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After such an incredibly popular first installment, it’s really no surprise that we’ll be getting a sequel in the form of The Last of Us Part II. The first game managed to achieve a perfect balance of intense gameplay and combat features with a storyline that kept you engaged. It was hailed as a gaming masterpiece by the fans and the critics. 

News of The Last of Us 2 has been staggered over recent years, and we’ve got to see a lot of gameplay and storyline trailers. But, as far as release dates go, creators Naughty Dog has been rather tight-lipped. 

After first being announced at Playstation Experience back in 2024, we’ve been waiting with bated breath for a solid release day that we can mark on our calendars. But, even though we’re now well into 2023, we’re still none-the-wiser. 

This doesn’t mean we haven’t had updates though, and we’re pretty good at speculating release dates here. Since Death Stranding, another huge Playstation title, has taken the last 2023 release slot, it’s looking as though The Last of Us 2 release date is going to fall sometime in 2023. 

As far as we know, the game is being released on PS4, but if a 2023 release date is what we’re looking at, then we might even get a cross-platform release with the PS5, which is also slated to come out that year. 

UPDATE: At Sony’s State of Play event in September, we finally got what we have been waiting for all this time – a confirmed release date! The Last of Us Part II release date is officially February 21st, 2023.

UPDATE: Naughty Dog has announced on Twitter that the release date has now been pushed back to May 29th, 2023 due to feeling the game wouldn’t be up to scratch if they went ahead witth the February release.

The Last of Us 2 Trailers

One thing we have got plenty of since the original game announcement is trailers. Naughty Dog has been pretty generous and granted us with several gameplay previews and story teasers to keep us going through the long, long wait. 

The first trailer came with the original game announcement at Playstation Experience in 2024. We get our first look at the new, darker world of The Last of Us Part II. While the trailer doesn’t show us any gameplay, we are introduced to the overall theme of this game – hatred, and revenge. And, while the creators have said there will be lighter moments in the game still, these are the main focus for the second installment. 

The second trailer was another non-gameplay look at the darker world of this game. It highlights the conflict between humans and is completely brutal. It looks as though warring factions are going to be a massive part of the storyline.

Be warned; this trailer is graphic and gory. 

Next up, we got a look at some of the gameplay with the trailer that was shown at E3 2023. We see a sweet scene at the start in what looks like a brief moment of respite for Ellie. Soon though, we’re sneaking through the woods, creeping up on enemies and killing them with skill. With Ellie being the main playable character this time around, the combat focuses less on throwing punches and more on stealth attacks and ranged fighting.

At Sony’s State of Play, we got another look at The Last Of Us 2. This time, we saw a bit more of the story, and the reasoning behind Ellie’s murderous calls in previous trailers. It looks like her love interest is killed in front of her, sparking her need for revenge. But, more than this, we not only get our release date, we also see Joel is back!

The Last of Us 2 Gameplay

The Last of Us Part II takes place five years after the original and focuses more on Ellie as the main character, who is now 19 years old. Not only has the cast of characters matured, so has the evil they have to face. The infected now seem smarter, more coordinated, and more deadly than ever before. It would appear that they are now able to communicate with each other and search for Ellie while she’s hiding creating some very tense moments for us as players. 

The combat has also changed slightly, now that we have a different main character to work with. The first difference is that Ellie can jump. This should open up some interesting combat situations, as well as making the world of The Last of Us 2 more explorable than before. Also, Ellie is not as much as a forceful melee fighter as Joel was. Instead of throwing powerful punches, she has her stealthy knife and skill with archery. 

One thing that hasn’t changed from the original is the importance of story within the game. What made this game stand out so much in the first place was how easily we were transported to Joel and Ellie’s world and the captivating performances by the lead actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson. The story seems to be much darker than the original and focuses more on the opposing relationships of the human characters in this world. Ellies swearing to take revenge seems to really set the tone of this piece. 

Final Word

It would seem that we still have a while to wait before we can finally continue the story of Ellie and Joel. If you haven’t played through The Last of Us yet, you’ve still got time – but get started, because you won’t want to miss out on this sequel. 

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Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 3 Release Date, Price & Specs News

While the original version was slightly underwhelming, last year’s second generation was a significant step forward. It’s easy to recommend, although there’s still plenty of room for improvement. 

Hopefully, Microsoft will address some of these weaknesses in the third generation, which may arrive before 2023 is out. Here’s everything we know at this stage.

When will the Surface Laptop Go 3 be released?

We’re not even certain that there will be a Surface Laptop Go 3 at this stage, let alone when it’ll arrive. But it’d be a surprise to see Microsoft abandon its affordable laptop, and the release dates of the first two generations may provide some clues:

Surface Laptop Go – October 2023 

Surface Laptop Go 2 – June 2023

It doesn’t look like Microsoft is planning to update the device every 12 months, making a launch in the Spring 2023 slot unlikely. A more likely scenario is the main launch event of the year, which usually takes place in September or October.

However, it’s also possible that Microsoft delays the launch until 2024, especially if more substantial upgrades are introduced. Windows Central’s Zac Bowden, usually a reliable source of Surface news, said in a January 2023 video that recent layoffs at Microsoft could have an effect on the upcoming Surface release schedule.

How much will the Surface Laptop Go 3 cost?

Pricing often isn’t revealed until a new Surface device officially launches, but the previous generations should serve as a fairly accurate guide here: 

Surface Laptop Go 2 – from $599/£529, up to $799/£729 

Surface Laptop Go – from $549/£549, up to $899/£899 

Despite the upgrades on the Laptop Go 2, it was encouraging to see the price remain roughly the same. There may be a slight increase by the time its successor arrives, but Microsoft is unlikely to deviate too much – it’ll surely want all models to remain cheaper than the regular Surface Laptop. 

Surface Laptop Go 3 design & new feature rumours

Nothing concrete has been revealed regarding the Surface Laptop Go 3 at this stage, but we still have a fairly good idea of what to expect. Microsoft is unlikely to deviate from the formula which made the first two generations a hit, including a compact design and premium build.  

There may be some tweaks to the 12.4in display, but it’ll probably still be smaller than the average laptop. The same can be said for the 1.16kg weight, which makes it one of the lightest portable PCs you can buy. 

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

So, what upgrades can you expect? We’re almost certain to see new CPUs, and they’re likely to still be from Intel. The Laptop Go is typically one generation out of date, making 2023’s 12th-gen chips are most likely, unless the device is delayed until 2024. If the latter turns out to be true, look out for 13th-gen silicon instead. 

But could there also be the option for an Arm-based CPU? These were limited to the Surface Pro X for a while, but the inclusion of an Arm option on the Surface Pro 9 adds fuel to rumours from Windows Central that a Qualcomm chip will power some Surface Go 4 models.  

Microsoft will probably focus its expansion of Arm on more affordable devices, making the Laptop Go 3 a likely candidate. However, it’s worth noting that it’s pure speculation at this stage. 

Should the Laptop Go 3 shift to Arm, it may yield a noticeable boost in battery life. It could allow the device to deliver all-day battery life without increasing the 41Wh capacity. 

Hopefully, Microsoft will improve the 39W charging and stop using Surface Connect as the main charging method, but the latter seems unlikely. It’d also be nice to see improved thermals and backlit keys, which remain a high-profile omission. 

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

We’ll update this article once more is known about the Surface Laptop Go 3.

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Wow Classic Season Of Mastery Release Date Revealed

WoW Classic Season of Mastery release date revealed

We’ve compiled all the info you need including registration dates and what you need to know before picking your realm.

The WoW Classic Season of Mastery release date takes place on November 16th, 2023. Open your Discord servers and start planning with your fellow guild member right now. In what is serving as yet another reboot of the Classic World of Warcraft experience, their aim is to give all players a fresh start and an even playing field. Although it also kind of sounds like WoW is just deleting player progress and starting again, albeit at an accelerated pace?

WoW Classic Season of Mastery will open up name reservations on November 11th. Players with an active subscription or game time on their WoW account will be able to create one character per WoW account according to the WoW website. Here’s a world map of staggered reservation times for your quest planning needs:

Credit: Blizzard

Credit: Blizzard

World of Warcraft Classic: Season of Mastery Features

There’s a wide range of improvements and features coming to the Season of Mastery. Over a twelve-month period, players can expect new phases to unlock every two months. Here’s the current outline for the six phases according to the WoW website: Moreso, we know that Blizzard is actively working on nerfing the things that boomed the Classic economy, such as Mage boosting and AOE farming in instances, along with the recent Rogue BRD pickpocketing thief debug.

Phase 1 (WoW Classic Season of Mastery Launch)

Molten Core

Onyxia

Maraudon

PvP Honor System and Battlegrounds (up from Phases 3 and 4)

Phase 2

Dire Maul

Azuregos

Kazzak

Phase 3

Blackwing Lair

Darkmoon Faire

Darkmoon deck drops begin

Phase 4

Zul’Gurub

Green Dragons

Phase 5

Ahn’Qiraj War Effort begins

Ahn’Qiraj raids open as the war effort dictates

Phase 6

Naxxramas

Scourge Invasion

Credit: Wowhead Classic

Raid Boss Updates

The original release of WoW Classic was made to re-create the difficulty and challenge of patch 1.12 from the original World of Warcraft release. While we strived to bring a faithful re-creation of that release, many raid encounters turned out to be easier than the first time around—players simply were more experienced and prepared, and patch updates greatly increased player power.

With that in mind, WoW is planning a few changes to make those early raid bosses pack a bit more of a punch, and attempt to recapture the original challenge they presented. These changes currently include (but are not limited to):

World buffs (like Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer and others) disabled in Raid instances

Restoring mechanics that were removed early on to some Raid bosses

No boss debuff limit (up from 16 debuffs in WoW Classic)

Increased health on bosses, to offset player buffs and the removed debuff limit

The intent with these changes is for this experience to feel somewhat more challenging than WoW Classic did in 2023.

Due to Season of Mastery’s faster content release cadence, we’re also planning several improvements and changes. Increased experience gains compared to the first iteration of WoW Classic. Our current plan is to set them close to what the 1-60 XP rates are in Burning Crusade Classic™ with a bigger focus on quest XP increases.

In addition, there are certain improvements that weren’t in the original WoW Classic release but can help create a better experience, such as:

Meeting Stones converted to Summoning Stones

Increased Mining and Herbalism nodes

Credit: Wowhead Classic

World of Warcraft Classic: Season of Mastery Fine Print

Here are all the instructions and details you’ll need to know when registering your name and realm, and ultimately when the event goes live. Make sure to read the following before making your choice, as this cannot be reversed:

After WoW Classic Season of Mastery is live, you’ll be able to create additional characters up to a maximum of 50 characters in each of our three games: 

Up to 50 characters total in World of Warcraft Classic (includes Season of Mastery)

Up to 50 characters in Burning Crusade Classic

Up to 50 characters in World of Warcraft and World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

Characters that were created for the WoW Classic Season of Mastery Open Beta will not be available to use in WoW Classic Season of Mastery.

For the name reservation period only, we will have a limit on the number of characters that can be reserved on a realm. When the realms go live, the limit will be removed.

Credit: Warcraft Tavern

How to play World of Warcraft Classic: Season of Mastery

To create a character and play WoW Classic Season of Mastery, you will need to download and install the client first.

You’ll need to select the Season of Mastery realm you want to play on which will be identified in the Realm list. Then select Create New Character. You’ll be able to choose your faction, class, and race, as well as fully customize your new character and name them. If you change your mind about a character and have already reserved one, you will need to delete the one you made. Please note, the name associated with the character you deleted will be immediately available again to be claimed.

Before you put your plans too firmly in place, we encourage you to gather your allies together to select your new home realm. If you’re looking to reconnect with your old friends and guildmates, be sure to check out the Classic Connections forum. Oh, and don’t forget to sync your chronometer with your friends too!

Apple M2 Ultra Performance, Features, And Release Date

At WWDC23, Apple unveiled the M2 Ultra – a monster of a chip that completes the M2 family. According to the tech giant, M2 Ultra is the largest and most capable chip they have ever created, making the new Mac Studio and Mac Pro the most powerful Mac desktops ever made.

I am sure all such talk about this powerhouse has got you intrigued. To provide you with all the nitty-gritty, in this article, I will take a closer look at the M2 Ultra and discuss its performance, features, pricing, and more.

Powerful build with UltraFusion Technology

The M2 Ultra features the same UltraFusion engineering as the M1 Ultra. This technology uses a silicon interposer incorporating a second-generation 5-nanometer manufacturing process and over 10,000 signal connectors to link two M2 Max chipsets.  

So, the M2 Ultra appears as a single chipset and offers 2.5TB/s low latency interprocessor bandwidth. Also, you will enjoy the performance of two M2 Max chips. Apple has included 20 billion additional transistors making a total of 134 billion transistors than the M1 Ultra.   

CPU performance

M2 Ultra is power packed with a 24-core CPU consisting of 16 next-generation high-performance cores and 8 high-efficiency cores. The high-performance cores are designed for demanding video editing and 3D rendering tasks. Thus, it outperforms M1 Ultra by up to 20%.

In terms of performance, it will be three times faster than its predecessor. If you use DaVinci Resolve on Mac Studio with M2 Ultra, you can get up to 50% quicker video processing than Mac Studio with M1 Ultra. Therefore, it’s the accurate representation of effectiveness and performance.

GPU improvements

You can choose between two GPU configurations, either 60 or 76-core GPU, twice as many cores as the M2 Max. Therefore, it results in a massive performance boost for graphics-intensive gaming and video editing tasks. This upgrade fits Apple’s agenda of boosting the gaming sector of Macs ideally. 

This next-generation architecture offers up to a 30 percent improvement compared to the mighty GPU of the M1 Ultra. In practice, you can render 3D effects using Octane on Mac Studio with M2 Ultra 3x faster than Mac Studio with M1 Ultra.

Ultimate Unified Memory

Along with upgrading the physical architecture, Apple has extended its Unified Memory capacity architecture for incredible bandwidth, low latency, and unmatched power efficiency. M2 Ultra features 800GB/s of system memory bandwidth configured with a massive 192GB unified memory. Let that sink in!

So, you can now train large machine-learning models in a single system. It’s a revolution, considering the fact that even the most potent of PCs out there can’t process this kind of workload as effortlessly.

M2 Ultra is the most powerful chip Apple has ever created. And to set a new standard for performance in the Mac lineup, Apple has pushed the boundaries of machine learning capabilities and the latest custom technologies. 

M2 Ultra has a 32-core Neural Engine, delivering 31.6 trillion operations per second. This makes it 40% faster than its predecessor M1 Ultra. So, it is ideal for image recognition and natural language processing tasks. Besides, the media engine is twice powerful as M2 Max, accelerating video processing.  

Moreover, you can play up to 22 streams of 8K ProRes videos and enjoy 8K resolution with refresh rates of up to 240Hz. This is possible because of dedicated, hardware-enabled H.264, HEVC, and ProRes encode and decode capabilities. You can connect up to six Pro Display XDRs to further pump your workspace. 

The M2 Ultra’s display engine supports driving more than 100 million pixels. Besides, as Apple’s standard priority on high-end security, it has incorporated the latest Secure Enclave and hardware-verified secure boot and runtime anti-exploitation technologies. 

With M2 Ultra, Apple aims to revolutionize the computing experience for professionals and power users across the globe. You can experience the power of this SOC with the new Mac Studio and Mac Pro. The Mac Studio starts at $1,999, and the Mac Pro starts at $6,999. 

Get the beast in your workspace!

So, it will surely be a game-changer for the Mac lineup and a popular choice for creative professionals and power users. And Apple has once again raised the bar, delivering an unparalleled user experience and setting new standards for performance and efficiency. 

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Ava

Ava is an enthusiastic consumer tech writer coming from a technical background. She loves to explore and research new Apple products & accessories and help readers easily decode the tech. Along with studying, her weekend plan includes binge-watching anime.

Galaxy Note 8 Release Date, Price, And Specs Leaked

Galaxy Note 8 release date, price, and specs leaked

For the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 this morning several key details were leaked surrounding the release and pricing of the handset. Previous leaks suggested sizing and contents of the smartphone, closely resembling those of the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. This device’s specifications are only slightly different from those of the previously released handset, with a few key details in place to make this the most powerful Samsung smartphone released in history.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus featured a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor – the same goes for the Galaxy S8 non-Plus, in standard size. The difference with the Galaxy Note 8, which also sports the same Snapdragon, is that there’s a bit more RAM to roll with. Instead of working with 4GB of RAM, this device has 6GB.

This device has a 3,300mAh battery according to the most recent set of leaks. That’s a bit different from the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which originally came with a 3,500mAh battery. Moving away from that capacity might make sense in the public eye due to the inconvenient heat-related nature of the Galaxy Note 7 – but it’s also odd. It’s odd that the Note 8 would have a 3,300 battery since the Galaxy S8 Plus has a battery with 3,500mAh capacity. After all, it’s not the capacity that caused the fires, it was the construction of the batteries and connectors and etcetera.

The backside of this device will have a set of lenses, making it one of the few smartphones in the world to have a dual-camera setup. This setup is becoming more and more popular with the rise of Sony’s dual-camera image processing finesse, coming to brands like Apple, Huawei, and Xiaomi – amongst others.

The Galaxy Note 8 is said in Venture Beat to have a set of 2x 12-megapixel cameras with optical image stabilization, the both of them. The camera array will appear near the fingerprint sensor, which will appear in a bundle with the LED flash and the device’s heart rate sensor.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Specifications (Unofficial)

• Display: 6.3-inch Super AMOLED Quad HD+ display – Infinity Display style – spilling over the edges

• Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor — Octa core (2.3GHz Quad + 1.7GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm process / for Global versions: Samsung Exynos 8895 processor — Octa core (2.35GHz Quad + 1.9GHz Quad), 64 bit, 10 nm process

• RAM: 6GB

• Internal Storage: 64GB USA / 64/128GB China

• Camera: 2x back-facing 12 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, phase detection autofocus, OIS, LED flash

• Front-Camera: 8 MP, f/1.7, autofocus, 1440p@30fps, dual video call, Auto HDR

• Battery: 3300mAh

• Connectivity: USB-C, Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, 3G, nanoSIM, NFC

• Additional: DeX computing technology, Fingerprint Scanner, IP68 water/dust resistance, Wireless Charging

SEE: How Galaxy Note 8 may be flawed

The above specifications are based on the past several weeks of leaks and insider tips from anonymous sources. Until Samsung releases the full set of specs themselves, there is no guarantee what the Galaxy Note 8 will contain. Today’s leaks tweaked what’s found above – and the same source as the cameras bit suggest the release date and pricing.

The release isn’t tacked down to a single date yet, apparently, but should appear in stores in late September, 2023. This release will almost certainly be similar to past releases on major carriers in the United States, with several colors not unlike those released in the past. Pricing is tipped at around 999 Euro. That would be $925 or so if previous pricing setups remain true, or $1120 if directly converted from Euro to USD.

Honor Magic Vs Global Release Date, Price And Specs

That’s a comparison made for almost every foldable thanks to Samsung being first to market, but the Magic Vs could end up impressing thanks to remarkably thin design and competitive price.

The original Honor Magic V launched in January 2023 but was confined to the Chinese market. The new and upgraded Vs is going global however.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Honor Magic Vs including a full specs rundown – or find out why we think it might have the hardware to hold off Samsung.

Where is the Honor Magic Vs available?

Honor announced the Magic Vs in China on 23 November 2023, and it went on sale there that month.

The phone launched internationally at the MWC trade show on 27 February alongside the Magic 5 Pro, and it’s on sale in the UK and Europe now.

A launch in North America is unlikely to ever happen.

How much does the Honor Magic Vs cost?

The Magic Vs costs £1,399/€1,599, and can be bought direct from Honor or from Amazon.

That’s expensive, but competitive considering the cheapest Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 costs $1,799/£1,649/€1,799, while the Pixel Fold starts from $1,799/£1,749/€1,899.

Henry Burrell / Foundry

What are the Honor Magic Vs specs and features?

The phone has been in development for a while now, hence it uses the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset rather than the more recent Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

In the global version of the phone, that’s paired with 12GB of RAM and a fixed 512GB storage.

The 7.9in internal screen pips the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s 7.6in one, though Honor’s is capped at 90Hz compared to the 120Hz on Samsung’s.

Honor has also managed to make a thinner foldable with its 6.1mm thickness when open beating out the 6.3mm Z Fold 4. That doesn’t sound a lot, but it all makes a difference with the in-hand feel of a phone, especially when closed.

Possibly the best one-up the Magic Vs has over rival folding phones in the West is that it closes completely flat. Samsung’s Flip and Fold phones still close in a wedge shape.

Around the back are an impressive array of cameras led by a 54Mp, f/1.9 lens using the Sony IMX800 sensor. Add to that a 50Mp ultrawide and things are looking good, with an 8Mp 3x optical zoom to round out the set.

In China the foldable launched on Android 12 using Honor’s new MagicOS 7.0 software skin, but its international release runs Android 13 and the updated MagicOS 7.1.

By launching the Magic Vs internationally, it could prove to be fine foil for Samsung, who has seen little real competition so far. The Huawei Mate Xs 2 is impressive, but the usual Huawei pitfalls combined with the outside display design are off-putting.

Xiaomi’s book-like foldable the Mi Mix Fold 2 looks razor thin and powerful, as does the Oppo Find N2, but both are still confined to the Chinese market. Foldables could be the future but we need companies like Honor to step up.

Here are the full specs for the Honor Magic Vs:

7.9in 90Hz foldable OLED, 2272 x 1984p

6.45in 120Hz exterior OLED, 2560 x 1080p

Android 13 (MagicOS 7.1)

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset

12GB RAM

512GB storage

Camera:

54Mp IMX800 main camera (f/1.9)

50Mp ultrawide & macro camera (f/2.0)

8Mp 3x optical zoom camera (f/2.4)

16Mp front camera (f/2.45)

Side-mounted fingerprint sensor

WiFi 6

Bluetooth 5.2

NFC

5G

4,900mAh battery

66W wired charging

Dual-SIM

Height

160.3mm

Width

Unfolded: 141.5mm, folded: 72.6mm

Depth

Unfolded: 6.1mm, folded: 12.9mm

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