content-delivery subscription service with a low monthly fee that's spread across multiple platforms, and you have Microsoft's main business ethos: diversity. Xbox's multi-faceted business incorporates numerous billion-dollar models centered around multi-access endpoints and digital online monetization, and after the ABK buyout, Microsoft has attained one of the highest-margin publishers on the planet.
There are now more social networks out there than ever before and some of them are actually rather good, including Threads. The Meta-owned social network continues to grow with new features being added all the time. Now, the Instagram-linked social network has gained new support for tags but they're very different from the hashtags that you're familiar with on Instagram itself.
Tags have long been used in posts on special networks like Twitter and the aforementioned Instagram as a way for people to link multiple posts together. If you tag a post with #cats, that post will then show up in all searches for that tag, creating something of a saved search scenario. It's great for discoverability, and now Threads has tags of its own.
But where Threads differs from the norm is the way tags actually work. For starters, they don't have anything before them which means that the ugly hashtag has been removed entirely. Instagram's Adam Mosseri detailed how the new feature works, saying that people can choose any word to be a tag, and that tag can have special characters inside it. They can even have spaces, making for an easier reading experience.
If you're a YouTuber who has found themselves on the receiving end of trolling or just plain old hate in the comments you'll know that just turning them off is probably the best way to go. But YouTube has now rolled out another option that it hopes will act as a happy middle ground between letting people comment and blocking them for good.
The new feature, pausing of comments, allows people to pause comments to prevent new ones from being added. Those that are already approved will remain visible, but the addition of new ones will stop until the YouTuber chooses to reenable them. YouTube says that the aim here is to give people more flexibility rather than just turn comments off and lose all of those that were previously there.
The new feature is one that YouTube has been experimenting with since October with TechCrunch reporting that the experiment group reported they felt less overwhelmed when trying to manage the inflow of comments. Pausing them will allow time for the previous comments to be vetted without the backlog constantly being added to, something that can no doubt help with the anxiety created by having to vet the comments in the first place.
Apple is well aware that iMessage is a key driver for people buying iPhones and for that reason, it has so far refused to open the instant messaging platform up to allow it to be offered on Android. That's something that seems set to remain the case for the near future after Apple blocked Beeper, an app that sought to bring Apple's messaging platform to Android phone owners for $2 per month.
Beeper made a splash last week when it announced that it had found a way to hook into Apple's iMessage without any of the messy workarounds or hacks that had been used by similar services in the past. That was supposed to ensure a couple of things. First, it would allow for increased privacy, and second, it was supposed to make it harder for Apple to block Beeper.
A few days later, Apple had already blocked it.