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Valve already has big ideas for the next generation of Steam Deck machines – Eurogamer.net

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“It’s something that, personally as a gamer, I’ve wanted for a long time, right? As soon as you start playing PC games, you’re like, okay, I want something that gives me the full fidelity of experience with really great inputs that I can use in the mobile space. The first time, I think I wanted something like this was back in the 1990s, you know, when I was first playing PC games.”

Gabe Newell is, I think it’s fair to say, very excited about the Steam Deck. After a short delay and much, much excitement, the portable PC is finally here and it’s quite possibly Valve’s most exciting piece of hardware to date. Or the most exciting piece of Valve hardware since the last one, at least – the much-heralded Steam Machines which caused much excitement upon their announcement in 2013 but never really gained a foothold with Valve moved to assure people the platform wasn’t entirely dead just three years after the machines came out in 2015.

The amount of interest in Steam Deck is in stark contrast to the shrug that met the Steam Machines back then, but it’s not really so different in its approach – indeed, the Deck’s simply an extension of the work done with the introduction of Big Picture mode that laid the groundwork for the Machines, and a further, more focussed repositioning of PC gaming away from the desktop.

“I think of everything we try to do as a sort of block,” Newell says of how Steam Machines informed the Deck. “You’re building the wall and you have to build a bunch of the components as you go along. The Steam Controller has had a big impact on our thinking on input technologies and I think one of the big takeaways from the Steam Machine is we came to the conclusion that if we want to push these kinds of initiatives, we really need to do it in-house where we can solve all the problems that we see as being of greatest significance both to gamers and to software developers.”

I’ve spent a few weeks with the Steam Deck and have been impressed with what Valve’s achieved, though the device doesn’t come without some caveats. It’s a fiddly, sometimes unwieldy thing – the fiddliness part of the territory when it comes to PC gaming, and also when it comes to wrangling as much of Steam’s library onto a portable machine. Part of the fun – and frustration – comes from seeing how your back catalogue fairs on the machine, but I wonder how much newcomers to Valve’s ecosystem are being catered for, and whether it might broaden the gaming audience in the same way the Switch did when it first launched back in 2017.

Valve’s sticking to its commitment to review the entire Steam back catalogue when it comes to working on Steam Deck – though by their own admission it’s not exactly realistic, with some games such as VR-focussed ones not making much sense when it comes to the current iteration of the hardware.

“I think if we ignore the fact that it’s a gaming device and just look at it in terms of price performance, and for its CPU and GPU, it’s a great device there,” says Newell. “So I think we’re comfortable, ignoring the fact that it’s a gaming device, that it’s gonna fit in there. But it is a gaming device and that’s where it’s got its most compelling applications.

“One of the things that’s been interesting to us, we’re super hard on the entry level price point, and then our customers come back to us and far and away they’re ordering the most expensive SKU that they can. It’s interesting, these are all early adopters, you know, but they’re saying you should have given us, you know, more storage more, you know, performance, more memory, and we would have probably been buying it. That’s interesting, and that will probably shift as we start to ramp up and catch up to demand, and we’ll see a shift over time to the lower price, sort of more entry level SKUs.”

What’s really fascinating, though, is where Valve see Steam Deck going next. It’s a long-term project – and one with brighter prospects than the likes of the Steam Machines – that could take PC gaming into some interesting places if Newell’s musings on where he sees the next five years of the device are anything to go by.

“Some of the conversations we’re having with software developers are like, okay, this is great – but let’s try to figure out what the next generation of the deck looks like,” he says. “What do we want in terms of solutions for mobile gaming, for mobile PC gaming? Does that open the door to new things? We’ve been a fan of biometrics for a long time in terms of using that, and this is a good way, given where your hand positioning is – that gives you an opportunity to do stuff there.

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Prototyping for Steam Deck began around four years ago, but the device’s genesis came with the introduction of Big Picture mode back in 2012.

“You know, all of these things relate to each other, right? A lot of the technology that we might be using and future versions of that comes, you know, from technology that we have to develop for VR. And then if you flip it around and you look at that as like a highly performant mobile PC gaming device, you sort of say, well, why can’t I have that in a tetherless integrated VR solution?

“With headsets, you have a lot more ability to do things like neuromodulation or the direct sensors and stuff on people’s heads, or you’re looking at information that’s easy to convey through sensors close to somebody’s hands. All of these things tend to snowball over time, and with each one of them we think what are we going to learn? What are we going to help software developers do? How does that translate into building compelling solutions for gamers?

“Longer term, we may end up finding that there are interesting mobile-specific opportunities. If you start putting cameras on these things you may find that there are classes of game experiences that are really dependent on those…. Pokémon GO is a great example of an application that doesn’t make sense in any way for desktop.

“But it’s dependent on a set of facilities that today haven’t really existed in PC gaming, the opportunity with subsequent versions of Steam Deck is to start to look for those kinds of applications or those kinds of capabilities, and see what sort of applications that enables. So once we start having unique gaming technologies in future versions of Deck that’s when it would make a lot more sense to try to come up with custom applications and capitalise on it.”

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The progress made on the software side has been rapid – making it a hard thing to pin down for poor Digital Foundry, but at least suggesting that there’s still much progress to be made on the devices which day one users will be receiving.

Pokémon GO on PC? It’s not quite the end-game I’d anticipated when asking Newell about long-term plans for Steam Deck, but it’s enlightening all the same to see where he sees the device heading, and a logical step for Steam to head into one of the most lucrative and popular areas of gaming. There’s some way to go, as well as a fair few hardware iterations, so it’s not as if it’s happening anytime soon – and Valve’s going to be plenty busy over the next few months just keeping up with demand for its new machine.

“We’re certainly going to ramp up production as fast as we can,” he says. “In fact, that’s a lot of what we’ve been doing over the last six months, working with our suppliers to figure that out. We also fully expect – and one of the great things about the PC marketplace is – hopefully we’re gonna see other people looking at this and saying we can ship products like this as well. So not only are we going to be trying to fill demand, but hopefully other PC manufacturers are going to recognise that the pieces are in place. And the demand for this kind of solution is high enough that they’re going to figure out how to ship similar devices as well.

“The good news is demand is high. The bad news is due to the pandemic, the demand for all sorts of electronics has just skyrocketed – if you talk to Intel or AMD or Nvidia or Ford Motor Company, consumer demand has shifted. If you can’t go to restaurants and you can’t go to movies, you’re gonna buy nicer houses, and you’re going to buy more expensive electronics. There’s just been a huge surge, and it’s just taking a while for the capacity to catch up.”

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Today’s ‘Wordle’ Word Of The Day #334 Answer And Hint: Thursday, May 19th – Forbes

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It’s Thursday—again. No surprise there. Thursday typically falls just after Wednesday, and we just had one of those. Soon it will be Friday. Soon it will be the weekend and then another week and then another Thursday.

Wordle will be with us along the way, with just over six years of 5-letter answers left to solve for the daily word puzzle game. Kind of crazy to think about!

Wordle officially launched last October, but the very first Wordle word of the day was actually released on June 19th, 2021—a day before my 40th birthday. The very first answer for Wordle #1 was ‘cigar.’

This means that we’re actually exactly one month away from the game’s anniversary (and just about one month away from my 41st birthday!) on June 19th, 2022.

In any case, today we’re on Wordle #334. Let’s take a look at the hint and answer, shall we?

Today’s Wordle #334 Answer & Hint

Naturally, there spoilers in this post about the Wordle word of the day answer and hint. One spoiler is the hint. One spoiler is the answer. That makes two—two spoilers! Ah ha ha!

The hint: The type of house you probably shouldn’t throw things in.

And the answer is . . . .

My first guess is a ‘great opening word’ according to Wordle (if still inferior to crane, as always). Normally flare cuts down possible solutions to 98, but today it cut them down to 26.

Plant was a ‘solid choice’ and narrowed possible solutions to just nine, but Wordle Bot didn’t sound very enthusiastic when it told me this. Claim was just ‘pretty good’ despite cutting possible solutions down to just two. Guessing class would have been better—obviously in hindsight!—but I was going for maximum letter-elimination and a word with a double ‘ss’ seemed like a bad idea.

At this point, unbeknownst to your humble narrator, there were just two solutions left and I guessed the wrong one. Slash was “unlucky, but a smart guess” and it narrowed my remaining solutions to just one: Glass.

Which, by the way, is a truly terrible M. Night Shyamalan movie. I really liked Unbreakable and thought Split was also pretty good, but boy oh boy did he screw up the third movie in that sort-of-trilogy. Just a massive miss.

Anyways, have a terrific Thursday, oh my Wordlers! See you tomorrow!

Follow me on this blog for all your daily Wordles, game coverage and TV and movie reviews.

You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook and support my work on Patreon. If you want, you can also sign up for my diabolical newsletter on Substack and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

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Huawei unveils new foldable phone, smartwatches, fitness band: All the details – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Huawei has unveiled its latest foldable smartphone and wearables at its global launch event. The company has launched the Huawei Mate Xs 2 foldable smartphone, Watch GT 3 Pro smartwatch and the Watch D with Blood Pressure and ECG monitoring and the Band 7 for global markets. All these devices were recently launched in China.
Huawei Mate Xs 2 specifications
Huawei Mate Xs 2 features a 6.5-inch OLED display with 1176×2480 pixel resolution when folded and a 7.8-inch OLED display when unfolded. The smartphone is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset paired with up to 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB internal storage.
Huawei Mate Xs 2 runs HarmonyOS 2 and it comes with dual SIM support. The foldable smartphone features a triple rear camera setup with a 50MP main camera, 13MP ultra-wide-angle and 8MP telephoto lens. There’s also a 10.7MP front camera for selfies.
Huawei Mate Xs 2 comes equipped with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and dual speakers. The smartphone is backed by a 4600mAh battery with 66W fast charging support.
Huawei Watch D specifications
Huawei Watch D comes with micro air pumps, airbags and not to forget the blood pressure measurement technology. The company has also incorporated a tension-resistant material in the strap and curved airbag with a butterfly buckle which creates pressure and measures the blood pressure accurately. Along with this, the wearable also comes with an ECG monitor that claims to generate ECG reports in real time.
The Huawei Watch D comes with a 1.64-inch HD display with 456×280 pixel resolution. The device supports Bluetooth 5.1 and it works with devices running HarmonyOS, Android 6.0 and above and iOS 12.0.
The smartwatch comes with IP68 rating which makes it water-resistant. The wearable offers GPS and NFC support. Huawei Watch D promises to offer 7 days of battery live on a single charge.
Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro specifications
Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro sports a 1.43-inch AMOLED display and is powered by ARM Cortex M processor. The smartwatch packs 4GB of RAM and 32GB internal stoarge.
Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro is compatible with HarmonyOS, Android and iOS. It comes equipped with an optical heart rate sensor, AI pressure sensor and temperature sensor. The wearable comes with Bluetooth calling functionality and sports a water and dust-resistant design.
The smartwatch offers more than 100 workout modes and can also keep track of your sleep and daily activities.
The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro comes in two sizes — 46mm and 42mm. The 46mm variant of the smartwatch is backed by a 530 mAh battery and promises to offer up to 8 days of backup on a single charge. On the other hand, the 42mm houses a 292 mAh battery which claims to churn out up to 7 days of battery life in a single charge.
Huawei Band 7 specifications
Huawei Band 7 supports Bluetooth version 5.0 and it is compatible with Android and iOS operating systems. The fitness tracker comes with a 1.47-inch AMOLED display with 194×368 pixel resolution.
The wearable sports a water-resistant design and offer 96 workout modes including 11 professional workout modes such as indoor and outdoor running, cycling, and rope skipping, and 85 more customized modes, including fitness, ball games, and dancing type.
The fitness tracker promises to offer up to 14 days of battery life in a single charge. The device also supports fast charging and with 5 minutes of charge users can enjoy two days of battery backup.

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Why Slots Are More Popular Than Ever in Canada

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Slots have been a mainstay at casinos for decades, with the first slot machine invented back in 1894. They’re popular because of how easy they are to play, as well as the fact that they offer the potential for big wins from small stakes. Over the years, slots have changed a lot, although the key principle remains the same. Players insert a coin and then pull the lever or push the button to spin the reels. When matching symbols appear across one of the pay lines, a win can be awarded.

In Canada, slots can be played at traditional, land-based casinos or online. There are a growing number of online casinos available to Canadian players. It’s this growth that’s fuelling the rise in the popularity of slots. Players can enjoy thousands of online slots from their homes, playing on computers, tablets or mobiles. All online slots can be played for real money, and many can be played for free too. Let’s take a look at why these games are so popular.

Variety

When it comes to playing games, variety is important. Players enjoy having a wide range of different games to choose from, which is one of the reasons why slots are loved by so many. There are hundreds of thousands of different online slots available to play, with new games released each week. Players can usually choose from thousands of different games at most top casinos, with the majority of these being online slots.

All most slots use the same basic idea of matching symbols. There’s a lot of variety in the features they use and how they work. Some slots may only have three reels and three rows, while others may have five reels and seven rows or even more. As the demand for slots increases, developers get more creative with how they design slots, leading to interesting new ways to play.

Basic slots still exist, but a lot of modern slots combine unique designs and bonus features, making them more interesting than ever. This means that very few slots provide the same playing experience, and there are loads of different themes and genres of slots too.

Simplicity

While modern slots sometimes include new bonuses and features, the basic premise is always simple and easy for players to understand. All you have to do is choose your stake and press spin to start playing. Unlike some other casino games, you don’t need to use any strategy or make decisions. You just spin and wait to see if you’re a winner.

The simplicity of slots makes them easy to play and a lot of people find it relaxing to spin the reels. As a result, they’re popular with all kinds of casino players. Using features such as autoplay make it even simpler, as you can set up the game to play out a certain number of spins.

Big Wins

Slots may be simple to play, but that doesn’t stop them from being exciting. The excitement comes from the fact that it’s possible to land big wins, even when you’re playing with small stakes. This is especially true of jackpot slots. These slots offer jackpots, which can be worth thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Although the chance of winning jackpots is lower than with regular slots, they’re very popular for obvious reasons.

Not all slots offer big wins of course, but the payouts are generally higher than in some other casino games. Still, it’s always important to manage risk and ensure that you’re playing responsibly. Never bet more than you can afford to lose, and set a budget so you don’t get carried away.

 

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