Tech-wise, yesterday was certainly one for the books. We were first graced with Apple’s iPhone launch event, and then to complete the one-to punch, Sony followed up with its PlayStation Meeting, announcing the PS4 Pro. Yesterday saw the introduction and unveiling of a number of exciting pieces of technology, and the world will have to wait some time before being witness to such an exciting and rare type of day for the tech world.
With one event, we were introduced to two new phones and newly designed smart watch. With the other, a new, slimmed down version of a game console was unveiled as well as the exciting introduction of an upgraded, more powerful version of that same console. Yesterday, both Apple and Sony’s events changed the shape of the technology industry and will most likely have strong reverberations for months and years to come.
Apple announced new iPhone, Nintendo games
First, let’s start with Apple. The Cupertino-based company unveiled two new phones: the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. The newest installment in Apple’s high-end smartphone line received a minor redesign, losing the previous model’s antenna lines.
The phones are now water resistant, finally. The home button on both phones is now touch sensitive. And on the iPhone 7 Plus, optical image stabilization is standard, and the phone ha two separate lenses – one wide and the other telephoto. Let’s not forget that Apple has done away with the regular headphone jack, to both fanfare and ridicule.
Additionally, the entry-level iPhone model now comes standard with 32GB of storage, replacing the never-sufficient 16GB model. Battery life is now longer than in previous models, which is always nice.
Apple also announced their strangely-named Apple Watch Series 2. Hooray.
Besides these announcements, Apple’s event had more of a “gaming” feel to it. While the event was ostentatiously about the iPhone 7, the first 30 minutes were more-or-less dedicated to one company: Nintendo.
After the smashing success of Pokémon Go, of which users have now walked more than 4.6 billion kilometers since its launch, Apple was obviously feeling the love and allowed the Japanese video game giant unveil what will undoubtedly be part of its future beyond the Nintendo NX: iPhone games.
The first game announced was Super Mario Run, a side-scrolling iPhone exclusive. This game most likely plans on taking the success and brand recognition of Nintendo and their video game franchises to Apple devices. One can only assume that there are more games in the works.
Nintendo has had a rough go of it these past few years, but its brand recognition is still vast, as it is undoubtedly one of the most (if not the most) beloved video game company in the world. These deals with Apple and Niantic, the studio behind Pokémon Go, are definitely a smart move for the company.
Even if this newfound strategy fails for Nintendo, its shift away (for now) from its current consoles is interesting and is certainly different that the strategy Sony has been pursuing of late.
Sony to take on the next generation of technology with the PS4 Pro
Sony’s PlayStation Meeting, which took place literally minutes after Apple’s event ended (coincidence?), saw the Japanese tech giant unveil two new versions of its PlayStation 4 console. The first of these is the new PlayStation 4, leaked as the PS4 Slim, which will replace the current PlayStation 4. The new console’s defining feature is that it is, well, slim. The console features no power drawbacks, which allows the entire package to be “slimmed down,” and will retail for the reasonable price of $299.
The second console announced, and the true star of the show here, is the PS4 Pro. Sony has doubled down on its high-end credibility for the upgraded PlayStation 4, upgrading almost every single internal component to deliver 4K gaming and seamless virtual reality. The price is higher, at $399, but that is to be expected, of course.
After the event ended, Microsoft sent out a timely tweet outlining the features of their upcoming console, the Xbox One S, including 4K gaming. As anyone following the video game industry should know, the PlayStation 4 has been beating the Xbox One concerning sales for a very long time now, pretty much since launch day.
Microsoft did level some apt criticism regarding the PS4 Pro, including the fact that the console is unable to play 4K Blu-Rays. For the company that pioneered the technology, this is certainly confusing to say the least.
A historic day for modern technology
Some consumers have worried that console gaming is going away, but the vibrancy of the platforms, especially when it comes to games, begs to differ. The iPhone has forced Nintendo into capitulation – as evidence by Super Mario Run and the new deal between the two companies – but Sony (and Microsoft) is holding true and firm.
So that’s how it all went down on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. Apple’s day. Sony’s too. Well, both companies made huge announcements that will certainly shake up the tech world for the next months and years. May these events be looked back upon with admiration and awe.