It's been another big week of news and happenings in the tech, gaming, and science space, and Jak and Kosta are back with a new episode of The TT Show - TweakTown's official podcast. From leaked GeForce RTX 5090 specs to more Nintendo Switch 2 rumors from leaked Activision documents, the duo also touches on a potential fossilized avocado found on Mars.
Of course, it's just a rock that looks like one. In addition, with the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty expansion, Kosta went hands-on with the new Update 2.0 and was blown away by the improvements that have come with the new DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction update.
And then there's a closer look at the new INNO3D GeForce RTX 4070 Twin X2 OC with Stealth Cable Management - which sparks a chat about the abundance of cables. There are just too many. Plus, Intel's new 14th Gen CPUs get benchmarked, a Redditor digs into whether NVIDIA DLSS requires AI hardware, and more!
Microsoft's Phil Spencer has issued a statement that responds to the significant Xbox leaks.
Just days ago, Microsoft uploaded a series of documents to the online public FTC v Microsoft trial exhibit folder. Most of these reports were redacted and omitted key information as per usual, but one particular PDF file housed a series of unredacted files attached to the document. These files revealed a trove of highly confidential Xbox plans, secrets, data--everything from how much money Game Pass makes and Xbox's accountability margin to upcoming Xbox console plans and new controller ideas has been revealed.
The Xbox leak is the largest in gaming history, at least when it comes to the variety and sensitivity of the information revealed (the NVIDIA GeForce Now leak in 2021 did reveal more games, though).
Payday 3 has met the ultimate foe for all video games: Controversy.
After many years of development, Payday 3 is finally out. The reception has been fiery to say the least. Gamers are up in arms over Payday 3's controversial always-online requirement, a policy that made the game practically unplayable at launch.
Payday 3, like most live games, had some server issues when it released yesterday. But unlike the original Payday games, Payday 3 can't be played offline, so gamers simply couldn't check out the new heist shooter that they just purchased. The backlash has been quick: Payday 3 is currently sitting on a mostly negative rating on Steam.
Rockstar Games is adding in classic games as part of its GTA+ subscription service.
Rockstar is taking cues from Xbox with its new GTA+ subscription service. GTA+ was introduced in 2022 as a low-cost way to heighten GTA Online play with extra in-game goodies, unlockables, and bonuses. Now the service is adding games.
GTA+ subscribers will soon be able to play a rotating selection of old-school Rockstar Games titles. Note that this is Rockstar titles, not just Grand Theft Auto titles, so it's possible that games like Red Dead Redemption, Bully, Manhunt, and The Warriors could show up. The first games offered on GTA+ are all three titles in the GTA trilogy definitive edition and will be offered on Xbox and PlayStation.
New updates from UK regulators show early signs of approval in the $68.7 billion Microsoft-Activision merger.
Weeks ago, Competition and Markets Authority officially denied Microsoft's original Activision merger proposal. Microsoft then submitted a new deal to the CMA that specifically addressed the anti-competitive concerns outlined in the agency's Final Report. The new proposal is in turn part of a new Phase 1 investigation. Microsoft intends to sell the cloud game streaming rights of Activision's games to Ubisoft, which sees Microsoft effectively divesting, or handing off, the commercial rights to stream some of the biggest games on the market.
The CMA has had time to look over Microsoft's new deal and finds it to be generally reasonable. In an announcement post, the agency says that Microsoft's Proposed Undertakings of the terms outlined in the Ubisoft Divestment Agreement may be accepted and the merger could be cleared. The case is not at that stage yet, however, and no final decision has yet to been made on whether or not the merger will be allowed to close.
UK regulators at the Competition and Markets Authority have published the proposed terms of Microsoft's new merger deal.
Weeks ago, Microsoft and UK anti-trust agency CMA joined forces to defeat a lengthy and costly appeals process. The reason that the trillion-dollar tech giant and the UK regulators wanted to quash the appeal is simple: Microsoft wants to get the merger passed, and the CMA wants to weigh all options.
Microsoft's new proposal changes the original Activision merger terms so substantially that the CMA has opened a new Phase 1 investigation into the deal. This new merger strategy sees Microsoft selling Activision cloud game streaming rights to Ubisoft, a foreign third-party publisher. Microsoft would not have control over Activision games in the cloud--the CMA had originally been concerned that Microsoft would engage in anti-competitive practices in cloud gaming if it held onto streaming rights of big games like Call of Duty.
We're firmly in the middle of new iPhone hysteria right now with people lining up at Apple Stores around the world to get their hands on the new hotness. The iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max are all now on sale and early reports are that people are loving their new handsets. But it seems that some models might be proving more popular than others.
While it was already likely that the iPhone 15 Pro Max would prove the most popular of the four new models given its new 5x tetraprism camera and people's leaning towards bigger handsets, a new report by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that there are two models in particular that aren't hitting expectations in terms of demand. And they both have 6.1-inch displays.
Writing in part of a larger Medium post discussing Apple's supply chain situation, Kuo said that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are falling short of expectations with there being the likelihood that Apple will cut orders for those models unless it slashes prices. The latter is extremely unlikely, suggesting that the former is the way Apple will go.
So you're picking up your new iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Pro from the Apple Store or a courier just dropped it on the doorstep - however you got the thing, you're going to want to make sure that it's running the latest software before you try and set it up.
We aren't talking about iOS 17 of course, that'll be preinstalled on every iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro that comes out of Apple's factories. Instead, we're talking about iOS 17.0.2, a new update that was rolled out yesterday and targets only Apple's newest iPhones. Those with iPhone 14 models, for example, can't install it. And now we know why - the new iPhones have a bug that prevents them from being properly set up.
Specifically, Apple's latest iPhones won't let you restore from another iPhone in order to keep all of your data. You have to either do it via an iCloud or computer backup instead which is less than ideal. Apple knows that, and there's already a fix - that fix is iOS 17.0.2, and we'd suggest that you let your new iPhone install it before you try and migrate away from your old iPhone.
The third patch for Baldur's Gate 3 has landed, with some big moves including Mac support for the RPG, and a magic mirror that allows players to change the appearance of their adventurer.
The Mac release will allow players to enjoy Baldur's Gate 3 on an Apple computer, and there are updated recommended specs for the Mac. Larian says an M1 Pro SoC is recommended with FSR enabled to run the game at high settings on a Retina display.
The dev also notes for Mac players:
"As with the PC release in August, saves made in previous versions of BG3 on Mac will not be compatible with the full release. To prepare your Mac for the full version of Baldur's Gate 3 and minimize potential compatibility issues, we recommend you fully uninstall the game and remove any mods before installing the latest version."
In the past, Valve has made several comments on when a sequel to the popular Steam Deck might turn up, and the company has made it clear in a new statement that a further iteration won't happen until 2025 at the earliest - and it might be more like 2026.
Pierre-Loup Griffais, a coder and designer at Valve who works on the Steam Deck and has commented about the sequel before, shared some new and more specific info with The Verge.
Griffais notes that a Steam Deck 2 won't happen until late 2025, or maybe even later than that, because the performance of the hardware will need to be meaningfully pushed forward - but, crucially, while not taking down the battery life.
Cooler Master has just introduced a new case, which will turn a few heads - because it's fully modular, customizable, and all about celebrating the DIY PC building experience. The Qube 500 Flatpack PC case lives up to its name; it'll arrive in pieces so you can build and customize the shape and orientation.
Although that might seem daunting, assembling a PC case from parts, Cooler Master notes that putting the Qube 500 Flatpack PC case together has been designed to be a fun experience for beginners and experienced builders. It's fully modular and compatible with E-ATX motherboards, water coolers, and the largest GPUs.
And to add an extra dose of customization, the panels are available in multiple colors to add personal flavor to your Qube 500 - including black, white, mint, pink, and cream. It's a pretty stylish-looking case, though it is quite compact as a Mid Tower chassis.