In today's overkill digest newsletter, we look at Disney's partnership with Epic Games, Microsoft potentially ending exclusives, and a bunch of new handheld announcements.
Hello, and welcome to a new edition of the overkill digest newsletter, your newsletter with the best handheld gaming (and then some) reads of the week.
A little teaser for a future digest: We're working on a newsletter exclusive giveaway, so if you own a ROG Ally, stay tuned!
But now, let's get to this week's news.
Big this week
- Microsoft might give up exclusives — This week's talk is all about Microsoft maybe, potentially, possibly getting rid of exclusive games and bringing them to PlayStation and Switch. So far, there has only been smoke with no fire, with Starfield and Hi-Fi Rush rumoured to head to the other platforms, but Xbox CEO Phil Spencer teased an event next week that should cast light on this ongoing discussion. I, for one, am torn. On the one hand, bringing games to where people are playing – and it's clear, it's on PS5 and not Xbox – is a consumer-friendly choice. However, exclusives lead to competition, which leads to better products. So we have to wait for next week's announcements, but I wouldn't be that surprised if the age of consoles is nearing its end.
- Disney invested heavily in Epic Games. Disney decided to buy a chunk of Fortnite developer and Unreal Engine creator Epic Games for 1.5 billion US dollars. This deal marks the start of a deeper relationship between the two companies, and to me, it looks like Disney is planning to hop onto the Fortnite hype to create their own take on the metaverse.
- Orange Pi Neo is a new Linux-powered handheld. The developer team behind Manjaro and hardware manufacturer Orange Pi are teaming up for their take on a handheld Gaming PC. The Orange Pi Neo will be powered by the AMD 7840U (the one used in nearly everything), and it sports a 7-inch 16:10 screen with a refresh rate of 120Hz. It also appears to have trackpads.
- Nexus Mods has crossed 10 Billion downloads. Nexus Mods is probably one of my favourite gaming websites. I visit the site regularly to check what new mods have been released for the games I love to play, and that page is single-handedly responsible for my hundreds upon hundreds of hours in Skyrim.
- The ten most popular Steam Next demos. The Next Fest, where developers showcase their upcoming games, will continue for another day, but Valve has released the list of the ten most popular Demos so far.
- Lethal Company Settings for Steam Deck. The viral indie-hit Lethal Company has taken the internet by storm, so it was only natural for Timo to test-run the game on Steam Deck.
- Monkey Island got a Noclip documentary. Sit down, grab some popcorn and watch this fantastic documentary on the Monkey Island series.
- CRKD's new controller targets collectors. CRKD (Cracked), a new accessory maker, is releasing their second product after their Nintendo Switch grip, which Chris and I tested at gamescom. The NEO S is a collection of wireless controllers, which give me a strong vibe of the original NES controller.
- Go Mecha Ball is an "innovative blend of pinball meets twin-stick shooter". Chris played and reviewed Go Mecha Ball (a game I've never heard of) on Steam Deck, and in his own words, the game "is a rather fun distraction, offering a compelling melding of two genres".
- Development on the Cyberpunk 2077 sequel is in full swing. And CD Project Red announced a few key hirings working on this project, with the most significant signings being Anna Megill (narrative lead on Control and lead writer on the Fable reboot), Alexander Freed (Star Wars: The Old Republic), Dan Hernberg (previously at Blizzard), Ryan Barnard (gameplay director at IO Interactive and Ubisoft), and Alan Villani (technical director for Mortal Kombat). If this isn't an A-Team!
- The AYANEO Pocket S is launching soon. AYANEO's next Android handheld is right around the corner (here is my review of their previous take): The Pocket S is launching soon with the prelaunch site live on Indiegogo. The device will feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon G3x Gen 2 chip, which should be more than plenty even to emulate Switch games when coupled with sufficient memory. I've got to admit I love what this looks like, too.
Et voilà, that's it for this week.
Next week, I plan to test drive AYANEO's new AM02 Mini-PC. So, if you have any questions or want me to test something specific, drop a reply, and I'll get to it!
Thanks, and see you next week!