To very different topics dominated tech headlines this week. Things kicked off with Amazon Prime Big Deal Days, slashing prices on PCs, consoles, accessories, games, and all sorts of gadgets. We covered the event from start to finish, including a live blog and pieces on dozens of discounts, some of which are still live.
The week wrapped up with the biggest acquisition in Microsoft history. The tech giant closed its purchase of Activision Blizzard, sending shockwaves throughout the gaming industry. The deal, worth almost $69 billion, sees a massive library of games come under the Microsoft umbrella.
Microsoft purchases Activision Blizzard
Microsoft finally completed its purchase of Activision Blizzard this week. After 19 months of legal battles, discussions with regulators, and court cases, the largest acquisition in Microsoft history officially closed.
First announced in January 2022, Microsoft's purchase worth almost $69 billion had to clear several regulatory bodies before being able to wrap up. The UK's CMA was the final governing body to approve the deal, giving it the green light on Friday, October 13, 2023 (how spooky). Shortly thereafter, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard crossed the T's and dotted the I's of the massive deal.
With the deal done, Microsoft and Xbox have a massive opportunity. Our Managing Editor Jez Corden broke down how big of a deal the acquisition is for Microsoft and Activision Blizzard.
A question on everyone's mind is now that the deal is done, how long is it until Activision Blizzard games make it to Game Pass? We don't know for sure, but we have an idea of when Call of Duty and other ABK titles will appear on Game Pass.
There's also buzz about which games Microsoft could resurrect or refocus on now that the entire libraries of Activision, Blizzard, and King are part of the tech giant. Before the deal closed, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick hinted at a Guitar Hero revival. Speaking of Kotick, the controversial CEO will leave the company in January 2024.
Our Alexander Cope talked about the crazy guest characters Microsoft could add to Killer Instinct, showing what awesomeness could come from the acquisition.
Microsoft AI chip
This week it was revealed that Microsoft may unveil its first dedicated artificial intelligence chips at Ignite 2023. The conference, which runs from November 14 to November 2017, 2023, focuses heavily on AI. A dedicated chip from Microsoft would fit in at the conference and make sense considering the company's massive investment in OpenAI and artificial intelligence as a whole.
The chips would be used in data centers and to power AI capabilities, according to a report by The Information. Microsoft would continue to purchase chips from NVIDIA as well, but it would expand its options by having its own AI chip.
Reviews & Editorials
Each week our team checks out the latest gadgets and games. Recently, our experts with hands-on with a compact gaming desktop from ASUS, the Windows 11 October 2023 Update, and much more.
On top of hands-on reviews, our writers also share their insight into the latest tech trends, such as the Activision Blizzard acquisition.
Normally I share a collection of the best deals from throughout the week that are still live. But considering we had an entire live blog dedicated to deals and covered dozens of discounts throughout Amazon Prime Big Deal Days, a full list would make up most of this article. Additionally, deals change rapidly throughout this time of year, so I wouldn't want to lead you to one that isn't active.
Instead, I'll link you over to our deals hub. There, you'll find the best discounts on PCs, games, accessories, and more. I'll add our new AI-powered deal search bot that can help you find deals shared on Windows Central and the rest of Future (our parent company).