Can Valve’s Steam Deck Handheld PC Rival Switch?

Today: Play Pokémon Unite around launch to earn a Zeraora license — Phil Spencer thinks Oculus Quest 2 provides the best VR experience — First Monster Hunter Stories 2 update introduces the Palamute.

Valve has revealed the Steam Deck, a $399 Switch-style handheld device for PC

The Steam Deck looks very similar to the Switch, but is more powerful

Valve has revealed the Steam Deck, a PC-based handheld device that will play all your Steam games when it releases this December starting at $399.

Steam Deck is "a powerful all-in-one portable PC", which will play all the latest AAA games on its 7" LCD screen.

The device will be available with three storage options; 64GB eMMC at £349/$399, 256GB NVMe SSD at £459/$529, or the 512GB high-speed NVMe SSD at £569/$649.

  • Controls consist of two analogue sticks, two touch pads, ABXY face buttons, four rear buttons, analogue triggers, and gyro controls
  • Battery life will last between 2 – 8 hours, slightly less than the Switch
  • US, Canada, EU and UK Residents will be able to reserve a unit today, with a $5 / £4 deposit and previous purchase history, so Valve can avoid “potential unauthorized resellers”
  • Specs: 1280 x 800px 60Hz screen, AMD APU Zen 2 2.4-3.5GHz processor, RDNA 2 1.0-1.6GHz GPU, 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM

Switch-style: Valve is offering up a handheld that's similar in style to the Switch, but overall it's a more powerful device, able to play games like Control and Jedi Fallen Order. It supports a dock too, so you can connect it to your TV, but this will be sold separately. It's just a shame Valve didn't call it the GabeGear or Gabeboy…

Gabe's delight: "We think Steam Deck gives people another way to play the games they love on a high-performance device at a great price," said Gabe Newell, Valve Founder. "As a gamer, this is a product I've always wanted. And as a game developer, it's the mobile device I've always wanted for our partners."

Which Zelda game introduced overly enthusiastic cosplayer Tingle?

a) Majora’s Mask
b) Ocarina of Time
c) The Wind Waker
d) Twilight Princess

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today's issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

Switch OLED costs $10 more per unit

More screen, more vibrant, more cost

Bloomberg reports that manufacturing the new Switch OLED model costs Nintendo $10 more than the old model, while the retail price is $50 higher.

The higher manufacturing cost is split between the improved screen, which costs $3 to $5 more per unit, the upgraded storage with is around $3.50, and the rest going to the LAN port and new kickstand.

The new Switch model features an OLED screen promising more vibrant colors, and pre-orders have opened at several retailers for $349.99 in the US and £309.99 in the UK.

Fit for fight: Nintendo has been making healthy profits off the Switch console ever since launch, unlike Sony and Microsoft who tend to launch their consoles as loss leaders and aggressively drop the price throughout the platforms' lifetime.

Dreadful duo: The Switch OLED is scheduled to launch on October 8th, around the same time that Metroid Dread is coming out, which might mean a special pack-in deal and most likely strong sales of both in the run-up to the holiday season.

Pokémon Unite hits Switch on July 21st

Pokemon Unite is developed by TiMi Studios

The Pokémon Company has announced that Pokémon Unite will launch for Switch on July 21st.

“Offering a new kind of Pokémon battle, this strategic team battle game gives players the opportunity to compete in 5-on-5 team battles,” according to the Unite website.

Mythical bonus: If you log in and play before August 31st, you'll be rewarded with a license for the mythical electric-type Pokémon Zeraora, who sports some serious crackling energy.

Cross-platform: Unite will also launch on mobile devices by September and supports cross-play between all supported platforms, and all versions can share game data via a user's Nintendo Account or the Pokémon Trainer Club.

Best PlayStation games arouse emotions

Adrenaline, joy and sorrow make us remember

PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan told the Chinese website TMTPost that he believes people “will only remember the best games, and OK games might be forgotten.” What makes a great game according to PlayStation? Why, emotion, of course!

An experience that makes a strong emotional impact is going to leave a lasting impression, which is why Ryan believes the best games fully embrace players and invite them into a new world.

Right in the feels: Emotion is how movies touch their audiences according to Ryan, and thanks to new and more sophisticated technologies like PlayStation 5, more studios than ever before can build an emotional connection to players.

Ratchet & Clank fan: Jim Ryan's go-to example of how PlayStation 5 is enabling new kinds of experiences is Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. “For me this is a best game”.

Spencer calls Quest 2 “best experience”

Microsoft will probably never launch a VR headset of its own, and Phil Spencer noted that Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 offers the “best experience” for VR. That’s thanks to its “untethered ease of use” and how it could connect to XCloud in the future, whether as a first or third-party project.

ApertureVR – Thinking Without Portals

A Steam Workshop add-on for Half-Life: Alyx brings Portal 2's mechanics and assets to the VR game so other modders can use them. ApertureVR is the “first playable demo” and challenges you to defeat the spirit of science without using any portals.

New teaser for Alyx BioShock Mod

Ardent modders are bringing Rapture to VR with the Return to Rapture mod for Half-Life: Alyx. The Chapter II teaser trailer shows glimpses of the bathyscaphe ride into Rapture, and shows tiny glimpses of animated characters wandering the derelict halls of Rapture.

Which Zelda game introduced overly enthusiastic cosplayer Tingle?

Te o toriatte konomama ikou

ANSWER: Majora’s Mask!

No Zelda characters provoke quite as visceral a reaction as Tingle. With his bizarre costume and odd mannerisms, Tingle is the very definition of a manchild – and to top it off, he thinks he’s a fairy. Fortunately, he has some redeeming features too: He makes and sells maps in both Majora’s Mask and Wind Waker, but that hasn’t helped his image very much.

He’s a rather popular chap in Japan, starring in several spin-off games, but Western audiences absolutely despise him. Only Freshly-Picked Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland made it to Western shores, and it’s quite a unique experience mixing absurd, almost menacing humour with light and colourful gameplay. Let’s hope he makes a glorious comeback in Breath of the Wild II!

Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Nick Akerman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey. If you have any feedback or news tips for the team, please email us!