In today's overkill digest newsletter, we talk about the new Pokémon with Guns, a new AYANEO product, Microsoft's Xbox exclusivity, and more.
Hello, good morning, and welcome to a new edition of the overkill digest newsletter.
If you’ve been a regular reader of this newsletter (first of all, thank you!!!), you may realize some things have changed. Together with Chris, we went back to the drawing board and decided to change how overkill digest works. Instead of opening with an editorial, this newsletter will focus on what’s in the name: Helping you digest the most important news of the wider handheld gaming ecosphere.
So, the focus will be on summarizing and unearthing gems for your reading pleasure. Be it the most important news of the week from overkill or elsewhere, the best reads, or just a fun video or two, I aim to deliver everything you may want to read in any given week in 5 minutes or less.
As for the editorial, we will turn it into its own product in the future. I will, of course, keep you in the loop.
But now, let’s get to it.
Big this week
- "Pokémon with Guns" is a wildly successful game. Palworld launched seemingly out of nowhere this week, and has been wildly successful, reaching over a million concurrent players on Steam in its launch weekend (Timo is checking how well this runs on Steam Deck). However, it only took a few days for the first controversy to appear, as it looks like they were more than just a bit inspired by Pokémon.
- AYANEO AM02 Mini PC. A new week, a new AYANEO announcement. (Yes, I know how ridiculous this sounds.) The AM02 is AYANEO’s second mini-PC, and like its brother (review here), was inspired by a classic, the Nintendo NES. The AM02 comes with an AMD 7480HS, a beefy chip, and will start at $549 for early bird pricing. I’m intrigued by this product and surprised by its price, as I expected it to start at $799. I have also been wondering if pairing it with an eGPU might replace my Gaming PC. I’m planning to find out.
- Microsoft apparently plans to release Xbox exclusives on other platforms, and people are angry. There are ongoing rumours about Microsoft planning to release some of its console exclusives (Sea of Thieves and Hi-Fi Rush) on the Nintendo and PlayStation Store. And while I don't know if this is typical console-war-fanboyism, it's clear that people are not happy about this rumour. Jez Corden from WindowsCentral thinks they are right to feel this way. I don't know yet where I stand in this discussion. On the one hand, I hate having to buy every console on the market to play every game I want to play. On the other hand, I understand how exclusivity forces developers to create better games to compete. Then again, I play primarily on handheld PCs, and so far, we've been lucky with most publishers releasing games on PC sooner or later.
In other news
- Everything announced at the Xbox Developer Direct. On Thursday, Xbox, aka Microsoft, gave us more information on that new Indiana Jones game, showed new footage for Hellblade 2, teased Avowed, a new game by Obsidian (The Outer Worlds, Fallout: New Vegas), introduced a strategy game called Ara, and allowed Square Enix to show us Visions of Mana.
- A PlayStation 5: Tablet Edition. Imagine being so skilled that you can rebuild a PS5 as a tablet. Well, one YouTuber has done just that, and I kinda wish he'd sell this to me.
- Baldur's Gate 3 Updated Settings for Steam Deck. I forgot to share this last time, but Timo updated his Baldur's Gate 3 settings guide for the Steam Deck. And in totally unrelated but related notes: I've been eyeing to rebuild a Commander's Deck focusing on Baldur's Gate 3. Can any seasoned Commander players tell me if this is any good?
- More 2TB microSD cards. Another memory maker has announced a 2TB microSD card. There’s no pricing yet, but knowing that SanDisk’s 1.5 TB card is a whopping $150, I expect this to hit the price point of 200-250 USD.
- Buy Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, get Remake Intergrade for free. I'm very hyped for the second entry in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake Trilogy. The game is launching in February on PS5 (timed exclusive). If you haven't played the first entry, you can get it for free by buying the Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Twin Pack for $70 on the PlayStation Store. It immediately unlocks the first game, giving you enough time to finish it before part two drops.
- The OneXPlayer X1 launched on Indiegogo soon. It looks like the MSI Claw is not the first handheld to launch with one of the new Intel 155H chips.
- The Cult of Lamb Sins of Flesh Update is out. I played through most of Cult of Lamb over the holidays on the Steam Deck OLED. It's a great game, and more content is very welcome.
OK, that's all for this week. I hope you like the new format. You can always send me feedback, suggestions or things you'd like me to link in a future edition of the overkill digest newsletter (especially if you created them yourself).
And with that, happy Sunday.