Welcome to the latest episode of Upscaled, our explainer show where we look at the components that make our tech faster. In this episode, we're taking a close look at AMD's RDNA graphics architecture. AMD's previous architecture, GCN, powered the Xbox One and Playstation 4, and for the past few years has also provided the graphics power for Apple's higher-end laptops and desktops.
Nintendo is definitely releasing the $200 Switch Lite handheld console on September 20th, and may release a higher-end console soon too, if rumors are to be believed. Its plans might even go beyond all that, however. The company is reportedly working on further updates beyond those models "to make the platform's lifecycle long," according to WSJ sources inside the company.
Gaming phones are a rare breed, and the nascent category has already proved to be too much of a challenge for Razer. Some companies still see it as an opportunity to tap into the ever-growing esports market, however. Devices land with gimmicks like detachable controllers on Xiaomi's Black Shark 2, or a built-in cooling fan on the Nubia Red Magic 3. Neither could top last year's ASUS ROG Phone though when it comes to accessories: It offered a clip-on fan, a WiGig screen-casting dock, a clamp-on controller pad, a mobile desktop dock and a bizarre dual-screen dock.
The murmurs of an upgraded Switch were true -- although you might want to put hopes for a Switch Pro on ice, at least for now. Nintendo has quietly unveiled a new revision of the standard Switch with dramatically improved battery life. Instead of the original's 2.5 to 6.5 hours, the new model manages a much healthier 4.5 to 9 hours. That's about 5.5 hours of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild versus the earlier three hours, Nintendo estimated. You shouldn't have problems playing through a cross-country flight.
The rumors were true: Nintendo was working on a new kind of Switch, and here it is. The Switch Lite is a slightly different console, designed for handheld play, and will arrive September 20th priced at $200. When it does land, it'll come in three different color choices. No more neon red, you'll be able to pick from yellow, gray and turquoise options. But that substantial price cut comes with some spec differences.
If you've ever complained that the differences between Pokémon game editions were too small, relief might be in sight. When Pokémon Sword and Shield arrive in November, they'll include not just differences in the creature lineup and trainers, but version-exclusive gyms in "certain towns" with unique gym leaders. You'll take on the martial artist Bea in Sword, while the goth Allister will fight you in Shield. This probably won't justify buying the Dual Pack with both variants unless you're a completist. Still, it promises to add some genuine variety to the experience.