Last week marked the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where tech giants from all over the globe gather to show off their new and upcoming products. As we continue to widen the gaze of our coverage to focus on more game-related hardware, we thought we'd head to this year's event so we could look at and in some cases even try out some of the latest gadgets, as well as get a gaming perspective on the latest developments from the world of mobile gaming. With that being the case, here are our highlights from the show.
First of all is the new generation of Microsoft's HoloLens technology, the HoloLens 2. The main purpose for this technology is centered around task workers, for example the construction industry or doctors/nurses. Because of this, the HoloLens is still rather expensive and largely unavailable for commercial usage. This does mean that the HoloLens isn't really aimed at gamers, at least for this generation (and maybe even the next). Although HoloLens project manager Charlie Han has said that when it comes to gaming, "people are going to dream with this and that's really the most exciting part [...] I think the future of mixed reality and this type of device is extremely promising".
Next on our list is a look into the future of 5G and how gaming can advance because of the new tech. PlayGiga, a Spanish streaming service gave us a brief glimpse into a 5G world by running a test to show how virtual reality can benefit from the tech. The test showed that as all the processing was done through the cloud, the headset itself didn't require advanced hardware and therefore could be lighter, cheaper and attached to fewer wires. Could this be the next step in virtual reality gaming?
The next point pays homage to all you hardcore mobile gamers out there. Honor has announced their new Gaming + chipset that will accompany new phones in their range. The chipset is designed to elevate most aspects of mobile gaming by providing both a better GPU to process data and by adding a new AI feature, that will work internally to analyse gameplay and alter settings when it notices the GPU struggling. This shows how tech companies are starting to design phones with the intention of gaming as well as all the other features they possess.
SanDisk has created a huge 1TB SD Card as the next step in memory storing technology, well, sort of. The SD card is huge in terms of the amount it can store but small as it's the same size as a normal SD card. That's right, now you can store up to 1TB worth of data on a singular card instead of having to mess around with several smaller sized ones. From a gaming perspective, this could be ideal for Switch users who buy digital copies of games, as it will fit into the console and should provide enough storage for the lifetime of your Switch.
As competition to Sony's recently announced Sony Fold phone, Huawei has revealed the Mate X which is another foldable phone. It will have a 6.6-inch display when folded before becoming the much larger 8-inch display when fully flat. Similar to the general theme of this year's MWC, the Mate X will be a 5G-only phone meaning it will be much faster but only functional in places with 5G availability.
The penultimate talking point we want to highlight is an unorthodox smartphone in the sense that it's around three times as thick as a traditional phone. The Energizer Power Max P18K Pop is a smartphone designed to have a battery which can last up to 50 days between charging. It can also be used to charge other devices as well, although we think that this product shows a lot of potential for future generations as it gets thinner and becomes easier to carry around.
Finally, we have the new Sony Xperia 1 which brings some new features to the table. The Xperia 1 will feature a new 21:9 display, which is great for film buffs as most movies are shot in this aspect ratio. As well as this, it will have compatibility with Dolby Atmos and the ability to upscale compressed audio for crisper-sounding content. Although the phone is not designed specifically for gaming, these new features will mean that any mobile games played on the device should feel more realistic and immersive.
That's just seven of the features that we produced based on our trip to MWC19. Head over to GRTV for more.