The Roundup: New Interns, Kai Cenat, See Us At Play NYC, Awards Date, Baldur’s Gate 3, Samsung’s New Phone, PS5’s 8 TB Future, And Much More!

By Ronald Gordon

Hello and welcome back to the Roundup! It’s we gather stories from Members and Interns alike and give them a well deserved blast. This week, while I enjoy the heat of the winding down Summer sun, I also piece together a review of an interesting game about journeying into a mystical forest. While I’m not entirely done piecing my thoughts together into an article, I can say that the game has a lot of aspects that remind me (and many others) of Little Nightmares and Limbo. A cute game at the outset quickly turns into a horrible nightmare of a world that our young protagonist simply has to survive in, and what that fighting for their survival looks like in the end. But moving onto what we’re here for, today we have introductions to the Circle’s two new Interns, news on the Samsung Z Fold 5, PS5 Updates, a Handheld to rival the Steam Deck, and so much more! 

Before we introduce our new interns, please be aware that the NYVGCC will be at Play NYC this Weekend at Booth #1! We’ll be giving away tickets to the 13th Annual New York Video Game Awards Ceremony in January 2024, so definitely stop by and see us! We’d love to see you!

Breaking: Kai Cenat has nearly six million fans. So when he announced a meet and greet plus giveaway at Union Square South at 14th Street. too many showed up. Here’s the deal. It’s gotten chaotic and the police came in to break things up. There have been some fights, some arrests, and people were seen hanging off Kai’s SUV as it moved awat. There’s no word on whether the goods were given away or if things became too out of control for the giveaways to happen. Kai has been taken into custody. We just hope everyone’s ok.

First, I’d like to introduce our two newest interns, one of which avid readers may be familiar with. Serenity Cruz is a young writer from our Mott Hall III class, who won a scholarship alongside her classmate Khloe Wilkerson. Serenity is talented and fierce when it comes to describing games she likes, and does her best at every given task. “From the young traditional artist who loves drawing video game characters to the newest intern of the New York Videogame Critics Circle, I have made quite the journey to end up writing this introductory piece. I’m very excited to say that I can play a part, even if I was a bit hesitant at first. I’m ready for the challenge!” Having seen her passion first hand from my first mentoring classes, I can say that Serenity will definitely bring a lot of new ideas to the Circle, and that we’ll be happy to have her work for us as a writer and an artist as time passes. 

New itners Mario Brito Collado brings a deep connection to games as a whole due to them helping him develop English skills as he moved to America. Coming from the Dominican Republic to New York City was one of the hardest things that Mario had ever done, but he took the challenge head on since it meant there’d be a better chance for his future. Having grown up playing video games and connecting with his friends and family through them, Mario had all that he needed to succeed before he could even realize it: “Luckily, my experience with video games helped me understand the basics of the language. I was surprised because, without realizing it, I had taught myself English through games and had at least a starting point for learning the language and speaking it more fluently.” Mario’s words solidify the importance gaming holds in his mind; without games, he might not have been able to shoot as far towards his goals, and he’s still aiming higher as the days pass. We’re more than happy to have Mario along as an intern, and we welcome both our talented new minds with open arms! 

Next comes Sherri L. Smith and her article regarding the new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, and why she’s not buying it despite being am avid Samsung enjoyer. Phones are constantly being upgraded one way or another, whether its allowing for all sorts of mobile games to be played or being able to fold, all phones are improving. Yet to Sherri, the constant upgrades aren’t entirely necessary, especially when a newer phone brings a higher price with it. “First, there’s the price. In the interest of having a comfortable amount of storage I’d either go with the 512GB model which costs $1,799 or just go full big spender and shell out $2,009 for the 1TB version. It’s a lot of money either way. But the main reason I’m sticking with the S23 Ultra is the S Pen, or lack thereof, on the Z Fold 5. Although Samsung is pushing the Fold line in the same productivity vein as my beloved Note, it’s just selling wolf tickets without the S Pen. I mean how am I supposed to take notes or take hands-free pics without Samsung’s specialized stylus? I think not.” Sherri, while entirely enticed by the idea of a new phone, holds strong in her ways and says no to the Note 5 based on common principles. The pricing is outrageous and the push for the new Note line to be Samsung’s main stay is bordering on obnoxious. Although, I haven’t much a horse in this race, I know Sherri will keep all her supporters informed on which piece of tech is worth its price tag, including phones! 

PS5 users who fear that their console might not be getting the best support can jump for joy as Imad Khan brings news of Beta Tests for monumental updates coming to the consoles. From improving sound compatibility, to increasing SSD storage by a massive amount, Sony is gracing their Playstation 5 owners with more of what they wanted. “Sony is pushing out a beta software update for the PlayStation 5, bringing 3D Audio to Dolby Atmos sound systems as well as increased M.2 SSD storage support up to 8TB, the company said in a blog post on Monday. The update will release worldwide later this year.” For those looking to expand their PS5’s capabilities to the next level, look no further than Sony themselves who have begun putting out applications to Beta test these new features. Anyone interested should read Imad’s article, detailing what the Beta will look like and what the Atmos Sound System and M.2 SSD will look like when fully engaged within your machine. 

Tony Polanco thinks that the crowded podium on the Handheld games stage is about to get even more crowded thanks to Lenovo throwing their hat in the ring. While the console itself hasn’t even been shown off yet, the building rumors bring words of great promise to the table. “Windows Central says the rumored Lenovo handheld will pack AMD’s new Ryzen 7040 Phoenix CPU, which debuted during CES 2023. This chip features an AI engine named Ryzen AI, which AMD claims is the first laptop chip to feature a dedicated AI engine. The company also says the new chip can churn through multiprocessing workloads in Cinebench nT up to 34% faster than the Apple M1 Pro. The AMD chip supposedly delivers up to 30 hours of video playback on a laptop — which is certainly a huge claim.” From the Switch to the Steam Deck, it seems like there’s no end to how many handhelds are coming out. At the very least if you’re in the market for a handheld, there’s more options coming in the near future!

Beyond the Circle

In a shocking turn of events, Baldur’s Gate 3 is already on its way to people’s doorsteps. What Bloomberg Journalist and early Circle member Jason Schreier is rightfully calling “One of the Year’s Biggest Releases” has rightfully been catching many people’s eyes. “Its scope — 174 hours of cut scenes and 17,000 possible ending variations, according to the developers — is unprecedented. The six years it took to create the game — due, in part, to disruptions from Covid and the war in Ukraine — is unusual.” While it’s understandable to have a gap in time during development, six years is definitely a stretch for a lot of game devs, “And Larian Chief Executive Officer Swen Vincke, who is also the game’s director, is unlike any of his peers at the top of the industry. He’s a hardcore gamer and fan favorite who hosts company livestreams while clanking around in a coat of platemail armor and stars in quirky, comedic videos in which he might, say, pretend to knock out a fellow executive before storing his soul in a jar.” I may not be the biggest Baldur’s Gate fan, but I can at least admit that this release is gearing up to be huge. The news leading up to it has been thoroughly intriguing and the release being sooner than expected is definitely something I’m interested in. 

Leave a Reply