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Best Steam Deck Accessories for Expanding Your System

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Valve’s new Steam Deck is more than just another handheld gaming system, it’s a palm-size PC that can do a lot of what your desktop or laptop can. Kind of. 

Out of the box, the Steam Deck is an interesting but limited handheld gaming platform. To take advantage of its sometimes hidden features, from a highly functional Linux desktop mode to support for many non-Steam gaming platforms, adding some accessories helps. 

I’ve definitely spent at least half my time to date with the Steam Deck using the device on a stand, with a wireless keyboard and mouse. I’ve spent less time connected to an external display, but I’ve also already ditched my first 256GB microSD card for a larger 512GB version. 

Read more: Steam Deck Surprised Me, in Ways Both Good and Bad 

These are some of my current suggestions for the best Steam Deck accessories. 

SanDisk

Buying the base-model 64GB Steam Deck is like buying the smallest-capacity iPhone. You know you’re going to run out of space — and quickly. Unlike an iPhone, however, it’s easy to add a microSD card to the Steam Deck to use as secondary storage. The Steam Deck supports UHS-I (ultra-high speed) cards of the SD, SDXC and SDHC varieties, and adding one is very similar to doing the same on a Nintendo Switch. My advice is, go for capacity and price. The 512GB card above hit that sweet spot for me, but keep an eye out for sales on other models. 

Josh Goldman/CNET

Doing a lot of digging around in the desktop mode of the Steam Deck, I knew right away I’d need a keyboard. I went with this very compact gaming keyboard that felt like an excellent match for the Steam Deck’s size. It connects via Bluetooth and charges via USB-C; just be aware that it lacks a number pad, and some of the layout is a little scrunched because it’s so small. Read our hands-on with the Razer BlackWidow Mini Hyperspeed.

Sarah Tew/CNET

 

Acer

You can output the video signal from the Steam Deck via the system’s USB-C port (which is also its power port, so keep that in mind). I hooked up a 27-inch 4K Acer Predator X27 display, which looked great, but note that you don’t really need the 4K resolution or G-Sync, so a less expensive display would work, too. With the system’s relatively weak graphics optimized for 1,280×800-pixel resolution, blowing things up to 4K and 27 inches is just going to highlight those limitations. But it also makes working in the desktop mode much easier. 

This exact model is out of production now, so I’m linking to the newest comparable model below. Next I plan on trying the Steam Deck on the new Alienware 34-inch OLED display we’ve just reviewed

The unofficial CNET DIY Steam Deck stand

Best low-cost stand

Dan Ackerman/CNET

Yes, Valve is making its own stand for the Steam Deck that will also act as a docking station. But the date, price and even exact details on that are all TBD. Not wanting to wait, I tweaked some tablet stand designs and created both 3D printed and lasercut Steam Deck stands, perfectly sized to the device. You can download the designs here, and this list of the best 3D printers should get you started making one of them. 

Read more:

I’m still in the process of looking into case recommendations for the Steam Deck, as the included case isn’t great (my zipper got stuck almost immediately), as well as headsets for audio, both wired and wireless.


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Overwatch 2 Beta Begins Tomorrow: Start Time and What to Expect

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Overwatch 2 starts its second beta on Tuesday, June 28, for PC and console players. The beta begins at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and runs through Monday, July 18. Sign-ups are still open for a chance to participate, and you can still get guaranteed access if you’re willing to spend some cash.  

The next beta will be our first look at Junker Queen, a new tank hero who first appeared in posters on the Junkertown map that was released in 2017. Fans have been hoping to play her ever since, and five years later, we’re finally getting the chance. The new beta also adds a new hybrid map, Paraiso. The developers have laid out their goals for the beta, which include testing server capacity and hero balance. 

Overwatch 2 is the sequel to Blizzard’s class-based shooter, featuring two teams of five players fighting over objectives. Overwatch devs announced in June that the game will be free to play and will launch in early access on Oct. 4. The first beta injected a frantic pace into the game, which was a welcome change from the slower, more grinding pacing that’s plagued Overwatch in recent years. The free-to-play PvP element will bring the game more in line with other competitive shooters, like Valorant and Apex Legends.

How to sign up for the Overwatch 2 beta

Anyone can sign up for Overwatch 2’s second beta, but it’s not technically an open beta. The game will add people gradually as it ramps up server capacity, and the first big wave of beta access will happen on July 5, according to the beta FAQ page. Even if you were in the previous beta, you’ll need to sign up again. 

Here’s how to sign up:

1. Go to the Overwatch 2 beta site.
2. In the top right corner, log in to your Blizzard Account.
3. At the bottom of the Overwatch 2 beta page, choose your platform (and region for PlayStation players).
4. Then hit Request Beta Access.

If you want guaranteed beta access on June 28, you can purchase the Watchpoint Pack ($40). In addition to beta access on day one, you’ll also get two legendary character skins, a unique player icon and enough digital currency to buy the first two battle passes.

How do I download the Overwatch 2 beta?

Blizzard hasn’t released details on downloading the second beta, but it should follow the same process as the first beta. Here’s how that worked:

1. Log in to your Battle.net account and navigate to Overwatch on the game launcher.

2. In the bottom left, click the Game Version drop-down.

3. Select Overwatch 2 Tech Beta to install.

4. When the download is complete, hit the blue Play button to start.

Junker Queen spinning her axe

Junker Queen’s ultimate ability helps her close distance and end fights quickly.


Blizzard

Junker Queen abilities

The new beta finally gives fans a chance to play as Junker Queen, a hero we’ve all been excited about and/or thirsting over since she was first teased on the Junkertown map. Here’s what we know about Junker Queen’s abilities, from the Overwatch Twitter account:

New Hybrid Map: Paraiso

The beta also adds Paraiso, a new hybrid map that explores Lucio’s home, including the DJ’s Clube Sinestesia. As with all hybrid maps, players will start by attacking or defending a control point, and if the attackers succeed, players will spend the rest of the map attacking or defending a payload. 

An underground club with light-up floor

Clube Sinestesia is where support hero Lucio found fame as a DJ.


Blizzard

For more Overwatch 2 news, check out everything we learned from the Overwatch 2 reveal event.



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Icebergify: How To Create an Iceberg of Your Most Listened to Spotify Artists

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Been on social media today? Seen those bizarre musical Icebergs floating around in your feed? You’re not alone. Screenshots like this have been doing the rounds today, particularly on Twitter. 

It’s all created via the magic of a website called Icebergify.

Using the data from your Spotify listening habits, Icebergify creates an Iceberg of your most listened to artists ranked by popularity. At the tip of the iceberg? Your favourite “mainstream” artists. Your Taylor Swifts, your Beyonces, your Drakes, etc. The further down you go, the more obscure it becomes. It looks a little like this…

If you want to see your own iceberg, you can head to the website directly. Be warned: it does require your Spotify log-in. 

The Icebergify website was developed by Akshay Raj, a freshman studying Computer & Data Science at Rice University. He says he has no plans to monetize the site or use the data collected — which is limited to your username, Spotify account ID and the top 50 tracks and artists listened to over the past few years. 

How does it work? It’s fairly simple. Icebergify takes your most listened to artists and sorts them according to popularity rankings. Streams, shares, saves, likes, and followers are all taken into account. This is why Beyonce might be at the top of your iceberg, but lesser known artists are at the bottom, beneath the ocean. Also worth noting: It seems like Icebergify is being flooded due to its surprising popularity. Head back later if it doesn’t immediately work.





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Apple’s First Mixed-Reality Headset May Sport New M2 Processor

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Apple’s first mixed-reality headset could come with the company’s flagship M2 processor, just one of the “deluge” of new products the company is expected to unveil in the next year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported Sunday.

The M2, unveiled in June, features redesigned central processing units and a significant memory increase, which would provide a significant boost to the much-rumored headset over the previous M1 chip.

The much-rumored headset incorporating both virtual and augmented reality environments is expected to provide a boon to the gaming industry. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said earlier week that the headset — expected to be announced in January 2023 — would be the most complicated product Apple has designed yet.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been vocal about his excitement about AR. Earlier this week, he explained that the tech industry is still in the “very early innings” of this technology’s possibilities.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities we’ve seen in this space, and sort of stay tuned and you’ll see what we have to offer,” Cook told China Daily.

Other products Gurman expects to debut in the next 12 months include four iPhone 14 models, three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod, and an upgraded Apple TV. 

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read moreApple AR, VR Headset Rumors: WWDC, Release Rumors, M1 Chip and More



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