Dc Tech News: 08/05/23
Welcome to this week in tech! This week we're looking at Microsoft suffering more setbacks, AI-generated news sites, new technology in the world of VR and games to be announced in the future.
Redfall in freefall?
Image source: Bethesda official site
X-box’s Phil Spencer has publicly apologised for the disastrous launch of their newest AAA game Redfall, following critical and commercial panning across the board.
The game launched with myriad bugs, lacklustre and repetitive gameplay and performance issues. Considering the pedigree of its studio, Arkane – responsible for games such as Dishonoured from 2021 and Prey from 2017 - many players were disappointed in the newest venture from the studio.
Despite Spencer coming out to apologise for the fallout, it’s certainly not the first time Xbox has demonstrated a seeming inability to launch their first party games in a playable state after a string of high-profile misfires with their AAA titles. It has gotten to a point that some customers are cancelling their subscription to Game Pass, despite the highly anticipated Starfield releasing in September. According to an interview he conducted with Kinda Funny Games, Spencer said: “…I think back to the announcement of 60fps and then we weren’t shipping [Redfall at] 60fps, that was our punch in the chin, rightfully, a couple of weeks ago, And then seeing the game come out and the critical response was not what we wanted, and it’s disappointing.”
State of Play to be announced soon?
With E3 cancelled, many video game publishers and developers have taken to showcasing their own games across the year, and we may not have to wait all that long for the next one. According to Playstation insider Jeff Grubb, there may be a Sony State of Play scheduled for this month. The rumours have cycled between developers ready to show off their newest projects to companies such as Konami rumoured to show their latest offerings in the console markets after their surprise Silent Hill showcase a few months ago. There are rumours that Song wants to bring some of their best known first-party titles to PC players too, with suggestions that titles such as God of War: Ragnarok and Horzon: forbidden West may be gracing our PCs in the near future. Even if you don’t own a console, it never hurts to keep an eye on the latest news.
Up to 50 news websites entirely AI generated
It didn’t take all that long, but people and companies hoping to make a quick buck are jumping onto the latest AI technology to exploit search engines algorithms and generate easy revenue.
According to the Guardian, chatbots are being used to generate fabricated endless content to gum up search engines and spread false information. Publishing hundreds of times daily, these articles according to Newsguard are most likely generated by AI due to “repetitive phrases and bland language”. Because these sites are also brimming with ads, it’s reasonable to assume some people are using these sites as a money-making venture, making clickbait worthy titles in order to generate clicks and increase their takings. Taking a single look at these sites even for a second exposes a lot of the charade, however, with headlines such as “Biden dead. Harris acting president, address 9am ET” from the rather aptly named website celebritiesdeaths.com, and the poster clearly forgetting to edit out OpenAI’s reminder that they cannot complete the prompt because of its policy on generating misleading content, as if the news of the president’s death was only on this one website and not the front page of the New York Times wasn’t the only clue that this website might not be posting factual news.
VR creates its own “Smell-O-Vision”
Back in the 1960s, cinema patrons going to see the newly released “Scent of Mystery” were met with the brand-new technology, Smell-O-Vison. It released odour during the screening, using thirty odours literally injected into cinema seats that would release during certain moments, cued by the film’s soundtrack.
Although it was a resounding flop, the concept of using our most powerful sense to create more immersive experiences persisted, and today, we have its newest iteration. Xinge Yu at the City University of Hong Kong and his team have created two products that explores this concept in the modern era. The first is a wearable patch the user wears on the upper lip, whilst the other is a face mask with a total of nine different smells which actually combine to create more than nine initial ones. The technology is slightly more sophisticated than back in the ‘60s and injecting cinema seats, and these new face masks and patches use a tiny radiator that heat the liquid perfume in containers of paraffin, enabling the wearer to detect the scents almost instantaneously.
This new technology has the potential of creating an even more immersive experience for people using virtual reality, which means more than just immersive gaming. People who cannot easily access places will be able to experience them more convincingly, such as people with mobility issues.
That about wraps it up for our week in tech. Which news story stood out to you the most? Perhaps you fancy building a PC with VR capabilities. We build specialist PCs designed for simulator games, such as flight sims and farming sims, so give us a call if you’re interested in creating your very own simulator PC.