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The Steam Deck Isn't Competing With The Nintendo Switch – Kotaku

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Tell me if you’ve heard this one before. A game gets announced, say maybe an indie game. It’s exclusive to PC, and it looks promising. Then, out of nowhere, the eternal question: When is it coming out on Switch?

Sure, some people might buy the cool game twice. But it’s also just as common for folks to abstain from purchasing any given game until it lands on the quirky Nintendo hardware. I’ve certainly done it, and can think of a handful of instances where I chose to wait for the Nintendo version rather than spending twice the money.

In late July, Valve threw a wrench in that ongoing dilemma. The Steam Deck, Valve’s take on a portable gaming device, doesn’t just let you play games on the go. You could, according to the specs released by Valve, actually run demanding PC games that the Switch just wouldn’t be up to. They’d probably drain your Steam Deck’s battery pretty quickly, and you might have to play at a lower framerate. But still, it’ll be doable.

It’s easy to look at that and go, shit, there goes Nintendo’s biggest advantage—a system that lets you play your favorite indie games anytime, anywhere. But this take ignores the audiences at play in this hardware battle, if not the wider video game landscape.

The Switch Deck, by Valve’s own admission, is pricey. The starting model costs 400 bucks, more if you want faster, larger internal storage. Given the ballooning size of major video games nowadays, especially on PC, some might want the largest capacity possible. But would an average person really spend upward of $650 for the best version of the Steam Deck? I doubt it. You can’t even play Animal Crossing on that thing*, and that’s like half the reason most people get the Switch in the first place.

A family gathers around a mom, who is playing a pink Nintendo Switch lite.

Fact is, the Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch are going after totally different consumers. The Steam Deck seems more geared toward “hardcore” gaming folks who’ve already purchased a library of games on Valve’s platform. It seems unlikely that someone would purchase the Deck on its own without an existing Steam account. It is, in other words, an additive piece of equipment—and a luxury one at that, given the price. The Steam Deck appears to be less for the “I’ll wait for the Switch version” crowd and more for early adopters with cash to burn who are already devoted to Valve’s platform.

The Switch, meanwhile, is often used either as a primary console, or a complementary device to other video game consoles. In contrast to its competitors, Nintendo-developed first-party games remain exclusive to the Japanese company; there is no other way to play certain iconic Nintendo franchises. And given the popularity of the Switch, much of the world already has a portable gaming device. Most of those folks probably aren’t going to spend a good chunk of their paycheck on another device that more or less does the same thing as the thing they already have.

For these people, the honkin’ size, added weight, and lack of color options might make the Deck less appealing when compared to the cheery and more lightweight Switch and Switch Lite. And with the $200 Switch Lite only costing half of what a Deck does, what do you think an average person might go for?

But even among so-called hardcore gamers, the Steam Deck’s chances of succeeding are a gamble. Nowadays, thanks to the advent of cloud streaming, you can play modern video games on pretty much any device. You could, for example, play Destiny 2 on your iPhone or tablet via Xbox Cloud Gaming, or pair it via remote play. You might not even need a workaround for major games like Genshin Impact, which are already playable on mobile devices. Though some of the tech isn’t quite there yet, we are already living in a world with a wealth of portable gaming options at cheaper price points. The Steam Deck faces an uphill battle, and given the unimpressive lifespan of Valve hardware like the Steam Link and Steam Machines, its track record doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

The Steam Deck device in front of a laptop showcasing someone's library of games on the Valve platform.

The comparisons between the two are shortsighted. If anything, the two devices don’t exist in the same orbit. To hear about the Steam Deck at all, you have to be somewhat plugged into the video game world, or at least have an interest in tech. Likely, you both value and understand the leap in processing power offered by the Deck, or have a vested interest in niche PC games that will never see a console port. In Valve’s introduction video for the Deck, it says that the device was designed for extended gameplay sessions, which sounds an awful lot like “you’re going to mostly play this at home, where you can charge it.”

The Switch does not have those barriers. You don’t need specialized knowledge or interests, nor do you need nearly as much money to get started. You don’t need a dedicated chunk of time, either, with many games designed to be played during small pockets of downtime, or during commutes. In the face of hard-to-find next-gen consoles, the Switch is now the most mainstream video game device outside of maybe phones. Can an expensive PC gaming-adjacent piece of hardware truly compete with that?

For some, the Steam Deck will ameliorate the need to wait months for a Switch release, nevermind being forced to pay for the same thing twice. People hungry for an upgrade and sick of playing compromised games on the Switch may skip the kinda disappointing OLED model and nab a Deck instead. Undoubtedly, some confused grandparents might circumvent both altogether and accidentally buy Elgato’s Stream Deck for some poor, unsuspecting kid.

But the more likely scenario? The person who buys the Steam Deck probably isn’t the same person who is going to buy a Nintendo Switch. 

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AMG GT R Faces Fearsome Porsche 911 Duo In Three-Way Drag Race – Motor1

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In the world of Porsche, attention is currently focused on upcoming 911 models for the 992-series generation. Oh how quickly we forget about the cars that came before, but this recent drag racing video from Cars With Pilot Tseno on YouTube reminds us just how good the 991.2 911s still are.

This three-way drag race sees the previous-generation Porsche 911 GT3 RS and 911 Turbo S challenge a Mercedes-AMG GT R, but it’s not just a simple line-em-up format. No less than six races are held on this empty runway, representing real-world conditions. That’s important, because we know the 911 Turbo S is easily the quickest of the bunch on paper. But when it comes to an unprepped surface, can it properly use all its 580 horsepower (433 kilowatts) to defend itself?

Before answering that question, four races are held between the contenders. You probably know the stats but just in case, here’s a refresher. The 991.2 911 GT3 RS runs a rev-happy 4.0-liter flat-six pumping out 520 naturally aspirated hp (388 kW), while the AMG GT R uses a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 making 577 hp (430 kW). It seems like an unfair fight at first, but the GT3 RS is considerably lighter and it carries the majority of its mass over the rear tires. That translates to a significant traction advantage which carries the GT3 RS to an early lead in each race. The Merc comes on strong at the other end, but is it enough?

We’d love to build these preliminary contests into something extraordinary for the final two three-way races with the Turbo S, but neither challenger has a prayer against the boosted 911. In both races, the distance to second place is bus lengths, which means the real drama in this competition is between the GT3 RS and the AMG GT R. Which one takes the overall second-place crown? Out of six races, both the GT R and the GT3 RS score victories over the other but one holds a clear advantage. Any guesses on the victor in this GT R-versus-GT3 RS battle before you click the video?

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Corning's newest Gorilla Glass is for smartphone cameras – MobileSyrup

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Corning has unveiled a new Gorilla Glass set, but it’s not for phone displays — it’s for smartphone camera lenses.

According to Corning’s announcement video, traditional smartphone lenses have an anti-reflective coating on the inside that allow light to enter and hit the sensor, producing an image, but these traditional coatings still lose on some of the light that reflects back, never registering on the sensor.

Corning’s new product, the DX and DX+ for camera lenses, reportedly can capture 98 percent of incoming light (in comparison to 90-92 percent with traditional camera glass), allowing for a more detailed and crisp image, all while protecting your smartphone lens from scratching or cracking.

While this sounds wonderful, Corning points out that the glass isn’t something new. DX and DX+ have been used in smartwatches since 2018, but the design has now been modified to meet the demands of a smartphone camera lens, i.e., letting in as much light as possible.

Additionally, Corning demonstrated how the new DX and DX+ hold up durability-wise when put against a standard AR coating and Corning’s regular Gorilla Glass and also claims that the DX+ is near sapphire, which is known for its immense durability.

Although no particular phones with Gorilla Glass DX/DX+ have been revealed, Corning said in its press release that Samsung will be the first client to employ a Gorilla Glass DX lens cover on a future smartphone.

Image credit: Corning Gorilla Glass

Source: Corning

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Dead Space Remake Officially Announced at EA Play – CGMagazine

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After weeks of different rumors and leaks, the Dead Space remake was officially confirmed at EA Play 2021.

The Dead Space remake wasn’t given any kind of release window, but it is in development for next-gen systems only, meaning PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. The game is being built with the Frostbite Engine and is handled by EA Motive, who is best known as the developer of the recent Star Wars Squadrons. The original trilogy was developed by Visceral Games, which was shuttered by EA in 2017.

The announcement didn’t show much at all but presented fans with a short teaser trailer showing a grisly space station as the iconic sounds of Necromorphs echoed in the background. As the camera zooms in Isaac Clarke’s backpack lights up and reveals the words Dead Space. A press release from EA says fans will “experience an improved story, characters, gameplay mechanics.” Phillippe Ducharme, Senior Producer of Dead Space, says the team at Motive has invited fans to give their feedback on the remake ever since the early days of development. With that in mind, it’s not exactly clear how far along in development the Dead Space remake actually is. You can watch the reveal trailer yourself down below.

One of the most prolific survival-horror series of all time, it’s been eight years since the release of the last game in the series, Dead Space 3. The franchise was always known for its nail-biting horror and inventive combat, requiring players to hack off the limbs of enemies in order to both slow them down and kill them. Here’s EA’s description of the first game and remake,

“In Dead Space, Isaac Clarke is an everyman engineer on a mission to repair a vast, sprawling starship, the USG Ishimura, only to discover something has gone horribly wrong. The ship’s crew has been slaughtered and infected by some alien scourge…and Isaac’s beloved partner, Nicole, is lost somewhere on board. Now Isaac is alone with only his tools and engineering skills as he attempts to uncover the nightmarish mystery of what happened aboard the Ishimura. Trapped with hostile creatures called “necromorphs”, Isaac faces a battle for survival, not only against the escalating terrors of the ship, but his own crumbling sanity.”

While Dead Space is coming back, Glen Schofield former executive producer of the series, has gone on to make a brand new sci-fi horror game called The Callisto Protocol.

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