What has long been rumored has happened: Valve has unveiled a compact gaming console that will rival the Nintendo Switch. Interestingly, the Steam Deck announcement came just ten days after Nintendo unveiled the Switch OLED.
Like most modern game consoles, the Steam Deck is built on the AMD platform – the hardware platform is based on a 7nm APU (probably of the Van Gogh family) with four Zen 2 computing cores and eight RDNA 2 execution units (512 stream processors). The CPU supports multithreading and operates at 2.4-3.5 GHz, the GPU frequency is 1.0-1.6 GHz (performance is 1.6 TFLOPs). The TDP of the APU is 4-15W.
Despite the fact that the APU has only 8 execution units, it should work quite quickly due to the modern microarchitecture RDNA 2 and the use of fast LPDDR5 memory of 16 GB. The storage subsystem of the Steam Deck is interesting. The system storage is a rather slow 64GB eMMC module with PCIe Gen 2 x1 interface. It is complemented by a fairly fast 256GB or 512GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD. The set-top box also received support for “high-speed” microSD cards.
The screen is clearly not the strongest point of the Steam Deck. The console received a 7-inch LCD touch panel with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels with a frame rate of 60 Hz and a brightness of 400 cd / m2.
Other characteristics of the Steam Deck are two microphones and stereo speakers, a USB-C port, a 40 Wh battery (autonomy is 2-8 hours) and support for 45 W charging. The console runs on SteamOS 3.0 and supports all games from the Steam catalog. It also has a PC mode – when connected to a monitor via DisplayPort.
The cost of the basic version (only with the 64 GB eMMC module) is $ 400, the top version (with the eMMC and 512 GB SSD) – $ 650. Pre-orders are already being accepted, with real sales starting in December.
Intel introduced Arc Pro A40 and Arc Pro A50 graphics cards. But these are not the models that ordinary users and gamers are waiting for.
Everyone is waiting for real gaming graphics cards of the Arc line from Intel, but the company is in no hurry. But today, the range of Intel video cards has been replenished with two discrete models at once – Arc Pro A40 and Arc Pro A50. As the name suggests, they are designed for professional use. However, the characteristics are modest, so this most professional application will be limited.
Both models have 6GB of GDDR6 memory, support real-time ray tracing and AV1 hardware encoding, and feature four Mini DP 1.4 ports. Arc Pro A40 has a peak consumption of 50 W, this card is a single-slot version, Arc Pro A50 is a dual-slot version, and its peak consumption is 75 W. Performance in the first case is 3.5 TFLOPS with single precision, in the second – 4.8 TFLOPS. For comparison, the performance of the old Radeon HD 6970 (it came out at the end of 2010) is 2.7 TFLOPS.
Together with discrete solutions, the Intel Arc Pro A30M mobile GPU is also presented – it is in many ways similar to the Arc Pro A40, only there is less memory (only 4 GB GDDR) and the power consumption level is adjustable – from 35 to 50 watts. The new Intel GPUs will appear in off-the-shelf products later this year.
The Nintendo Switch Lite has a cheap competitor. Retroid Pocket 3 Handheld Game Console Launched With 4.7″ Screen, Quad-Core Processor And Android 11
Retroid has unveiled the Pocket 3 handheld game console with a design similar to that of the Nintendo Switch Lite. The novelty is inexpensive ($120 for the version with 2 GB of RAM and $130 for the version with 3 GB of RAM), but the performance is far from impressive.
So, the configuration of the Retroid Pocket 3 includes a screen with a diagonal of 4.7 inches and a resolution of 1334 x 750 pixels (frame rate – standard 60 Hz). The hardware platform is based on the SoC Unisoc Tiger T310 with one Arm Cortex-A75 core at 2.0 GHz and three Arm Cortex-A55 cores at 1.8 GHz. The GPU is PowerVR GE8300.
The console runs Android 11. It is endowed with an HDMI video output (the maximum resolution of the broadcast picture is 720p), a 4000 mAh battery, a standard headphone jack, and a pair of speakers. Sales of new items will start on August 20, while pre-orders are being accepted.
Brewpub Simulator is Coming to Steam
Steam has announced a pub simulator Brewpub Simulator. The game should be released in 2023, but the description, screenshots and system requirements have already been published.
According to legend, the player will have to breathe new life into the old pub, inherited from his grandfather. He opened his small business in the 60s and his craft beer quickly became popular with the locals and the business flourished. And then big companies entered the market, and the pub fell into disrepair. This is where the game begins – the user will have to return the family business to its former glory.
As noted, the user will be able to decorate the pub in accordance with their vision, they will also be able to create their own beer recipes and optimize the brewing process.
As for the system requirements for the simulator, they are very modest: you need a Core i5-2500 processor or more powerful, 3 GB of RAM and a 3D card like a GeForce GTX 780 GTX or Radeon Radeon R7 260X.
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