ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review

ASUS ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II Motherboard Review

The new ASUS ROG Z790-E Gaming Wi-Fi II motherboard rivals many higher-priced offerings with its impressive connectivity and performance.

TT Show Episode 23 - Xbox's future, PS6 performance, the NVIDIA App, OpenAI's Sora, and more!

Kosta Andreadis | TweakTown | Feb 23, 2024 5:32 AM CST

It's another big week for The TT Show, with plenty of stories from the world of console hardware, games, GPUs, AI, science, and space discussed. This week's episode begins with a lengthy discussion about the future of Xbox, its games coming to PlayStation and Switch, and what's in store for the next-gen Xbox and PlayStation consoles. Will AI be the key to delivering the technical leap people expect?

TT Show Episode 23 - Xbox's future, PS6 performance, the NVIDIA App, OpenAI's Sora, and more!

Alongside the next-gen gaming talk, which includes what's coming from NVIDIA and AMD, Jak and Kosta take a detour into the world of 8K gaming and whether it should happen anytime soon. The TT Show hosts believe the performance hit isn't worth it, so watch or listen to the latest episode and let us know your thoughts.

Also, Kosta goes through the new NVIDIA App, which presents a significant software update for GeForce RTX owners, combining Control Panel with GeForce Experience in a fast, minimal, and sleek new package. It's a fantastic update from the overhauled overlay to the expanded system monitoring tools to the new RTX HDR and RTX Dynamic Vibrance tools for PC games.

Continue reading: TT Show Episode 23 - Xbox's future, PS6 performance, the NVIDIA App, OpenAI's Sora, and more! (full post)

Microsoft tried to get Apple to use Bing on the iPhone for years

Oliver Haslam | Software & Apps | Feb 25, 2024 6:15 AM CST

While it had previously been reported that Apple had been a potential buyer for Microsoft's Bing search engine business, it wasn't entirely clear just how much Microsoft had tried to make a deal happen. That is, until now.

Microsoft tried to get Apple to use Bing on the iPhone for years

The new information comes after new documents were shared as part of the US Justice Department's lawsuit which claims that Google has a monopoly in the search market. As part of Google's argument that isn't the case, it says that Apple was offered Bing as a new default search engine for the iPhone. Google says Apple decided that Bing was subpar compared to its own offering. adding that the mere fact that Apple had to consider the options suggests there is indeed competition.

Microsoft reportedly pitched Apple on switching to using Bing as the default search option for users in 2009, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2020. But with there being no sign of a deal being done. Microsoft also tried to get Apple to simply buy Bing as a whole. Another option was some kind of joint venture that would have seen Apple and Microsoft work on Bing together. This went down in 2018, with Apple ultimately deciding against any kind of deal.

Continue reading: Microsoft tried to get Apple to use Bing on the iPhone for years (full post)

These are the vehicles to buy if you want to use Apple's car key feature.

Oliver Haslam | Electric Vehicles & Cars | Feb 25, 2024 6:00 AM CST

It might not seem like it but it's been almost four years since Apple announced a new iPhone and Apple Watch Wallet feature that would allow car owners to unlock their vehicles without the need for a key or key card. Instead, all they would need is their iPhone or Apple Watch and they'd be able to unlock, lock, and start their vehicles. Unfortunately, that requires that carmakers also get on board.

These are the vehicles to buy if you want to use Apple's car key feature.

As is so often the case with features that Apple adds in relation to cars - CarPlay is another example - it has taken some time for carmakers to either update or release vehicles that support the new car key feature. 9to5Mac has put together a list of all the vehicles that can be used with the Wallet car key offering, and it's a surprisingly large number - although the majority have a BMW logo on the front.

The full list reads:

Continue reading: These are the vehicles to buy if you want to use Apple's car key feature. (full post)

The iPhone's dynamic island almost didn't look like the one that shipped with the iPhone 14 Pro

Oliver Haslam | Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Feb 25, 2024 5:30 AM CST

When Apple announced the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max back in September of 2022 there was one big change that captured the attention. The Dynamic Island had been leaked to some extent, so its arrival wasn't entirely unexpected. But we didn't know quite what it would do or what it would look like. That's ancient history today and while the iPhone 14 missed out on the Dynamic Island, it was present in the following year's iPhone 15. But according to one new report, the Dynamic Island could have been very different indeed.

The iPhone's dynamic island almost didn't look like the one that shipped with the iPhone 14 Pro

That report comes via MacRumors and is reportedly based on information gleaned from unspecified sources. According to the report, Apple was very much undecided on how the Dynamic Island would work and in one example, it wasn't even part of the area that hides the selfie camera and Face ID mechanics, either. The Dynamic Island that shipped dynamically adjusts its size and shape to both hide the holes in the display for various cameras and sensors as well as give Apple somewhere to place notifications and information. But one example put all of that down the side of the phone.

That ditched Dynamic Island idea moved the time, cellular signal strength, Wi-Fi, and more to the side of the phone via a software-based notch that protruded from the side of the device. When not visible, the area would disappear leaving users without anywhere to see such information at a glance - including the time.

Continue reading: The iPhone's dynamic island almost didn't look like the one that shipped with the iPhone 14 Pro (full post)

It just got cheaper to buy a 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro in Canada and Europe, here's why

Oliver Haslam | Laptops | Feb 24, 2024 1:59 PM CST

If you're in the market for a new laptop and want to treat yourself to a new 14-inch MacBook Pro, doing so could now be cheaper than you first thought - especially if you're in Canada or one of a number of European countries. That's because the Apple Stores in those countries are now offering refurbished models for the first time.

It just got cheaper to buy a 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro in Canada and Europe, here's why

The new move means that those in Canada, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK now have the option of buying a refurbished M3 14-inch MacBook Pro directly from Apple which makes buying cheaper than ever. And while these machines are indeed renewed rather than brand-new, the difference between the two is negligible.

Apple says that each of the MacBook Pros that it refurbished has been thoroughly cleaned and inspected to ensure that they work as if they were new and are in good condition. They're also backed by Apple's one-year limited warranty and those who want to add extra coverage can do so via the AppleCare+ program. Each laptop comes with all accessories and manuals as if it were new, although it will arrive in a plain white box rather than the normal retail one.

Continue reading: It just got cheaper to buy a 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro in Canada and Europe, here's why (full post)

X rolls video and audio calls out to everyone whether or not they pay for Premium

Oliver Haslam | Software & Apps | Feb 24, 2024 1:42 PM CST

Ever since current owner Elon Musk bought Twitter and turned it into X, he's been trying to create what some call the everything app. Such an app would become the central focus for a whole range of activities with China's WeChat being the example most people think of. The app is a social network but also used for a variety of things in the country, including payments. One of the features that Musk had X's engineers add was support for video and audio calling, but it was limited to only those who pay for X Premium. Now, that's all changed.

X rolls video and audio calls out to everyone whether or not they pay for Premium

First announced by an X engineer before being confirmed by current CEO Linda Yaccarino, the change means that everyone who wants to take advantage of video and audio calls now can, with X also adding the feature to choose to allow calls from everyone or limit the number of people who call to just those who they follow, are verified, or are being followed. Choosing to only allow calls from people you follow is also an option.

Checking to see if your account now has the feature and managing who can call you is simple. Just open the X app on your phone, tap your profile picture, and choose the Privacy and Safety option in the app's settings. The calling feature is for some reason hidden inside the Direct Messages option, and that's where you can select the different settings to tailor the calling feature to match your specific requirements.

Continue reading: X rolls video and audio calls out to everyone whether or not they pay for Premium (full post)

Helldivers 2 continues to outdo its duty, smashing through 700,000 concurrent players

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Feb 24, 2024 12:51 AM CST

Helldivers 2 has come out of nowhere and is lighting up PC gamers and PlayStation 5 gamers, with the unstoppable popularity of the game seeing the developers having their servers needing to handle an insane 700,000 concurrent players at once.

Helldivers 2 continues to outdo its duty, smashing through 700,000 concurrent players

The studio was forced to temporarily reduce the concurrent player count to a capped 450,000 players, as there were server issues for Helldivers 2 players. The developer had way more gamers wanting to play Helldivers 2 than they thought, with developer Arrowhead needing to iron out issues on-the-fly, which they've done amazingly well, I might add, to handle an influx of close to a million concurrent Helldivers 2 players.

Helldivers 2 is so popular it's the second most-played game on Steam right now, losing only to Counter-Strike 2; Helldivers 2 is beating Dota 2, PUBG, Palword, Apex Legends, and even Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 5 gamers are also jumping down and spreading some democracy in Helldivers 2, leaving soured Xbox gamers who are begging Arrowhead to release it on Xbox Series X/S consoles.

Continue reading: Helldivers 2 continues to outdo its duty, smashing through 700,000 concurrent players (full post)

WB Discovery CEO David Zaslav says bundles are the future of streaming

Derek Strickland | TV, Movies & Home Theatre | Feb 23, 2024 5:01 PM CST

WB Discovery CEO David Zaslav sees multi-subscription bundles as the future of streaming services.

WB Discovery CEO David Zaslav says bundles are the future of streaming

Now that the Warner Bros. and Discovery merger is complete and that Max is a profitable subscription, one of the key parts of streaming growth could lie in cross-service bundling options. Streaming allowed the world's disparate content creators, providers, and labels to fragment the market and monetize their TV shows and movies on a wholly-controlled platform. The results led to the downfall of cable TV as consumers shifted towards streaming.

But now the future of streaming could look a lot cable TV, at least that's what WBD CEO David Zaslav believes. In a recent Q4 earnings call with investors and analysts, Zaslav said some interesting things about subscription service bundles, and hints that WBD might be able to broker more favorable deals with other content providers.

Continue reading: WB Discovery CEO David Zaslav says bundles are the future of streaming (full post)

Warner Bros disappointed with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League sales

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 23, 2024 4:03 PM CST

Rocksteady's new live service game appears to be a miss for WB Games.

Warner Bros disappointed with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League sales

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League's performance hasn't lived up to the internal expectations set by its parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery. That's according to Warner Bros. Discovery Chief Financial Officer Gunnar Wiedenfels, who didn't elaborate on sales figures or overall performance for the game outside of the quick assertion.

"Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, one of our key releases in 2024 has fallen short of our expectations since its release earlier in the quarter, setting our games business up for a tough year-over-year comp in Q1," Wiedenfels said in the earnings call.

Continue reading: Warner Bros disappointed with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League sales (full post)

AMD could soon spring a new GPU on the US - the RX 7900 from China no one's that bothered about

Darren Allan | Video Cards & GPUs | Feb 23, 2024 3:30 PM CST

AMD is just about to unleash a new GPU in the US, rumor has it, namely the RX 7900 GRE which was initially for the Chinese market only (but has since come to Europe).

AMD could soon spring a new GPU on the US - the RX 7900 from China no one's that bothered about

This isn't the first time we've heard chatter about the RX 7900 GRE ('Golden Rabbit Edition') being launched in the US - VideoCardz has floated this idea before - but now Moore's Law is Dead (MLID) on YouTube is claiming the release of this graphics card is imminent.

MLID has sources who reckon the RX 7900 GRE will be on shelves in the US as soon as February 27, the start of next week. It's pretty much being rushed out of the door by AMD, and it'll be priced at $549.

Continue reading: AMD could soon spring a new GPU on the US - the RX 7900 from China no one's that bothered about (full post)

Sony wants to grow first-party games on 'PS5, PC, and other platforms'

Derek Strickland | Gaming | Feb 23, 2024 3:02 PM CST

Sony plans to expand access to its first-party software in an effort to boost sales and resurrect profit margins.

Sony wants to grow first-party games on 'PS5, PC, and other platforms'

PlayStation isn't doing so hot right now. Revenue is at an all-time high, with Sony generating a record-breaking $9.76 billion over the holidays. But operating profit is quite low. PlayStation only made $582 million in operating profit during Q3FY23, the lowest period since 2019 and a represented 6% profit margin. Costs are the main reason for the lower operating profit, including the $3.7 billion Bungie buyout alongside rising game budgets. (Transparency: PlayStation's Q3 operating profit also reflects $200 million+ in PS5 console inventory that was shifted to Q4).

In a bid to increase operating profits, Sony could follow Microsoft's game plan and break exclusivity for select first-party PlayStation games. Microsoft has announced plans to bring 4 first-party Xbox games to PlayStation and Switch, including Hi-Fi Rush, Pentiment, Grounded, and Sea of Thieves. What if Sony does the same thing, bringing heavy-hitters like Spider-Man to Xbox? Sony wants to boost profits, and a good way to do that is to increase software sales, hence why a lot of first-party PS4 and PS5 games are now also available on PC.

Continue reading: Sony wants to grow first-party games on 'PS5, PC, and other platforms' (full post)