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Ruben Circelli

Tech & Games Editor, Manager of Tech Section Freelance technology and gaming writer and editor since 2014 and contributor to dozens of sites, including Lifewire, PCGamesN, GamesRadar+, Komando.com, TheGamer, Twinfinite, and much more!

    LATEST ARTICLES

  • Sony's New PS5 Redesign Explained
    Sony launched a new PlayStation 5 in 2021, but you’ll be forgiven if you didn’t even realize this because the console looks the same as the original PlayStation 5 and doesn’t help customers get their hands on a PlayStation 5 any easier. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you’ll need to know about Sony's new PlayStation 5 and if you’ll want to try and pick one of these up over the original release. In late August 2021, a new PS5 went on sale in Australia. The new console was given away, at first, by its unique model number, CF-1102A, never seen before on PS5. Sony didn’t announce a PS5 redesign or do any kind of marketing push in conjunction with releasing this updated PS5 console. This is likely due to the fact that this new PS5 doesn’t have any major new features or  This isn’t particularly unusual for Sony, though, because like PS5, PS4 received a number of redesigns and different iterations outside of the Slim and Pro variants. Sony does this to address subtle issues created during manufacturing and make consoles as easy as possible to mass-produce. Related: iPhone 13 120hz Explained: Is It Worth It? Sony’s new PS5 is the same kind of update. The new PS5 is around 300 grams (or .6lbs) lighter than the original PS5 and comes with a new base stand screw that’s adjustable without the need for a screwdriver. The console is lighter than the original because its internal heatsink has been significantly shrunk down. As you might expect, temperatures on this new console are hotter than they were on the original console, but temperatures are still in normal operating ranges, according to early tests and benchmarks of the new console. Temperature increases are in the range of around 3-5C hotter, according to tests done by YouTuber Austin Evans. More was adjusted in terms of cooling than just the PS5’s heatsink. To help offset the cooling potential of a smaller heatsink, the fan inside the PS5 was tweaked. Blades are now slightly longer and curved, which is meant to help more efficiently dissipate heat inside the console. As mentioned before, temps are hotter in the new console, but this tweak may well have kept the heat increase largely negligible. Related: Why You Shouldn't Buy the iPhone 13 All of the changes to this new PS5, however, won’t make it easier to actually find a console in stock. While PS5 has still managed to become the fastest-selling of all time, outselling every other PlayStation and hitting 10 million units sold quicker than any console that came before, this happened amidst widespread supply issues. Many, many gamers want a PS5 but most cannot find one in stock at retailers either online or offline for the console’s MSRP. Instead, the vast majority of available PS5s today are being sold by scalpers for 2x, 3x, 4x, and even 5x the MSRP of PS5. These issues aren’t caused by PS5’s base stand, heatsink, or fans: microchip shortages are plaguing the world’s economy, making it hard for electronics manufacturers across the globe to source parts and produce products. Modern electronic devices can’t simply ship without all their required microchips, so production is likely to continue to be limited through 2023. This means PS5 supply is likely to continue to be strained, especially considering the extraordinary demand for PS5. Related: Why Are Graphics Cards, PS5s, and Xboxes So Expensive?
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    12 hours ago By Ruben Circelli By Ruben Circelli - 12 hours ago
  • Call of Duty: Vanguard's Minimap Explained
    Sledgehammer Games’ Call of Duty: Vanguard launches this November, and the game recently finished up its alpha and early access beta playtest periods. Gamers have now had the chance to get a taste of what’s to come in Vanguard, and many Call of Duty fans have strong opinions about the direction the game takes its minimap. In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about Vanguard’s minimap. In Modern Warfare 2019, the minimap in-game worked a lot differently from previous Call of Duty games. Though an arcade shooter franchise, Call of Duty has long since flirted with realism, and that’s the direction Modern Warfare 2019 took: enemies that fired an unsuppressed weapon would not appear on the game’s minimap as a red dot. Traditionally, this feature balanced suppressors in-game: the attachment would often cut down on range or bullet velocity in exchange for concealing your position. This is how the system works in Black Ops Cold War: muzzle flash concealment scales all the way up to suppressors with 100% muzzle flash concealment, meaning you won’t appear on the minimap at all when firing a suppressed weapon. Related: Didn't Receive a Vanguard Beta Code? Amazon Says You're Out of Luck Call of Duty: Vanguard is a mix of the two systems: Like Modern Warfare 2019, in Vanguard, firing an unsuppressed weapon will not cause you to appear as a red dot on the minimap. However, while suppressors in general in Vanguard do not interact with the minimap, the subsonic ammo type does. If you use subsonic ammo as an attachment on your weapon, when you fire it you won’t appear as a red dot on the game’s minimap. However, you can only see players firing guns without subsonic ammo on the minimap if you equip the Radar Perk in the game’s Perk 2 slot. Like Modern Warfare 2019, in Vanguard you’ll get to choose from three Perks spread across three different Perk slots. Black Ops Cold War’s Perk Greed Wildcard allowed players to select two Perks from each slot, but this feature won’t be returning to Vanguard, so you’ll have a maximum of three Perks outside of a Specialist system like the one seen in Modern Warfare 2019. Related: Pre-Ordered Call of Duty: Vanguard and Didn't Receive a Beta Code? You're Not Alone This means that if you prefer the traditional Call of Duty minimap where players will appear as red dots if they fire guns without the correct attachment, you’ll have to permanently give up on using any other Perk in the Perk 2 slot spread across all of your loadouts. Overpowered Perks in the sense of Perks that are so good that it doesn’t make sense to really ever not run them have been a mainstay in Call of Duty for quite some time. This is somewhat inevitable, because of the ways gamers always try to play a Call of Duty game. For example, Perks that reduce explosive damage will always be popular because gamers love blowing up people in Call of Duty. Ultimately, for fans of the traditional Call of Duty minimap, it’s a huge upgrade to have a Perk that enables this playstyle as opposed to it not being a supported playstyle whatsoever in Modern Warfare 2019, and since it is an optional thing, you have the choice of playing the game in the traditional way as well as changing things up and play differently. This sounds good to many players, but many others still prefer the game in its entirety to play more familiarly. Related: Call of Duty: Vanguard's New Patrol Mode Explained This comes down to camping and how the game incentivizes players to play. In Modern Warfare 2019, since you wouldn’t appear on the minimap, footsteps were loud, and Dead Silence allowed you to fly across the map completely silently, players were encouraged to play really slowly and wait until someone wandered into their kill-zone. Vanguard’s system encourages less passivity, but it remains to be seen if the community finds these changes enough to sustain the game long-term. Plus, it’s entirely possible the systems in Vanguard will be tweaked and adjusted before release, changing the dynamics of these systems in-game
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    13 hours ago By Ruben Circelli By Ruben Circelli - 13 hours ago
  • Do Emulators Work on Steam Deck?
    Valve’s upcoming console/PC hybrid, and rival to Nintendo Switch, the Steam Deck starts shipping in December 2021. If you were lucky enough to get your hands on a pre-order, you probably have a ton of questions about what the device can and can’t do. In this article, we’ll explain the emulator situation on Steam Deck and tell you if you’ll be able to play your favorite retro games on it.   The good news is here: Emulators of all kinds will work on Steam Deck. The bad news is that they won’t work out of the box. Though, unlike all other consoles, from Switch to PlayStation to Xbox to everything in-between, getting an emulator up and running will be a simple process on Deck. Steam Deck runs SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system, and relies on Proton, a translation layer that allows games not built for Linux to run on Linux. This means that Steam games will work on Steam Deck without any extra work needed, but it means that other programs will require some setup first. Related: Where to Buy Steam Deck: Is It in Stores? Luckily, Steam Deck supports Windows 10. Plus, Windows 11 will be workable on Steam Deck, too, and Windows 11 natively supports Android applications, which will open up a whole new suite of games and apps to install and use on Deck. With Windows, you’ll have access to emulators for essentially every platform you can imagine. The Steam Deck is powerful enough to run emulators all the way up through the Wii U. And for consoles released after the Wii U, it’s less so that the Deck won’t be beefy enough to run them and more so that for modern devices like the PS4 or Xbox One, emulation really hasn’t been developed enough to support really good experiences just yet. While an emulator for a console like the PS2 will be no problem for Deck at resolutions much higher than what the actual PS2 could put out there, for a system like the PS3, though it will certainly run on Deck, performance probably won’t be ideal. Once again, though, this is less of a comment on the Deck and more of a comment on the state of PS3 emulation, which has made a lot of progress in recent years but still isn’t anywhere near perfect yet. Related: Is Steam Deck Upgradeable? Not only will emulators work on Deck, but if you use cloud saving for your emulated games through a service like Dropbox or Google Drive, that will work on Windows on Deck, too. With a Windows installation, Deck can do anything a regular Windows PC can do. And considering the beefy internals of the Deck, it will be able to punch above its weight when it comes to how much the Deck costs as compared to a gaming PC. If Deck is successful and finds its way into the hands of many different people, it’s also possible emulators will get direct Steam Deck support: i.e. optimizations that improve performance on Steam Deck hardware, much in the same way emulators get ported to all kinds of different consoles and computers and optimized for specific hardware/software configurations. You probably won’t be emulating games on Deck the night you pick it up, but with a little work to get Windows up and running on Deck, you’ll be off to the races with emulation, able to play whatever games your heart desires spanning across the console and gaming generations. Related: Does Steam Deck Have an OLED Screen?
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    1 day ago By Ruben Circelli By Ruben Circelli - 1 day ago
  • Didn't Receive a Vanguard Beta Code? Amazon Says You're Out of Luck
    Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Early Access PlayStation Beta ran from September 10th through September 13th, 2021. Players who pre-ordered Sledgehammer’s upcoming Call of Duty on PS4 or PS5 were entitled to a beta code to access to beta early before it goes live for all platforms September 17th through September 20th, 2021.  If you pre-ordered the game on Amazon, though, you may not have received a code, and Amazon won’t be offering anything for the trouble of missing out on the advertised beta. In this article, we’ll explain the situation and what you can expect from a Vanguard pre-order at Amazon. Across the internet, Call of Duty: Vanguard has been advertised alongside its various alpha and beta versions. The Champion Hill Alpha was free to all PlayStation owners; the early access beta was available for PS4 and PS5 gamers who pre-ordered Vanguard; and the upcoming open beta will be available for all gamers on all platforms for free. Related: Pre-Ordered Call of Duty: Vanguard and Didn't Receive a Beta Code? You're Not Alone On Amazon, the Vanguard situation was the same as everywhere else: pre-ordering the game on PS4 or PS5 earned you early access to the game’s beta. The product description of Vanguard on Amazon confirmed this: Pre-order and receive early access to the Open Beta first on PS4 and PS5. The problem is that many who pre-ordered Vanguard off Amazon did not receive a beta code or received a beta code after the beta had already ended. The questions asked about Vanguard on its Amazon listing echo this with many wondering when they could expect their beta code to arrive and many noting that they heard from Amazon that there were problems with Vanguard beta codes going out. Before the beta ended, an Amazon Customer Support representative confirmed there were backend problems with the beta codes and that the team was working on delivering a fix ASAP. Unfortunately, the representative could not give any kind of timeframe, and now that the beta has ended, some are just getting their codes and many still haven’t even received them. Related: Call of Duty: Vanguard's New Patrol Mode Explained There’s more bad news: Amazon is not currently offering any kind of discount, special promotion, or even simply a free copy of Vanguard to any customers impacted by their backend issues delivering beta codes. An Amazon Customer Support representative confirmed that these customers were not being offered anything at this time. So, if you missed out on the beta waiting for a code to be delivered, unfortunately, you’re out of luck. More luckily, though, an Amazon pre-order does not charge your card, or to your chosen payment method, until near its shipping date, so any Amazon Vanguard pre-orders can be canceled at will without any hoops to jump through.   Though if you missed out, don’t get too down, because Vanguard’s open beta is this weekend for all platforms, running from September 17th through the 20th. This beta will also support crossplay between consoles and PC. The open beta will, also, unfortunately not be likely to have a FOV slider on console, but a FOV slider on console will be coming to Vanguard on release. Related: Call of Duty: Vanguard's Combat Pacing Explained
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    1 day ago By Ruben Circelli By Ruben Circelli - 1 day ago
  • iPhone 13 120hz Explained: Is It Worth It?
    Apple recently announced the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro alongside a Pro Max variant of the iPhone 13 Pro. The iPhone 13 Pro comes with one of the biggest new features to the iPhone in a long time: a 120hz display. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about 120hz on iPhone 13. What Is a 120hz Display? To start things off, it’s important to keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of mobile phones on the market and across history have had 60hz displays. This mirrors the longstanding tradition of running televisions and computer monitors at 60hz as well. A display’s “hertz,” abbreviated ‘hz,’ refers to the display’s refresh rate, or how many frames-per-second the screen can display at a given time. For gamers, FPS is a very familiar metric, but if you aren’t familiar, whenever a phone or a tablet or computer is displaying something on-screen, that screen is refreshing itself many times each second. Related: Why You Shouldn't Buy the iPhone 13 With many frames displayed each second, motion appears smooth. This is how video games can feel responsive or simply scrolling through social media can feel extremely smooth when displayed on a high refresh-rate monitor. For computer monitors, 60hz is largely a relic of the past with many monitors offering refresh rates far above 60. 120hz on Phones Like iPhone 13 The same smoothness benefits apply to phones, where much scrolling and gaming alike is done. However, unlike monitors, phones are still mostly stuck at 60hz. To some extent, doubling your hertz from 60 to 120 is avoided because of the additional power required to maintain that many frames-per-second, which can cut down on battery life. In the modern-day, some phones are coming with 120hz displays as battery technology improves and more customers demand better gaming experiences on mobile. Until the iPhone 13, this was only available on Android, and the phones that most often came with a 120hz display were targeted at gamers. Related: Why Are Graphics Cards, PS5s, and Xboxes So Expensive? While a huge win for mobile gamers, 120hz makes simply using your phone and scrolling around the internet much, much more smooth. It also brings with it a boost to motion clarity, cutting down on blur when watching videos. It’s important to remember though that content that runs at or is shot in high refresh-rates is the only content that can actually take advantage of a high refresh-rate display. All told, using an iPhone 13 Pro will feel significantly smoother than even an iPhone 12 Pro, which is a powerful phone. The benefits of a 120hz display may be significant, but this technology isn’t a game-changer for every consumer out there. Many simply don’t care how smooth their phone is, and if you won’t play any mobile games, or don’t take them seriously, the frames-per-second advantages of a 120hz display might well be lost on you. The Cost of 120hz on iPhone 13 This is all not to mention the price: the base model of the iPhone 13 Pro has 128GB of internal storage and retails for $999. Today, 128GB is a fairly small storage capacity, especially considering how iPhone storage capacity can’t be easily upgraded. Related: Is Netflix on Nintendo Switch? When you consider the camera that’s packed into the iPhone 13 Pro, the base model looks even worse: iPhone 13 can record at 4K/30FPS, but it can only record at 1080P/30FPS on the base 128GB variant. The higher-res recording is limited to the 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB models of iPhone 13 Pro. These retail for $1,099, $1299, and $1499, respectively. That’s a lot of money for a cell phone, and the iPhone 13 Pro isn’t even the highest-end model of iPhone 13 Apple introduced: that honor goes to the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which boasts a larger screen than the Pro. The Pro Max comes in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB variants that retail for $1,099, $1,199, $1,399, and $1,599, respectively. The same restrictions apply to the 128GB base model of iPhone 13 Pro Max: you’ll only be able to record in 1080P/30FPS, and with only 128GB of storage you can’t upgrade, you’ll probably want to opt for a variant with a larger storage capacity. Related: Why Is Minecraft So Popular? iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 13: Is 120hz Worth It? While the iPhone 12 hasn’t seen a major, official price-cut yet, as the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pros actually come to market, which is set to begin September 24th, 2021, iPhone 12s will start selling for less. The iPhone 12 line of iPhone is almost as powerful as the iPhone 13 line and comes with many of the key features of the iPhone 13 line. iPhone 12, and iPhone 12 Pro, do not have 120hz displays, however. No other iPhone in history has come with a 120hz display like the iPhone 13 Pros will. So, if a high refresh-rate iPhone is something you’ve always dreamt of, you’ll have to bite the $999 bullet to get a taste of ultra-smooth iOS 15 action. Is a 120hz display worth the price? Unless you’re a tech-enthusiast, a huge mobile gamer, or care a lot about your image quality and have a ton of expendable income, 120hz isn’t likely to be enough of an upgrade all by itself to justify the investment. Though if you last purchased an iPhone a couple years ago and are looking to upgrade to a Pro variant, the iPhone 13 Pro becomes a much more reasonable ask. Related: Where to Buy Steam Deck: Is It in Stores? Apple’s Financing, 120hz, and iPhone 13 Plus, while the startup cost for an iPhone 13 Pro is high, Apple has widely available financing for iPhone 13. This means that as long as you have a decent credit score and ID, you can apply for financing and set up a payment plan with Apple. These payment plans can work with most major US carriers, too. Even if you kit out an iPhone 13 Pro Max and go for the 1TB variant of the Pro Max line, which costs $1,599 all told, you can get away with paying around $66 a month in a two-year contract. This number does not factor in a trade-in either: If you already have an iPhone, especially a reasonably new one, you can cut down that monthly cost considerably.  Nonetheless, Apple’s financing plans aren’t good fits for everyone, and the money you’ll be putting down once the contract is over is still the same ask. Unless you’ve come into the mobile phone market keen on getting a device with a 120hz display, the iPhone 13 Pro probably isn’t for you. Related: Is Steam Deck Upgradeable? Other 120hz Phone Options If this technology does sound intriguing, there are other options you can consider. They won’t come with all the luxury features of iPhone 13, but there are both 90hz phones and 120hz phones out there that won’t break the bank. However, as mentioned before, they won’t be iPhones. And some of the biggest name phones in the high refresh-rate space are designed for gamers, like the ASUS ROG phone.  Many won’t want a phone that looks like it’s built for gamers, but there are still other options out there, like OnePlus Pro phones that look much more like traditional smartphones that also come packed with a 120hz display. The 128GB variant of the OnePlus 8 Pro can be found for as little as $600 today, which is still a lot of money but is much less compared to an iPhone 13 Pro.
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    2 days ago By Ruben Circelli By Ruben Circelli - 2 days ago
  • Why You Shouldn't Buy the iPhone 13
    Apple has announced the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro, which will be available starting September 24th, 2021. The iPhone 13 begins at $799, and the iPhone 13 Pro begins at $1,099. The iPhone 13 is the successor to the iPhone 12, which was an excellent phone and still is to this day. So, many are wondering if the iPhone 13 is worth its asking price. In this article, we’ll explain why the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro might not be worth it, unless you’re a very specific type of person with a lot of expendable income. As compared to the iPhone 12, the iPhone 13 doesn’t offer major hardware or feature upgrades over its predecessor, instead offering incremental updates that definitely improve the experience but not in a massively meaningful way.  The iPhone 12 has 5G support, an OLED display, and three camera lenses. The iPhone 13 has the same features, albeit in improved versions. However, the iPhone 12, today, is still at the top-end of the mobile phone market, beating most of its competitors when it comes to raw power and features. Related: Why Are Graphics Cards, PS5s, and Xboxes So Expensive? As for the iPhone 13 Pro, there is a more meaningful upgrade on offer over the iPhone 12 Pro: 120hz display support. The iPhone 13 Pros will have silky smooth scrolling and gameplay experiences in a way no other iPhone has ever had. However, unless you’re a big mobile gamer, this feature likely won’t alone be able to justify a $1,099 asking price for the base 128GB model. This is how the entire iPhone 13 line is appearing to many: great phones not that much better than the iPhone 12 that also cost an arm and a leg. The iPhone 12 was no budget device and still very much so isn’t, but like it happens every year, once the newest iPhone hits the market, last year’s model will see a drop in price. Whether you want a Pro or a regular iPhone, unless you’re a major gamer, need the very best camera money can buy in a phone, or a tech-enthusiast who just wants to see what the latest release is about, money spent on an iPhone 13 is usually better spent on an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro, after their prices drop when the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro launch. Related: Is Netflix on Nintendo Switch? Plus, it’s important to remember the software upgrades iOS 15 will bring to iPhone 13 over iOS 14, which launched with iPhone 12, will also come to the iPhone 12. Maybe not every feature seen in iOS 15 on iPhone 13 will be available on iPhone 12, but the vast majority will be. Based on everything we’ve seen from the iPhone 13, it will be an incredible mobile phone: super fast, packed with a beautiful display, capable of taking photographer-grade pictures, and able to browse the internet at high speeds. The same, though, can be said of the iPhone 12. If money is tight because there’s still a pandemic raging out in the real world, this piece of tech is probably not an essential buy for the vast majority of customers out there. If you have the money to spare, go for it, and you won’t be disappointed. However, if you’re looking for an efficient way to spend your dollars on a phone, the iPhone 13 probably isn’t the way. Related: Why Is Minecraft So Popular? However, this is based on what the announced features and specs of the iPhone 13 actually are. It remains to be seen how the device will actually handle, and it remains to be seen if there will be issues surrounding supply or the device’s actual launch. Whether or not you should actually pick up an iPhone 13 may change in the future by the time the device is actually in customers’ hands.
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    3 days ago By Ruben Circelli By Ruben Circelli - 3 days ago
  • Where to Buy Steam Deck: Is It in Stores?
    Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck console/PC hybrid starts shipping out to customers in December of 2021. Though, since it went up for pre-order, estimated delivery dates have stretched far into 2022, leaving many to wonder if and when they might be able to pick up a Deck. In this article, we’ll explain if there are other avenues for purchasing a Deck, like in stores, outside of ordering a Deck directly from Valve. The short answer here is no: Steam Deck isn’t currently being sold in stores. Though you can find Steam Deck pre-orders, and inevitably the actual Decks themselves when they start shipping, on eBay for way, way more than the asking price courtesy of the 2020s tech scalpers. However, Valve went on record with the sale of the Deck as trying to combat scalpers as best they could by restricting avenues for purchase as much as possible to allow the most customers possible to order Decks, rather than fewer customers ordering tons of Deck to sell for a profit later. Related: Is Steam Deck Upgradeable? Pre-orders for Deck went smoother than they did for PS5s, Xbox Series Xs, and for the latest NVIDIA 3000-series GPUs, but many were unable to secure a Deck. And many more were able to pre-order a Deck but were given estimated ship dates that ranged far past the initial December 2020 launch. When Decks are no longer in short supply, it’s much more likely we’ll see Decks sold in Gamestops or at BestBuys or other similar retailers. Plus, if other manufacturers start producing Decks of their own, which Valve does support, there’s also a fair chance these products will be sold in more than one place. Ultimately, though, the biggest deciding factor in whether or not we’ll be able to find Steam Deck’s in stores, beyond supply issues, will be the device’s level of success. If tons of people want to buy Decks, Valve will want to make Decks easier than ever to purchase. Related: Does Steam Deck Have an OLED Screen? While the Deck looks promising, offering much more powerful hardware than its competitors for a reasonable asking price, Valve hasn’t had much success producing hardware in the past. This was true for the Steam Controller and the Steam Link, but Valve’s Index has seen much more success than the company’s earliest forays into the hardware market. If you’re looking for a Steam Deck today, or for by launch, you’re not going to be able to line up outside retailers to snag a Deck that wasn’t sealed away specifically for pre-orders. Even through Steam’s site, ordering a Deck won’t get it to you anytime soon. Decks themselves won’t be widely available until sometime in 2022, at the earliest, so don’t expect to see Decks on store shelves anytime soon
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    3 days ago By Ruben Circelli By Ruben Circelli - 3 days ago
  • Is Steam Deck's $399 64GB eMMC Base Model Worth It?
    Valve’s Steam Deck is set to begin shipping out to customers who pre-ordered the console/PC hybrid this December; though, shipping dates range far into 2022 for some. Nonetheless, many are wondering which of the Steam Deck’s three models is the best get and which is the best bang for the buck. In this article, we’ll explain why the $399 base model of Steam Deck isn’t worth the money. For starters, Steam Deck comes in three different SKUs: the $399 base model with 64GB of eMMC memory; the $529 256GB NVMe SSD SKU; and the $649 512GB NVMe SSD SKU. The varieties of Steam Deck are all identical aside from the change in storage, except the 512GB model comes with anti-glare etched glass, while the other two models have the same display without the anti-glare coating. The base $399 64GB is a problem for a number of reasons. First off, eMMC memory is significantly slower than an NVMe SSD. And for modern games that require fast read and write times in addition to lots of bandwidth, this could be a performance bottleneck in some instances. Related: Can Steam Deck Run Windows 11? On top of that, many, many modern games have install sizes far greater than 64GB, and 64GB is the entire storage capacity of the device without an SD card. Then, there’s the SD card situation: this is even slower than eMMC memory and could create more performance bottlenecks down along the hardware chain. Unless you play exclusively indie games, which rarely have large install sizes, then you’ll very quickly reach the end of the base model’s storage. Once that happens, you’ll have to buy an SD card to increase the Deck’s storage capacity. Large-capacity SD cards can still be expensive, and it will quickly become more economical to simply buy a Deck with a larger storage capacity from the get-go. Considering both the storage capacity of the base model of Deck as well as its speed, most consumers will be better served by buying either the 256GB or 512GB model. This will give consumers space to install a variety of games on an ultra-fast storage device without needing to think about increasing storage further. Related: Does Steam Deck Have an OLED Screen? Ultimately, unless you’re an extremely casual gamer without any intention of installing other operating systems or otherwise doing data-intensive tasks on Deck, the $399 base model likely won’t bring enough to the table for you. Most users will be better served by at least picking up the $529 256GB NVMe SSD model.
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    4 days ago By Ruben Circelli By Ruben Circelli - 4 days ago
  • Is Steam Deck Upgradeable?
    Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck console/PC hybrid console starts shipping to customers in December of 2021, and since Valve is marketing the Deck as both a rival to the Nintendo Switch as well as a full-fat gaming PC, many are wondering if, like a PC, the Deck will be upgradeable. In this article, we’ll explain what the Steam Deck upgrade situation is actually like. To answer the question simply, no, the Steam Deck isn’t upgradeable like a traditional gaming PC. However, there is more to the story. First off, the Steam Deck is an open platform in the sense that Valve will be licensing the Deck’s software and operating system to other vendors, so a manufacturer like Dell could source their own hardware and sell a different version of a Deck-style device. If the Deck is successful, it’s likely we’ll see other similar devices to the Deck, and any of these may be more modular than the Deck itself. More importantly, they’ll offer customers different choices of hardware configuration, so upgrading may be less relevant. Related: Can Steam Deck Run Windows 11? Also, it’s important to note the actual Steam Deck likely won’t be impossible to upgrade. Naturally, the Deck supports SD cards, so you’ll be able to increase your storage as you please. But it’s also likely there will be community-created guides on how to replace, say, a Deck’s internal SSD with a larger capacity drive. In terms of software, the Deck is completely modular. You’ll be able to install Windows 10 on it or a variety of other operating systems. You’ll also be able to install Windows 11, even if TPM 2.0 support isn’t completely worked out on Deck by launch, because there are already workarounds for installing Windows 11 on machines without TPM 2.0. Hovering above all of this, though, is the actual hardware that comes packed inside the Steam Deck: with a current-gen Ryzen processor and AMD APU, the Deck is most comparable to an Xbox Series S or current-day gaming laptop. It’s far and away more powerful than a Switch, and likely more powerful than a PS4 or Xbox One, too. Though one-to-one comparisons here become a little more complicated. Related: What Docks Work With Steam Deck? Suffice it to say that the Steam Deck won’t be lacking in power, needing to be upgraded soon after it launches to keep up with the games of today. Plus, with a base model that retails for $399, if another generation of Deck launches in a couple years, that will give gamers more options if they want even more power. In summation, the Deck won’t be a modular device like a PC, even if tech enthusiasts find ways to homebrew all kinds of upgrades on Steam Deck. These kinds of upgrades will likely only appeal to a niche audience of power users and not the average gamer because of how much experience and knowledge would be required to upgrade a Deck this way. All of this is subject to change depending on how well the Deck actually does when it goes on sale. Success will open the door for the Deck, and more upgrades may become possible in the future if the device finds its way into the hands of many different people. Related: Does Steam Deck Have an OLED Screen? Though the Deck starts shipping this coming December, many who pre-ordered the Deck have ship dates ranging far into 2022, so it may be the case that supply will be a major factor in the Deck’s success, as it has been with the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Next-gen consoles and the latest graphics cards continue to be extremely difficult to locate and purchase
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    4 days ago By Ruben Circelli By Ruben Circelli - 4 days ago
  • Does Steam Deck Have an OLED Screen?
    Valve’s upcoming Nintendo Switch competitor the Steam Deck is set to launch later on in 2021, but in the lead-up to launch, many are wondering how it compares to both Switch as well as other gaming PCs. Will the Steam Deck, or any of its models, have an OLED screen? In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the Steam Deck’s display. First off, what is an OLED screen? It’s a type of display that allows for incredibly dark blacks and rich contrast, which makes it a popular choice for manufacturers. Oftentimes, it’s an expensive technology, so it’s still usually most commonly seen at the tech market’s higher-end, but that’s changing day by day. The Nintendo Switch OLED doesn’t bring many improvements with it aside from its OLED screen, which replaces the original Switch’s much more traditional LCD screen, a technology known for far worse image quality than OLED. Related: Xbox Games Pass and Cloud Streaming Confirmed on Steam Deck The Steam Deck, across all three of its models, does not come with an OLED screen. Instead, each model of STeam Deck is equipped with a 7-inch LCD touchscreen, much like the original Switch. While LCD is not as good as OLED, most screens are LCD screens, and you won’t be distracted by annoying poor image quality on Deck. While the Deck may not come with an OLED screen, the device is exponentially more powerful than Nintendo Switch, so it will run games at far higher resolutions and graphical settings. This means games will look and run better on Deck than they do on Switch, by and large. Also, it’s important to realize that Valve is positioning Deck as its own platform, and the door is open for other manufacturers to make Decks, using its proprietary software and operating system, with their own hardware, which could include an OLED display in the future. Related: Is Netflix on Steam Deck? It’s also very possible that if successful the Steam Deck will get an OLED display in a future revision or with the Steam Deck 2, if that ever happens. OLEDs are rapidly coming down in price, and many gamers want to see them in their portable devices, so the future is bright. For the here and now, though, you can expect deeper blacks and richer colors, in terms of the screen, on Nintendo Switch OLED. For those colors, you can expect Deck’s display to look similar to the original Nintendo Switch’s display. Though the Deck will render games differently and at higher fidelities than Switch.
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    7 days ago By Ruben Circelli By Ruben Circelli - 7 days ago