We sadly won’t be playing Warhammer 40,000: Darktide this year.
Warhammer 40,000: Darktide developer Fatshark has revealed that the game’s release date is being pushed back to the spring of 2022. Darktide never had a solid release target before, but it was expected this year.
The reason for this delay is one too common in the games industry: the ramifications of the coronavirus. Fatshark said building the game during the pandemic has been a challenge, and it needed more time to deliver a quality product at launch.
In particular, Fatshark said the extra time will be used to polish the game, and start early on systems that will allow the developer to better deliver post-launch support for “years to come”.
Valve announced a new thing, and as always that meant the internet lit up like a switchboard, only with opinions instead of electricity. First we got the obvious out of the way: praising Valve for doing what Nintendidn't, dubbing the Steam Deck the Switch Pro. As Hard Drive wrote, "At press time, a full technical spec sheet for the Switch Pro also revealed that it would include a long-awaited Switch feature of functional analog sticks." Oof.
Those who weren't renaming the Steam Deck the Switch Pro were arguing over whether Gabe Boy or Gabe Gear was a funnier alternate name (the answer is Gabe Gear, obviously). The memes came thick and fast, with Fighting Games Daily turning the Russian anti-alcohol HET! poster into anti-Switch propaganda, while Classic Mac collector Dana Sibera, who normally tweets about retro hardware, mocked up an image of a version of the Steam Deck with an Atari 2600 aesthetic that actually I would quite like to be real.
Steam Deck CRT, with deluxe woodgrain. pic.twitter.com/iv6Jrg0LOQJuly 15, 2021
The professional videogame industry pundits weighed in with their Serious Commentary, Daniel Ahmad praising the Steam Deck because the "price point is aggressive" and it's "a fairly open device that has desktop / dock capabilities and the ability to install third party software and storefronts". Jason Schreier took doubters to task, pointing out that, "Steam Deck skeptics might be undervaluing the huge audience of people who play most games portably (dad of toddler here!). For years every indie game announcement has been met with "When is it coming to Switch?" If this thing feels great (big if), nobody needs to ask that anymore".
Jeff Grubb explained why 720p resolution for a screen you're holding in front of your face is fine actually, and Lawrence Sonntag simply pointed out, "it'll be the cheapest point of entry to PC gaming in general."
PC games are cheap as hell AND you could probably just spend the rest of your life playing weird stuff off Itch for free.July 15, 2021
Umurangi Generation developer Tali Faulkner provided a voice of skepticism, noting that activities like "modding, hardware building, chatting with mates on Discord while you play, watching Youtube on the side" are central to PC gaming, and "I don’t see anyone doing that on a bus." Chris Kramer, who works in videogame PR, was another naysayer: "The only way I'd purchase a Steam Deck is if Valve gave me a $100 refund for the absolute garbage Steam Controller I purchased. Worst piece of plastic I've burned money on since the 3DO."
Meanwhile, The Behemoth, the studio behind Castle Crashers, gave everyone an exclusive first look at its game running on Valve's new hardware, and Radiator developer Robert Yang joked "the only positive thing about this is that valve's haptics will usher in a new era of teledildonics".
More helpfully, modder, DSFix creator, and PC Gamer contributor Durante broke down Steam Deck specs in a straightforward way by making some console comparisons, explaining that "The GPU is about as fast in raw performance as a base PS4, but it's a much newer and more efficient architecture" and the "really neat" 16GB of RAM is four times what the Switch has.
IGN's Simon Cardy had an angle that was presumably inappropriate for the work account, saying, "[I'd] be worried about the weight of that Steam Deck hurting my wrists if I hadn't just spent 18 months locked inside my house." Finally, Gamasutra's Alissa McAloon used an Elgato Stream Deck, two joycons, and some masking tape to make the Steam Deck we've got at home.
incredibly thrilled to check out valve’s new steam deck today pic.twitter.com/QedveLHyBeJuly 15, 2021
Steam Deck is more or less a Switch for PC gamers: A bulky, AMD-powered handheld that plays all your Steam games, and can be tinkered with if you want to install other stores or even wipe SteamOS and install Windows. The cheapest version costs $399, and Valve is going to start shipping them in December.
Gabe Newell thinks that if Valve has done this right, it should sell "millions" of Steam Decks. Even Epic CEO Tim Sweeney is a fan. Several PC Gamer staff members plan to buy a Steam Deck. Others, however, are asking: Why?
Not all of us see the value in Valve's mobile PC gaming machine; some think it's absurd. For others, it's exactly what they were waiting for. Here's what resulted when Morgan (pro-Steam Deck), James (pro-Steam Deck), and Tyler (anti-Steam Deck) attempted to hash out their differences:
Pro: It's a handheld with my Steam games on it. I have hundreds of games already in my library. Now they're all portable without a choppy cloud stream. Why wouldn't I want that? —Morgan Park, Staff Writer
Con: Because playing Steam games with trackpads on a 7-inch screen sounds bad. Anyway, don't you have a smartphone? A tablet? A Switch? You can play games on those. —Tyler Wilde, Executive Editor
Pro: Phones don't have Baldur's Gate 3 on them! Phones and tablets are good gaming devices, but this thing can run Control and Jedi: Fallen Order, which my iPhone 7 Plus couldn't dream of. —Morgan
Con: Even if it is a good experience, enjoy the four or five hours of playtime you get. Maybe less. A maximum eight-hour battery life isn't promising. —Tyler
Pro: You can plug it in. And besides, who's playing four continuous hours of Hunt: Showdown beneath the old oak tree in the town graveyard? Most of my desk-based PC sessions stay under two hours, and my portable sessions will probably be shorter. —James Davenport, Editor
Con: If we're plugging it in all the time, then why not just get a gaming laptop? You can use it for work or school or for writing your spec script about a haunted oak tree and emailing it to Netflix, and it also has all your Steam games on it. A Razer Blade 14 is significantly more expensive, sure, but if you're thinking of dropping $650 on a 512GB Steam Deck, I feel like you're on your way there. —Tyler
Pro: I don't want to bring a gaming laptop to a bar. My biggest problem with PC gaming is that it's usually tied to a desk in an isolated room away from friends and family, and the last thing I wanna do after working at a desk all day is stay sitting to play some games. Once I clock out, I fill my backpack with stuff I might wanna dip into if the occasion arises: books, swimming shorts, and now, a whole-ass gaming PC. I like the idea of a more ambient PC gaming lifestyle, where I can hop on my Deck to check out the latest Baldur's Gate 3 patch while sipping a beer at a dive bar while waiting for some friends, or poke at an Elden Ring boss on the train. Spending endless evenings glued to my desk just for a hobby makes me reel in abject horror if I know I can just bring the hobby with me. —James
Con: I don't really want to game at a bar. Maybe I just don't care about gaming outside of my home, which I suppose is all I needed to say to explain the rift between us here. I'm down to put in a few rounds of Hearthstone at the coffee shop, but I'd use a multi-purpose device like my phone or a laptop. Carrying around a Steam handheld (which I'd probably have to really tinker with to get Hearthstone onto, by the way), feels like a commitment to going outside for the purpose of looking at a screen, and seems unnecessary to me. —Tyler
Pro: You can use it in bed, or on your couch, too. Like I do with my Switch… sometimes. —Morgan
Con: I get the appeal of leaving your desk, but a $400-plus hunk of screen with the games I already have somehow doesn't feel like the best solution. I ought to be pushing for Nintendo and Sony exclusives on PC, I know, but seeing as they're not on PC (not entirely, at least), it makes more sense to me to get a console if you want to create more gaming opportunities away from your desk. —Tyler
Pro: We're forgetting that this isn't just for existing PC gamers. $400 is one hell of a deal for an entry level gaming PC that just works. We could get stuck in the weeds debating the value of console exclusives, but the fact is Steam has more games, better games, and cheaper games than the other platforms. And all for the price of a console. I can just point my nephew at it and say go. —James Davenport
Con: If it works. Valve's hardware has been hit and miss. Remember Steam Machines? (Yeah, that's right, I have cons, too.) —Morgan
Con: Whoa, double con. But I have to concede that James makes a good point up there: This device is clearly not for me, but it is an interesting proposition for someone who doesn't already have a gaming PC, but wants to play Steam games. They can use it like a console with the dock. (Hey, wait a minute, it's a Steam Machine!) —Tyler
Pro: One last thing: Grip buttons, baby. Everybody's dwelling on the front trackpads that might suck, but it has four back grip buttons that can be mapped to anything. Those will be handy in so many games, especially shooters like Doom Eternal. —Morgan
Con: Know what else is handy in shooters like Doom Eternal? A thing you slide around on your desk. —Tyler
Pro: Then plug in a mouse, you sourpuss. It can do that too. —Morgan
Pro: And maybe there'll be fewer people hounding developers about Switch ports? One can hope. —James
Next week's EA Play Live showcase won't feature any new Star Wars games, the publisher has confirmed, adding to a list of confirmed no-shows including Dragon Age 4 and the new Mass Effect game. That doesn't mean EA doesn't have Star Wars games planned though: "all of us look forward to celebrating with you next year when we share our vision for the Galaxy far, far away," the EA Star Wars Twitter account promised.
EA held the exclusive right to develop Star Wars games until January, when Disney announced the revival of Lucasfilm Games. Shortly after, Ubisoft announced an open-world Star Wars game in development at Massive Entertainment. That won't slow down EA's Star Wars interests though, with the publisher quickly assuring that it'll continue to develop games for the series.
Nothing is confirmed, but Respawn is currently recruiting for roles on its Star Wars team, pointing to a possible sequel to Jedi Fallen Order. Earlier this year rumors circulated on Reddit that a third instalment in the modern Star Wars Battlefront series is in development at DICE.
At this stage, with some of EA's more exciting forthcoming games ruled out for the showcase, it looks like EA Play Live will be pretty heavily focused on Battlefield 2042, EA Sports titles, and maybe some Apex Legends news. A Dead Space reboot is also heavily rumored.
EA Play Live takes place on July 22 at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST, or at 3am on July 23 in Australia.
After the announcement of the Steam Deck, Valve's take on a handheld PC that can play anything in your Steam library without port work, I'm running out of reasons to ever give Nintendo money again.
With everything the Steam Deck purports to do, the reasons I maintain for owning a Switch are dwindling, to the point where I just wouldn't buy one if I didn't already have one. We're down to three: Mario, Metroid, and Zelda. Before the Steam Deck, I might've included the novelty of playing a few choice indies in bed or on some cool grass.
But based on what we know about it so far, nothing else about the Switch stands up to the Steam Deck, and the open nature of the Deck only highlights how slow and stubborn Nintendo's hardware, software, and online networking have been for about as long as I can remember. A new Zelda game every couple years just isn't worth buying a low-spec tablet for anymore, so if the Deck does everything Valve says it will and well, I'm putting Nintendo on ice for good.
Steam Deck plays more games, better games, and for less money
Nintendo will always have its first-party games to lean on, but that's literally all it has anymore, not just in the console market but in the handheld market, which has been Nintendo's turf for decades. The Steam Deck even mirrors Nintendo's usual hardware gimmickry, slotting into a dock for play on TVs or monitors.
Your Steam purchases will always be there too, playable from here into the end of modern civilization on whatever can run SteamOS. Just think about it: the Deck can run every Steam game. Do some rough math and add up the cost of every game in your Steam library. That's how much you don't have to spend on the Switch to take those games with you. I'll have over 1500 games to play in bed or at the park or at bar, day drinking while noodling around with the latest Baldur's Gate 3 update, from day one.
It makes the thought of buying Skyward Sword a second time, a 10-year-old game and one of the lesser 3D Zeldas, at $60 truly sting. It's straight up mean, especially when you think about all the classic games Nintendo is sitting on that you can't play on the Switch today. Wild, to think that I'm better off emulating Metroid Fusion on a PC—also possible on a Steam Deck, more on that in a minute—than ever expecting it to release on a Nintendo system ever again
Anyone can find the essence of Nintendo's games on PC pretty readily. Hollow Knight is a better Metroid game than Super Metroid. Fire Emblem's tactical battles and melodrama are right there in Wildermyth and XCOM. There are a dozen great platformers on the PC for every Mario game, from 2D greats like Super Meat Boy and Celeste to 3D takes like A Hat in Time and Psychonauts.
The systems-driven Breath of the Wild is basically an open world expression of the immersive sim, which you can play the entire history of on PC. Deus Ex, Prey, Cruelty Squad, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, and dozens more. Animal Crossing is covered by The Sims on PC, with indie spins on the life sim genre en route via Ooblets and Hokko Life. Advance Wars has Wargroove, Into the Breach, and Valkyria Chronicles. Pokemon has Monster Hunter Stories 2 and TemTem. There isn't a single Nintendo game that doesn't have an equal on PC.
But the best part? Steam games are far more affordable than Nintendo games. Nintendo's first-party games rarely dip below 50% off, even years after release. Any game I already own and want to play on the Switch means buying the damn thing again, often at a higher price than on PC. Today, it costs $180 to buy Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses, all released over a year ago.
Compare that to the last Steam sale, where I put together my own bundle of PC Gamer's Game of the Year winners over the last eight years for $100. Whether you buy the Deck's base model at $400 or the 512GB model at $650, the OLED Switch at $350 really isn't much cheaper, and you'll make back the difference several times over through what you save on games.
The Deck has better hardware, software, and online features
It's difficult to remember playing games without a vibrant social group to hang with in-game or on Discord, but I often do remember because every time I play a Nintendo game I'm punted back to isolated 1998 gaming. I'm still in awe of Nintendo's total fumbling of basic online functionality in 2021, a year where fridges and picture frames have better ways to talk to friends.
With the Steam Deck there's no need to pay for online functionality, not that Nintendo's online services are useful to begin with. To chat with friends while playing Switch games, you need to use Nintendo's app on a smartphone. Adding friends requires exchanging what amount to phone numbers. There aren't any third-party apps like Discord to install either. Nintendo locks their hardware down, masquerading limitations as conveniences. I have no hope of ever playing a game with my friends on a Nintendo console. Xbox Live was doing it better back in 2004.
Meanwhile, the Deck does everything the Steam client does: voice chat and text chat, friends lists with custom tagging and sorting features, groups to join and curators to follow. In Steam I can easily invite friends to games, stream my games to them, or even play certain games with them remotely.
And if I don't like what it's doing, Valve confirmed that the Deck can handle pretty much anything that can run on a PC. You can browse the web, watch Netflix, install Windows, play Fortnite via the Epic Games Store, talk with friends on Discord, play all the games you can't play on a Switch but should be able to with emulators, and so on.
Not that the Switch could handle all that stuff anyway. The Switch isn't a very powerful system, and every purchase requires some research beforehand to make sure I'm gonna be okay with whatever framerate and hitching the reviewer runs into. Games that run beautifully on low-spec PCs run horribly or look awful on Switch, like Bloodstained and The Witcher 3. The hardware was surprisingly capable in 2017, but Nvidia's custom Tegra processor hasn't aged gracefully.
Yeah, I've seen Monster Hunter Rise, so clearly it can handle plenty of great-looking games, but there's no denying the Switch has a low ceiling. Even Nintendo's own The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening has horrible frame drops. Some companies are selling streaming-only versions of their games in the store because the system simply can't handle them. I'm trying to imagine purchasing a license to beam Hitman 3 and Control into my Switch, getting pissed at spotty wi-fi and squinting to read the tiny text artifacting from connection hiccups.
The Deck's hardware should place it near the power of a PS4 or Xbox One, though we're curious to see how it handles more demanding games like Hunt: Showdown or Red Dead Redemption 2. Valve says it can play "the latest AAA games", so we'll have to take their word for now. Either way, with those specs it ought to handle the bulk of the best games over the last decade or two without issue. A couple short clips accompanying the announcement show Doom Eternal and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order looking nice, which is a pretty good indicator of what to expect. It's all looking much better than what I play on my Switch, at least.
The Deck is open to whatever peripherals work on your PC too. Bluetooth functionality means wireless headsets are a go, and a couple USB-C ports mean I can bring my fancier wired headset to bed too. Docked or not, you can plug in a mouse and keyboard, Xbox controllers, PlayStation controllers, and, yes, the Switch Pro controller. I won't have to buy any ridiculously priced proprietary accessories to get the most out of the Deck. It's a damn computer, it's in your lap, and it doesn't cost a fortune. Valve finally made a portable PC I actually want.
I'm not saying the Steam Deck will flat-out replace the Switch. The nieces and nephews of the world don't want or need a bulkier system that doesn't run Super Smash Brothers and weighs more than their head. But for hobbyists that aren't married to Nintendo exclusives, don't want to buy every game twice, and are dying to play PC games anywhere but a desk, the Steam Deck is looking like a dream.
With the controller, the game now also supports haptics, but, should you not be interested in trigger haptics, you can turn them off in the game’s setting under the “Controller” tab (thanks, reddit  ).
Today’s update also includes the 6v6 map Rush, new weapons, new multiplayer modes, new league play rewards, prestige ship content, another operator, and more.
And also, there’s the Zombies content for the game, Mauer Der Toten, and later in the season, a more youthful version of Requiem’s Grigori Weaver will become a playable Operator in Zombies, multiplayer, and Warzone in the upcomingTracer Pack: Weaver Operator Bundle in the Store.
Other updates are also planned for Dead Ops Arcade 3, including the new first-person solo Advanced Start playlist, the addition of “Mama’s” “Armory Basket,” plus several gameplay adjustments and stability fixes.
Christopher Judge, best known to gamers for his portrayal of Kratos in God of War (although he'll always be First Prime of Apophis to me), is joining the Marvel's Avengers cast as the voice of Black Panther. The new character will be added as part of the War for Wakanda DLC that's set to arrive in August.
According to an EW report, Judge was initially hesitant to take on the role, saying he "turned it down straight away" when it was first offered because of the legacy of Chadwick Boseman, who earned acclaim for playing the character through four Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Boseman died in 2020 four years after being diagnosed with colon cancer. Judge eventually relented, however: "My mother and my children said if I didn't do it, they would disown me."
"To be quite honest, I was fearful of being compared to what Chadwick had so wonderfully done," Judge said. "The only way I could really wrap my head around it was to not even attempt a voice match, to let my performance stand on its own. I put all that into it and hopefully people like it."
The effort to ensure Judge's performance stands on its own is being aided by Evan Narcisse, writer of the 2018 Rise of the Black Panther series, who served as a narrative consultant on the War for Wakanda DLC. "I want to double down on the idea that this is its own iteration of the Black Panther mythos," Narcisse said. "Even if you know the comics and can quote the movie by heart, there are still going to be some surprises."
"Chadwick's performance was somebody who had more questions about how to perform the role of Black Panther and king. This version doesn't have those questions. He already thinks he has all the answers. I think one of the cool things in this expansion is there's tension between him and [his sister] Shuri like we haven't seen before about how best to move Wakanda forward."
We’re pleased to welcome Evan Narcisse (@EvNarc) as our Narrative Consultant on the the War for Wakanda Expansion.Meet him on our livestream this Friday, July 16 at 10:30AM PT! Reply here for any questions you may have for him.📝 https://t.co/kRf93wAT37 pic.twitter.com/8TRhhFtEkhJuly 15, 2021
The big question, of course, is whether the addition of Black Panther and the Wakanda setting will spark new interest in Marvel's Avengers. Despite its pedigree (which, to be clear, is based on the comics, not the movie franchise), the game has not attracted a significant number of players: As indicated by Steam Charts, its monthly average concurrent player count was barely over 400 in February 2021, less than six months after it launched. There was a bounce in March following the release of the Hawkeye DLC (which was actually quite good) but not enough to move the average player count over 1,000, and by June it was back down to just 578.
Fraser opined in March that a possible move to free-to-play (which still hasn't happened—Marvel's Avengers remains a premium-priced game) wouldn't be enough to save Marvel's Avengers, because "it's a solution to a problem it doesn't actually have": The issue isn't price, it's that the fun ends when the campaign does. We'll find out in August whether War for Wakanda addresses that shortcoming. A release date hasn't been announced yet, but Judge, Narcisse, and War for Wakanda narrative lead Hannah MacLeod will reveal more about the expansion during a Twitch livestream beginning at 10 am PT/1 pm ET on July 16.
QuakeCon will once again be an all-digital event this year, and it will take place in August.
The online event QuakeCon at Home is back and it will kick off August 19 and end on August 21.
During that time, you can expect livestreams featuring updates on existing and upcoming games, tournaments, charity fundraising, puppies (daw!), giveaways, and more.
The team behind the event is also bringing back the Virtual BYOC via Twitch Teams to help bring the QuakeCon community together through games once again.
Here are some QuakeCon 2021 highlights:
Global Stream – QuakeCon will officially kick off Thursday, August 19 at 2pm ET. The multi-day event will include special influencer streams, Bethesda’s own Community teams from across the world, developer appearances, and game updates – all streaming in support of charitable causes. The QuakeCon Staff will also be producing a slate of exclusive content for the community. Stay tuned for more info, including the full schedule, in the coming weeks.
Official QuakeCon Twitch Team – Playing and sharing games with friends in the BYOC is the core of QuakeCon, and this year the global QuakeCon community will once again unite and connect through the official QuakeCon Twitch Team. The Team will celebrate QuakeCon, play and share games, and help raise money for the QuakeCon-supported charities. Some players will be featured on the QuakeCon Twitch Team page. If you would like to be included, you can sign up here.
QuakeCon Discord – The community can join us in the QuakeCon Community Discord server. Make new friends, play new games, and experience Peace Love and Rockets from the comfort of the couch or gaming station.
Charity Initiatives – Raising money for charities continues to be a key component of QuakeCon. The QuakeCon family has made a huge impact on local, national, and international groups, and we’re excited to keep things rolling this year! Our virtual QuakeCon attendees will be able to donate to organizations directly from the official QuakeCon Twitch stream, including Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, The Trevor Project, and UNICEF.
The annual animal charity tee-shirts are also back, and this time, there are sweatshirts. Custom Ink will split all profits from the sale of these shirts between QuakeCon’s long-time Dallas-based animal adoption partner, Dallas Pets Alive, and FOUR PAWS, a global animal welfare organization.
Valve unveiled the Steam Deck portable PC today, a sweet piece of handheld hardware with some predictably stiff price tags: $399 for the 64GB unit, $529 for the 256GB, and $649 for 512GB. Speaking to IGN, Gabe Newell said Valve is actually being "very aggressive" on the pricing, because finding the right balance between price and performance "is going to be one of the critical factors in the mobile space." But he emphasized that performance was Valve's first and foremost concern.
"I want to pick this up and say, 'Oh, it all works, it's all fast'," Newell said. "And then price point was secondary, and painful. But that was pretty clearly a critical aspect to it. The first thing was the performance and the experience, [that] was the biggest and most fundamental constraint that was driving us."
And despite the high cost (which, to be fair, doesn't strike me as entirely unreasonable for what is essentially a full-on PC packaged like a Nintendo Switch), Newell has pretty great expectations for Valve, and portable PC gaming as a whole.
"Our view is, if we're doing this right, we're going to be selling these in millions of units, and it's clearly going to be establishing a product category that ourselves and other PC manufacturers are going to be able to participate in," he said. "And that's going to have long-term benefits for us. So that's sort of the frame in which we're thinking about this."
"We don't have some tie-in ratio—we don't say, 'Oh, and then we have to sell eight games for each one of these, otherwise it doesn't make sense.' Our calculus is more, 'Is this the right product, and is it a great way to test out the assumption that there's a huge amount of value, both to game players and game developers, to extending the PC ecosystem in this direction. That's the real test, more than anything else."
Reservations for Steam Deck purchases will open on June 16, and units are expected to begin shipping in December. You can find out more about the unit, and put your name on the list if you're interested, at steamdeck.com.