Keep busy when the sun goes away

Summer is rubbish for technology releases. Screens don’t work very well outside, and everyone is too busy lounging on the beach or frolicking in fields to appreciate them, anyway. Thankfully we’ve only got a few weeks more before we’ll be holed up in our freezing flats, shivering and pretending the outside world doesn’t exist. And there will be some awesome new gadgets to keep us company when the time comes.

The video games market will see its biggest changes in almost a decade with the imminent release of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which will be accompanied by a glut of razor-sharp new games to play on them. Apple will launch an obligatory update to its iPhone line-up – with rumours of a sparkly new colour – while the long-awaited Amazon Phone could make an appearance, too. Meanwhile, Google has an exciting addition to the tablet market with its new Nexus 7. Roll on Autumn.

SONY PLAYSTATION 4
£349; mid-September release
Sony has played second fiddle to Microsoft in recent years but has impressed gamers with its aggressive tactics with its next-generation console. Sony refused to follow Microsoft’s lead in placing caveats on the sale of second hand games and its “always on” policy, which is aimed at reducing piracy. And at £80 cheaper than its rival, the PS4 looks like a contender.

WATCH DOGS
Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, Windows
Watch Dogs is billed as the first great game about computer hacking. It sees you take the role of a hacker who can break into city security, manipulating your electronic environment to achieve your goals. It’s very ambitious and could set the bar for next-generation gaming.

IPHONE 5S
Expected release: September
The latest iPhone is likely to come with Apple’s new fingerprint technology, which is expected to be the main upgrade. There are also rumours it will come with a new colour option, not unlike the one below.

RYSE: SON OF ROME
Xbox One
This swords and sandals epic looks set to be one of the best of the early crop of console titles. The games sees you take control Roman general Marius Titus in what developers are calling a revenge story spanning an entire lifetime. Expect spectacular battles and overblown dialogue.

GOOGLE NEXUS 7
From £200;
released 13 September
Google’s second generation Nexus 7 tablet looks like a real hit. It has the highest resolution screen of any tablet – smashing even the crystal-sharp screen on the iPad. At just 8.65mm thick it is also a slip of a thing. The new tablet will launch with the latest version of Google’s Android operating system. At £200 (16GB) or £240 (32GB), it is also cheap.

XBOX ONE
£429; Released 29 November
Microsoft is the market leader in the console wars and its upcoming Xbox One device is going to be big. It’s more than a console; it’s an all-in-one entertainment hub. But at £429, it costs far more than the new PlayStation.

AMAZON PHONE
Expected release: late 2013
Amazon has evolved from the leading online retailer to one of the world’s foremost technology giants. Its Kindle readers and tablets have cornered the market and now it is rumoured to be developing a smartphone to further expand its portfolio. Expect something reasonably priced with excellent access to Amazon’s media library.