The deal, valued at $68.7 billion, was announced last month by Microsoft. As part of the proposed deal, Microsoft would take in Activision’s 10,000 employees and gain control of the popular gaming franchises Call of Duty, Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, and Hearthstone.
If approved, the $68.7 billion deal would become Microsoft’s largest acquisition to date.
While both the FTC and Department of Justice both have authority in conducting antitrust enforcement, only the FTC will be involved in this merger review, Bloomberg reported.
The FTC will reportedly look at whether Microsoft, which makes Xbox consoles, merging with Activision would harm competition by limiting rivals’ access to major game titles.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision could face tough scrutiny, with the FTC and the Justice Department’s antitrust divisions jointly announcing last month that they would rewrite guidance for mergers. In that announcement, both departments noted US industries had become concentrated in recent years and a surge in merger filings over the past two years threaten to worsen the situation.
The Microsoft-Activision deal comes amidst a flurry of gaming deals, with Sony on Monday announcing it will acquire Bungie for $3.6 billion, which is best known for creating the popular gaming franchises Halo and Destiny. Even the New York Times threw its hat in the gaming arena this week with its decision to acquire the viral word game Wordle for a “price in the low seven figures”.
Apple's new MacBook has a potentially fatal flaw – Creative Bloq
Looking to buy a 13-inch MacBook Pro? Well, with Apple, we’ve all got used to the idea that the latest model is the best. And so the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 (2022), which launched on 17 June, is surely a slam-dunk?
After all, it’s got the latest M2 processor, which Apple says a 40% performance increase over the M1 chip in its predecessor, the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020). As well as the promised speed boost, it means better battery life, at up to 20 hours. And best of all, the new version has launched at the same price as the earlier model, so you’re not even paying extra (if that’s still too much for you, keep an eye on our Prime Day Apple deals hubs for any bargains).
Admittedly, nobody has really got too excited by this new MacBook Pro, because ultimately, not that much has changed: it still has the same overall design, the same Touch Bar, the same 720p webcam. But at the same time, the consensus was that this was a marked improvement over the old model. Until, that is, a couple of YouTubers spotted something Apple had been keeping to themselves.
The problem is that, while the M2 processor is indeed faster than the older M1 chip, there’s something else inside the laptop that’s slowing things down: the SSD (solid state drive), which stores persistent data on solid-state flash memory.
Well, it turns out that in the base (256GB) model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2, the SSD only has a single NAND flash storage chip, while the older model had two. This wasn’t publicised by Apple, and nobody noticed until recently because reviewers are not in the habit of taking the backs off laptops (the PR companies that loan them tend to want them back in one piece!)
The SSD issue came to light, though, after YouTuber Max Yuryev tested the base version (256GB) using Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test app (opens in new tab). He found that the SSD’s read speeds are around 50% slower, and the write speeds are around 30% slower, when compared with the previous model. (Watch the video below).
Yuryev’s results were as follows:
- 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1/256GB) Read Speed: 2,900
- 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2/256GB) Read Speed: 1,446
- 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1/256GB) Write Speed: 2,215
- 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2/256GB) Write Speed: 1,463
Another YouTube channel, Created Tech, came to similar conclusions:
A slower SSD is obviously an issue for anyone regularly transferring large files, such as graphic designers, motion designers, animators, VFX artists and other creative professionals. With 4K now the norm, and increasingly giving way to 8K and even higher resolutions, the amount of time it takes to move a file is really going to make an impact on your productivity.
But that’s not all. SSDs aren’t just used for file storage, but also double up as virtual RAM when your existing RAM is maxed out. And that tends to happen when you’re running resource-intensive software, which is something many creative professionals do on a regular basis.
Should you buy it?
So what does this all mean for consumers? Well, to put it simply, if you buy the base model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 (2022), and use it to run Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere Pro, 3DS Max, Maya or similar tools, you may well find the performance is actually slower than the 2020 M1 model.
The same problem doesn’t appear to occur on the 512GB model, but that’s a lot more expensive. So overall, if you deal with a lot of large files and use resource-intensive creative software, we’d recommend giving the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 a swerve, and stick with one of the existing models. (Our guides to the best MacBooks in general, and the best MacBooks for video editing can make you help that choice.)
Either that, or wait for the new MacBook Air 2022, which sounds like it’ll be a lot more interesting.
Xiaomi 12S Ultra will have 1-inch Sony IMX989 camera sensor – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com
Xiaomi will introduce the 12S series on July 4, and today it confirmed the trio of phones that will appear. We expect a small vanilla Xiaomi 12S, Xiaomi 12S Pro flagship and a Xiaomi 12S Ultra camera beast.
The company revealed the latter will have a completely new 1” camera sensor by Sony, called IMX989. However, rumors are the global market is not going to see them as Xiaomi intends to make the 12S lineup exclusive to China.
Xiaomi advertised the new IMX989 to be 1” from one corner to another but this is misleading information – it is a 1-inch type, similar to the Xperia Pro-I camera sensor.
The type designation refers to the diameter of the video camera tube needed to project an image that would cover the size of the sensor. The correlation isn’t strict but the optical format or sensor type is roughly 1.5 times the actual diagonal of the sensor. ‘Type’ is often dropped for brevity and it’s assumed from context, but in this particular case, we felt it needed to be put into words.
Then, we still don’t know if Xiaomi will be using the entire sensor surface area. The Xperia PRO-I, for instance, had an optical system that only ever used the center of its 1-inch type sensor. This requires a much smaller lens while still providing the benefits of the large pixels but technically, the sensor is not fully utilized.
We are not sure if Xiaomi would decide to go that way but it’s certainly something to keep an eye of.
Xiaomi 12S trio
In the meantime, specs of the vanilla Xiaomi 12S suggest a small 6.28” AMOLED screen with a 120 Hz refresh rate. It will have two RAM and two storage options – 8/12 GB and 128/256 GB, respectively. The rear camera ensemble will be 50 MP main + 13 MP ultra-wide-angle + 5 MP macro, while the front-facing shooter is said to be 32 MP.
All these specs seem the same as the Xiaomi 12 – the difference will be the new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset while the cameras will receive the Leica treatment.
Xiaomi 12S Pro leaked image
Xiaomi set up a landing page on JD.com, a popular Chinese retailer, for the trio of smartphones. At the time of writing this article, each 12S smartphone has over 200,000 reservations, which are a testament for the massive interest from potential customers.
Sony looks beyond the PlayStation 5 with its own brand of PC gaming gear – CNBC
Sony is launching its own range of gaming-focused computer monitors and headsets, hoping to tap into the lucrative high-end PC gaming market as it looks beyond its main PlayStation console brand.
Called Inzone, Sony’s PC gaming lineup features two monitors. The Inzone M9 monitor is the priciest of the pair, retailing at $900. It features a 27-inch display with 4K resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate — meaning a smoother picture. A less expensive model, the $530 Inzone M3, has a higher refresh rate but lower resolution.
The Inzone M9 will be available this summer, while the Inzone M3 won’t be released until winter.
As for headsets, Sony said it will release three in total: The Inzone H9 ($300), Inzone H7 ($230) and Inzone H3 ($100). They’re currently available for pre-orders, though Sony hasn’t yet provided a release date.
The priciest of the three, the Inzone H9, is wireless and features noise canceling technology as well as an “ambient sound” mode that picks up on sounds in your surroundings. The Inzone H7 is cheaper and lacks noise canceling, but it comes with more battery life — up to 40 hours, versus 32 hours with the Inzone H9. The Inzone H3, meanwhile, has to be plugged into your computer with a cable.
It also gives the company a way of expanding its video game business beyond its PlayStation console gaming division. Sony said it wants to take advantage of growth in the esports space.
“The market has been expanding with a higher interest in gaming with the spread of e-sports tournaments and the advancement of gaming entertainment,” said Yukihiro Kitajima, head of game business at Sony.
“With Sony’s strong history of high-end audio and visual technology products, we believe this new line will offer even more options for those looking to upgrade their current gaming systems.”
Sony continues to face fierce competition from longtime rival Microsoft, which has adopted a strategy of making aggressive acquisitions to build out its reach in an industry that’s set to be worth almost $200 billion in 2022, according to forecasters Newzoo.
Both companies are betting big on a buzzy concept in tech known as the “metaverse,” which involves vast immersive digital worlds where people can work or find entertainment. Earlier this year, Sony revealed a new virtual reality headset called PlayStation VR2.
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