Welcome to The RoundUp! This is our monthly news post summarising the past month in PC gaming, PC tech and new Thermaltake products. On today’s RoundUp for March 2021: Roblox joins the stock market, AMD releases the 6700XT GPU, and Todd Howard admits the Fallout 76 launch was a failure. All that and more in this RoundUp for March 2021.

GAMES NEWS

Games Released

March 2021 proved to be a super quiet month for game releases, with really only ex-console exclusive games dominating the releases. So, if you missed them, here’s the list!

The PC port for Overcooked! released on March 23. Overcooked! All you can Eat features both Overcooked! Games.

Next came the PC version of Yakuza 6 on March 25, and the PC release of Crash Bandicoot 4 dropped the next day.

Finally, The Kingdom Hearts Games finally found their way to PC, releasing 4 of the games on March 30.

source: YouTube

Announcements

A spinoff of the main Monster Hunter games is on the way. Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin releases on July 9.

There’s some cool news for Life is Strange fans. First, a remastered collection of the first game in the series will release on September 10. Life is Strange: Remastered Collection will also feature the prequel to the game, Before the Storm.

Additionally, there’s a new game in the series on the horizon too! Life Is Strange: True Colors will also release on September 10, featuring a new protagonist and ditching the episodic format of the past games.

source: Polygon

Delays

Another month sadly means another lot of delays. So, hopefully I don’t burst your bubble with the news to come.

The next Need for Speed franchise is delayed by at least a year. The next game in the popular racing series was due to release sometime in 2022, however now that’s looking more like 2023. This is due to work on the next Battlefield game taking priority.

The director’s cut of Borderlands 3 has been delayed due to cold weather. This refers to when last month Texas was thrashed with a bunch of severe winter storms. This led to issues over at Gearbox studios, forcing the company to push back the release of the edition to April 8.

The latest in the Warner Brother’s Batman series has been delayed. Gotham Knights was slated for release sometime in 2021, however it’s now been pushed back to 2022. No reason was given, but it’s safe to say the currently pandemic has probably weighed in.

source: Syfy

Everything Else

Epic Games has purchased Tonic Games Group, which is the parent company of the studio that created Fall Guys. Epic confirmed that the purchase won’t impact the games’ availability on any platforms.

The buyout of Bethesda by Microsoft is official. The eight studios ZeniMax Media owns (include Bethesda) are now officially under the Microsoft banner. This means that a bunch of ZeniMax games have now joined the Microsoft Game Pass system, including: Dishonoured, Wolfenstein and of course, Skyrim.

Popular survival game Rust suffered a huge data loss after a fire. The fire in the French datacentre that held Rust’s data meant that a lot of players lost their saved progress. The fire destroyed one building, as well as spreading to the centre next door.

The inventor of the classic cassette tape has passed away. Lou Ottens was 94 and was pivotal in the cassette’s creation, as well as collaborating on creating the CD.

Rockstar Leeds founder Gordan Hall has passed away at only age 51. Rockstar Leeds was best known for producing games such as Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown as well as GTA: Liberty City Stories. No cause of death was provided.

In one of the weirdest news stories of the month, Roblox has joined the stock market. Roblox Corporation shares traded publicly for the first time in March up on the New York Stock Exchange. The company did decently too, up there with other companies like Ubisoft and Take-Two.

Twitch has finally started to implement ways to help streamers deal with DMCA issues. For starters, streamers can now see a tally of their channels strikes, VODs can be deleted or unpublished in batches of 20, or you can unpublish them all in one click. Twitch stated that an upcoming feature aims to help creators sort and delete Clips also.

Cyberpunk 2077’s lead gameplay designer has left the company. Andrzej Zawadzki joined the Cyberpunk team back in 2016. He was a very vocal member of staff during the launch of Cyberpunk, defending the team against online threats.

After what seems like forever, Microsoft are changing the name of Xbox Live. The online features of their service are now referred to as, “The Xbox Network.” This is mainly to help distinguish it from their paid subscription offering, “Xbox Live Gold.”

Anthem director Jonathan Warner has parted ways with Bioware. He was also a game director on Mass Effect Andromeda and a producer on the Mass Effect trilogy.

PAX East has been cancelled. Back in December, PAX was still hopeful that their planned June 3 – 6 dates could be an in-person event, however it seems now they aren’t as confident. For now, it seems PAX West and PAX Unplugged are still planning to go ahead for the moment.

TECH NEWS

That’s right – the tech news is so weighty this month I’ve had to divide it up!

Intel News

Rumours suggest the Intel Xe cards could be arriving in 2021. This comes after a specs list for the upcoming cards appeared on Twitter. The specs are looking decent, sitting somewhere around the AMD RX 6700XT mark.

Looks like there’s another leak in the Intel front! Their Alder Lake chip is heading to mobile this year, but with up to 19 different guises. That means they have up to 19 chips covering all sorts of compact options. It seems mobile market domination is certainly on Intel’s mind.

Moving onto their Rocket Lake CPU now. Their 11th Gen CPUs released on March 30, coming with 8 cores and 16 threads. Despite Intel keeping the launch well-guarded, sadly a retailer in Europe started selling them a few weeks before the launch. This meant some outlets were able to publish reviews early, including YouTubers. Reviews seem somewhat mixed so far, however it’s still early days.

Intel has another CPU up their sleeves! Their first 7nm CPU titled, Meteor Lake, looks like it will hit shelves in 2023. This will be a follow up to their Alder Lake chips we talked about earlier. The main difference will be that the Meteor Lake will be the first desktop process to use Foveros packing technology.

To help combat the chip supply crisis, Intel is creating their own contract foundry business. With up to 80 percent of silicon produced in Asia, Intel wants to bring some more of that business back their way, with locations in the US, Ireland, and Israel.

source: Rock Paper Shotgun

AMD News

AMD’s biggest news from last month was the release of their RX 6700XT GPU. The card provides solid frames at 1080p and 1440p. However, many were disappointed with its price and speeds, especially comparing it to the RTX 3070.

In further AMD news, last month they made their Smart Access Memory available on Ryzen 3000 CPUs. This means more effective communication between your CPU and GPU. To enable it, you will need a full set though! This means an AMD 500 series board, Ryzen 5000 or 3000 CPU and an RX 6000 GPU.

NVIDIA News

Asus have accidentally leaked that an RTX 3050 Ti could be on the horizon. The leak was spotted on an Asus laptop page.

NVIDIA have doubled the price of their GeForce now membership. The 2-year-old service now has almost 10 million users. The price has now jumped from $5 a month to $10.

The long-awaited RTX 3080 Ti is now rumoured for a mid-May launch date. Considering the current global shortage for parts though, the delay is no surprise. Fingers crossed this is the final delay for this big guy!

And finishing up all the companies talk, both NVIDIA and AMD have earned over $25 billion combined revenue in 2020 alone. Both companies had incredibly strong years last year, and they don’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

Everything Else

GlobalFoundries are investing around $1.5 billion towards expanding their semiconductor manufacturing capacity. This is in order to help alleviate stress on the market caused from increased demand, as well as issues pertaining to the Taiwanese water situation.

And finally, in an interesting strategy, Gamestop have decided to start selling GPUs. While it does make sense on one hand, it also seems like a strange time to start doing this… considering nobody has any in stock! In theory now you can trade in your old console games towards a shiny new GPU… if they ever have any in stock that is.

RoundUp for March 2021
source: InvestorPlace

CONTROVERSIAL NEWS

John McAfee (yes, the one that founded the McAfee antivirus software) in back in trouble again. McAfee has been charged with fraud and money laundering regarding promoting certain crypto currencies. The frauds allegedly ran between December 2017 and October 2018.

Todd Howard, Bethesda Games Studios Director, recently admitted on a stream that the launch of Fallout 76 was pretty awful. Howard admits that when the game launched, “there was very little we didn’t screw up honestly.” Since release, the game has undergone a lot of changes and updates. But it’s nice to see Howard admit that it was arguably a big disappointment for the company.

Steam has decided not to sell Super Seducer 3. The bizarre multiple choice dating game reportedly features, “sexually explicit images of real people”, which is why it won’t be making it onto the platform. Creator and super seducer himself Richard La Ruina stated that it would be easy to remove the offending sections, however Valve stated they still have no interest in selling or re-reviewing it. The first 2 games in the series have remained on the platform though.

Activision Blizzard have recently laid off around 50 employees in their online events department. This is due to the company wanting to reduce its focus on live events going forward, even after the pandemic situation is over.

RoundUp for March 2021
source: forbes

THERMALTAKE NEWS

March has been a very hectic month here at Thermaltake Australia, with a TON of awesome new products launching. Just in case you missed ‘em, here’s the list!

We released a stunning new addition to our RAM line up, the TOUGHRAM XG. Additionally, we also dropped a Metallic Gold and Racing Red edition of our iconic OG TOUGHRAM kits.

On top of that, we released an amazing L shaped desk, The TOUGHDesk 500L RGB Batttlestation. Additionally, for those of you who managed to sell a kidney to get an RTX 3070 or above, we also released some GPU water blocks for the RTX 3070, 80 and 90.

Finally, if you don’t know already, we sell pre-built gaming PCs! Our latest PC is the Citadel, a sleek mini-itx case that packs a bunch in a small package.

Over on our YouTube channel we released a bunch of cool content in March. This includes a How-To video on installing RAM and XMP, a well as a First Look at our gorgeous Divider 300 Mid Tower case. We also released a look at our Citadel Gaming system, as well as another First Look on our TOUGHRAM XG RAM kits.

Here on the blog, you may have missed a few juicy articles this past month. This includes a handy guide for steps to take before building your PC, as well as a long-form post on cheating in video games. Newest blog contributor Michael has created some posts on games to get to know him, as well as recommendations for some great indie games to check out.

Don’t forget, Thermal Talk is BACK! Check out our latest episode on your podcast platform of choice: Spotify, SoundCloud or Apple Podcasts