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?
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.
When Apple releases the iOS 17.4 software update to the public within the next couple of weeks it will bring with it a number of changes aimed squarely at the EU. Support for third-party app stores and third-party browser engines are at the top of the list of changes, but it will also see Apple ditch support for progressive web apps, or PWAs, in the territory as well. And that's a move that could see the company get into trouble.
PWAs are websites that, when added to the iPhone's Home Screen, act as if they were real apps and launch in a window rather than within a web browser. However, iOS 17.4's beta has already removed support for PWAs in the EU with Apple warning that it has to do that to prevent security and privacy issues arising from the use of web apps that aren't locked within WebKit's walled garden. However, the move will prevent some web apps from working and break others in ways that we might not even know about yet, and it could be enough to get Apple another fine from the European Commission.
According to a new Financial Times report Apple is already being looked at by the EC with the commission having reached out to developers to try and figure out the impact the change will have on them and users alike.
When Apple announced the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max back in September of 2023 both of the cameras got updates, but it was only the bigger of the two models that were unveiled with new 5x zoom capabilities. That was made possible thanks to the use of a new tetraprism camera lens that folded light in a way that allows for increased zoom without moving the camera lens and sensor further away from each other. Apple wasn't able to fit the fancy lens into the smaller iPhone 15 Pro. That looks set to change with the launch of this year's models.
We've been hearing that there are plans for the iPhone 16 Pro to sport the same 5x camera for a little while now and a new report now backs that up even further. If accurate, the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will offer 5x optical zoom thanks to a tetraprism lens.
This latest report comes via Taiwanese research firm TrendForce and was shared in a press release that added fuel to the zoom lens fire.
Apple is widely expected to announce the new iOS 18 iPhone software as soon as this June, with that likely to be the month that the company's annual WWDC event will take place. That event will also likely see Apple unveil new software for the iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Apple Vision Pro but none of those software updates are expected to ship until much later in the year.
Now, writing in the weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that while the iOS 18 software update will bring plenty of changes and improvements for iPhone owners to look forward to, those expecting visionOS-powered changes will be left disappointed.
According to the paywalled version of the Power On newsletter, reported by 9to5Mac, the iOS 18 update will feature plenty of improvements but there will not be a total overhaul that takes cues from visionOS. There had been rumors that Apple would take the visionOS software that powers the Apple Vision Pro and then use that as a basis for what iOS would look like moving forward. That would include more transparency than is currently seen on the iPhone, alongside other changes.
GoogleDeepMind has an 'open endedness team' and we've just found out what they've been up to in recent times - namely facilitating AI to generate 2D platformer worlds based on simple image prompts.
You can see how it works in the above tweet from the team lead at GoogleDeepMind, who is Tim Rocktaschel (also a professor of AI at UCL).
This is Genie, a 'foundation world model' (with 11 billion parameters) trained on internet videos. Give Genie ('Generative Interactive Environments') an image of any kind of world and it can knock up a 2D environment you can then run around in platformer-style.
Every year Apple announces new software for its many devices and platforms including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and this year surely, the Apple Vision Pro. You can add the Mac to that list as well, and it's the upcoming macOS software update that has been discussed in a new report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.
Writing in the weekly Power On newsletter Gurman said that Apple is of course working on the 2024 Mac software update but there is bad news for those who are hoping for big design changes this time out.
9to5Mac reported on the paywalled version of Gurman's newsletter in which he mentioned that while there are some notable changes expected in the upcoming iOS 18 iPhone software update, things are going to be different on the Mac. We can expect a new update this year, but Gurman says that Apple's work on notable design tweaks has only just started and that the bigger update won't be ready until 2025 or 2026.
The Apple Vision Pro virtual and augmented reality headset is now on sale across the United States with prices starting at $3,499. That gets buyers the 256GB model while anyone who needs additional storage can choose to pay more for the 512GB or 1TB models. But with the prices so high, you might be wondering how much it costs Apple to build such a product. And now we might have the answer.
Apple obviously makes plenty of profit on such a device, but that doesn't mean that the Apple Vision Pro is cheap to make - far from it. Featuring two 4K HDR displays and an array of sensors and cameras, the Apple Vision Pro is a complex bit of kit. And according to a new report, it costs a cool $1,542 to build.
That's according to a CNBC report citing research firm Omdia, at least. The report says that the bill of materials for the headset is a costly one, with those 1.25-inch Sony microLED displays accounting for a good chunk of the money. The report notes that each display costs Apple $228 which means that each headset is full of $456 worth of displays alone.
Apple currently sells the second-generation HomePod and the HomePod mini as its only smart speaker models, but there is constant talk of a third option being added to the lineup. Rumors of Apple working on a HomePod with an iPad-like display attached have been flying for years, and now a new report again adds new fuel to that fire. But there's a big catch - the new model isn't likely to arrive in 2025.
That's according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman who was writing as part of the weekly Power On newsletter for Bloomberg. Gurman says that Apple continues to work on a HomePod that has an iPad-like display attached to a robotic arm that can move, while the device would combine an Apple TV, FaceTime, and a smart speaker. Apple has also reportedly looked into whether it should launch a smart display, like an iPad, that can be magnetically attached to a wall. It isn't yet clear which route Apple will take, however.
Gurman says that he doesn't believe that Apple's progress suggests that it will be able to launch any of these new products imminently, either. Apple has reportedly been indecisive about what it should do in the smart home space for years, but development does remain underway Gurman suggests that nay new HomePod with a display is unlikely to arrive until 2025 at the earliest.
A known industry insider has revealed that third-party publishers have received the PlayStation 5 Pro specifications ahead of the release of Sony's highly anticipated console.
The rumors come from the latest episode of the Sacred Symbols podcast, where host and well-known industry insider Colin Moriarty said that a medium-sized third-party publisher told him that the company received the PlayStation 5 Pro specification sheet.
Additionally, Moriarty said first and second-party developers have already received the specification sheet, leading assumptions to there being a good chance that leaks will happen more frequently regarding the capabilities of the PS5 Pro, considering multiple publishers and developers purportedly have the specifications sheet.
AMD has officially dropped the price of the Radeon RX 7700 XT GPU, with the "new pricing" enabling partners to sell models for as low as $419 USD, a $30 price drop from the original MSRP of $449. Many have been hoping to see this happen as the Radeon RX 7700 XT was overshadowed by the Radeon RX 7800 XT when the two GPUs launched in 2023 - with only $50 separating the two.
Having reviewed a few Radeon RX 7700 XT models last year, praising the 1080p and 1440p gaming performance, a recurring con was that pricing was too close to the Radeon RX 7800 XT. The new $419 price makes the GPU better value for money, with the GPU generally outperforming the GeForce RTX 4060 Ti in more workloads and tests.
The new price comes into effect today, Monday, February 26 - so expect $419 or thereabouts to become the new norm for the Radeon RX 7700 XT in the coming days.
AMD's Radeon RX 7900 GRE (Golden Rabbit Edition) initially launched in China, a cutdown version of its flagship RDNA 3 GPU hardware that - at the time - was an odd release that predated the arrival of the Radeon RX 7800 XT; its performance most closely resembles AMD's $499 offering. After rumors and leaks, it looks like AMD is making the Radeon RX 7900 GRE available worldwide starting February 27 at a competitive price of $549 USD.
Priced the same as the GeForce RTX 4070 and sitting between the Radeon RX 7800 XT and GeForce RTX 4070 SUPER, it's a GPU build for 1440p and 4K gaming. $500 - $600 is now a heavily stacked enthusiast price bracket thanks to the addition of NVIDIA's new SUPER variant and RTX 4070 price drop earlier this year, so this release makes a lot of sense with the competition.
The AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE features 16GB of GDDR6 memory, and 80 compute units with RT and AI accelerators, with AMD claiming that when it comes to 1440p gaming, it's 14% faster, on average, than the GeForce RTX 4070 - making it better value for money.