A new Xbox, new PlayStation, and a new style of computing from Apple alongside new Macs, plus some other news, too. What’s new? We’ll tell you in five.
It’s the middle of November, and you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and if you’ve got a feeling that stuff is changing, it might be because it is.
We’re not going to talk politics here, but there’s a general feeling that change is in the air, and it’s happening in technology, too.
This week, the next generation of the Xbox and PlayStation have both launched in Australia, and while you’ll need good luck if you’re to find one in store for some of the consoles, the fact is the next generation of the video game wars is here, and it looks like one hell of a fight.
You’ll find two models of each, with the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 digital, the difference being one has a Blu-ray drive and the other does not, and then the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X, and there’s a greater difference there. In the Series X, the Xbox will support 4K video gaming initially, with new games delivering sharper visuals in a newly designed console complete with a Blu-ray drive, while the Xbox Series S drops it back to Full HD and 1440p, and ditches the optical drive.
Essentially, both consoles offer a model to get people started, and they offer a best in class model, too. Finding one at launch might be difficult, though, because the change in video game technology is in demand.
It’s not the only change in technology this week, because things are happening.
Australia’s streaming video provider Stan signalled that it will be joining the world of sports, announcing that it had plans to get Rugby and Wimbledon onboard next year, meaning it won’t be just about movies and TV shows, but also live sports.
Stan isn’t the only online service with changes. Google is talking up a big change for people using Google Photos, announcing that as of the middle of next year, Google Photos won’t be free anymore. That’s been a long term initiative, where anyone could upload to Google Photos without needing to pay for a single gigabyte, but from June 2021, that freebie stops.
Sonos also has something new on the way with a radio service, Sonos Radio HD. It’ll miss Australia initially, but arrive eventually, launching in the US and UK as a streaming music provider with radio channels, but only for Sonos. It’ll cost eight bucks US per month, and yet it’s only for home, making for one of the more unique services we’ve heard of yet.
Leica announced an update of sorts for its compact cameras, with the Q2 Monochrom, an advanced compact camera with a fixed lens and a full-frame 47 megapixel sensor that only captures in black and white. It’s a pretty special camera, and one that won’t be for everyone, but carrying a near nine thousand dollar price tag, it’s probably not supposed to be.
And Razer announced a new 13 inch laptop that was coming to online stores in the Razer Book 13, but it’s one of the smaller computer announcements this week, and pales in comparison to what Apple launched.
You see it’s another of Apple’s big weeks, and it saw the arrival of Apple’s first computer chip, the Apple M1. A different breed of computer chip, it’s built in a similar way to what you can find in the new iPhone and iPad, and yet still looks to be something else.
It was hinted at earlier in the year at its Worldwide Developers Conference, and marks Apple’s transition away from Intel’s chips, which will take some time. In the beginning, it will arrive in three of Apple’s computers, with the MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and MacBook Pro all getting a taste of the M1.
And when we say taste, we actually mean the same portion. All three computers will get the same chip, but handle it slightly differently, with the MacBook Pro and Mac Mini seeing a different thermal system to get slightly more strength out of the chip, while the Air is built to be fast and quiet.
Simply put, there’s no fan in what is arguably Apple’s most popular laptop, delivering speed and capability, but perhaps more interestingly, battery life.
Across the two new laptops, Apple is saying its new chip can deliver some impressive battery life, boasting as much as 15 hours for the MacBook Air and up to 20 for the MacBook Pro.
Of course, your results will likely vary, but it’s not the only big deal. You see because the new chips are similar to what’s in the iPhone and iPad, they can actually run apps from an iPhone or iPad.
There’s a lot happening it seems, and if you’re already an iPhone or iPad owner, the new Macs are about supporting the same apps you use across both, plus all the desktop software you can’t get on your phone.
As to how the new style of Mac will perform, that we can’t say, so look for those reviews in an upcoming episode of The Wrap.
For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology round-up. You can find out about what we’ve spoken about and more at thewrap.com.au, and a new episode goes live every Friday at Podcast One, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. For now, have a great week. Stay safe, stay sane, and take care.