This edition of the Geek News Brief includes stories about Valve's Steam Deck, Indiana Jones 5, and Loki.

Host: Rob Logan [Twitter] [Twitch]

Valve’s Steam Deck, Antonio Banderas joins Indy 5, & Loki gets a Season 2 – 2021-07-16

Valve’s gaming handheld is called the Steam Deck

Valve has announced the Steam Deck, its long-rumored Switch-like handheld gaming device. It will begin shipping in December and reservations open July 16th at 1PM eastern time.

The unit comes in 3 different models for different storage tiers: 64GB for $399, 256GB for $529, and 512GB for $649. You can also expand the available storage using the high-speed microSD card slot.

The Steam Deck has a huge number of control options. There are two thumbsticks, but also two small, Steam Controller-style trackpads beneath the thumbsticks, which could give you more precision for things like first-person shooters. The front of the Steam Deck also has ABXY buttons, a D-pad, and a 7-inch 1280 x 800 touchscreen for 720p gameplay. The device also has a gyroscope for motion controls. Like the Switch, it has two shoulder triggers on each side, and there are four back buttons (two on each side) as well as built-in microphones.

As for the battery, “Steam Deck’s onboard 40 watt-hour battery provides several hours of play time for most games,” Valve says. “For lighter use cases like game streaming, smaller 2D games, or web browsing, you can expect to get the maximum battery life of approximately 7-8 hours. And if you need to pause your game, the Steam Deck offers a quick suspend / resume feature built into SteamOS that will let you put the device into sleep mode and pick up where you left off later.

Valve will also sell a dock you can use to prop up a Steam Deck and plug it into external displays like a TV. You won’t need a dock to plug it into a TV, though — Valve says that the “Deck can be plugged in to your TV, monitor, or even your old CRT if you have the right cables.” The Deck comes with fully-fledged USB-C ports that contain HDMI, Ethernet and USB data, as well as standard Bluetooth. You’ll have native Bluetooth audio, something that’s missing from the Nintendo Switch.

On the software side of things, the Steam Deck runs what Valve is calling a new version of SteamOS, that it’s optimized for the handheld’s mobile form factor. But the actual OS is based on Linux, and will use Proton as a compatibility layer to allow Windows-based games to run without requiring that developers specifically port them for the device.

Ultimately, though, the Steam Deck is still a full-fledged Linux computer, meaning that more technical users will be able to jump out to the regular Linux desktop, too. Valve notes that you’ll be able to plug in a mouse, keyboard, and monitor, and install other game stores, regular PC software, browse the web, and more.

Antonio Banderas joins the cast of Indiana Jones 5

Oscar nominee Antonio Banderas has joined the cast of Indiana Jones 5. The actor has closed a deal to star alongside Harrison Ford, who returns as the iconic archaeologist, and an all-star ensemble that includes Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Boyd Holbrook, and Shaunette Renée Wilson. For Banderas, the film marks another major franchise for the international star.

James Mangold is taking over directing reins from Steven Spielberg, who still is serving as a producer and is very much involved in various elements of the film. John Williams, who has worked on every score in the 40-year-old franchise including its iconic theme, will also return as composer.

Production is currently underway, with the film set to premiere on July 29, 2022. Plot details are still vague on what new adventure awaits Jones, as are details behind who Banderas will be playing.

Loki renewed for a second season at Disney+

Disney has revealed that the God of Mischief will return, as the Marvel Studios series Loki has been renewed for a second season on Disney+.

Loki had the streaming service’s most-watched premiere back in June when Disney+ shifted its release day for originals from Friday to Wednesday. Now, it has become the first Disney+ Marvel show to get a second season renewal.

It’s a good time to be a Marvel fan, as last week saw the release of Black Widow on Disney+ Premier Access and theaters, ending a two-year drought for Marvel movies. The action film raked in $60 million on the streaming service and over $215 million globally. Just days ago, Disney also revealed that Marvel’s animated show What If…? will debut on Disney+ on August 11th.

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Rob Logan

Rob is a movie buff, computer whiz, gamer, huge Batman fan, and above all... a geek. In addition to being the Founder and Host of The Geek Generation, he is also a photographer, graphic designer, certified clinical hypnotherapist, a former professional wrestler, and a current superhero.

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