What a week, eh? Sure, the Euros might not have brought the result that a lot of us here in the UK were hoping for, but there’s been plenty going on in the world of tech to keep our minds occupied.
Let’s start with the bombshell announcement of the Steam Deck console. Part handheld dream, part modern Sega Game Gear, the Deck looks ready to usher us all into a new era of gaming.
Sadly, Twitter seems to be lacking that same sense of innovation after its recently released ‘Fleets’ feature is being prematurely canned. As an obvious rip-off of the ‘Stories’ feature seen on the likes of Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, Fleets was never an original concept, but its failure now serves as a cautionary tale that other social media sites should pay attention to.
Winner: Steam Deck takes Nintendo to task
Last week, I wrote a piece for Trusted Reviews’ sister site Recombu explaining that in hindsight, we shouldn’t have gotten our expectations up for the Nintendo Switch OLED. Nintendo’s always been one to take things at its own pace and pay little attention to its competitors – just remember how different the Wii felt to the Xbox 360 and PS3. Compared to the newly announced Steam Deck however, the Switch OLED is beginning to feel like a Casio calculator before it’s even hit store shelves.
The £349 base model of the Steam Deck only costs just a little bit more than the Switch OLED, but compared to what you get for the money, I’m starting to think that Nintendo should’ve tried a lot harder with its latest handheld upgrade.
Utilising a customised AMD chipset, the Steam Deck is significantly more powerful than the Switch, with the ability to play almost all modern AAA games without fail. The footage that Steam has shown off thus far shows taxing titles like Control and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order running flawlessly, and of course, with the Deck being tied to the Steam ecosystem, you can play all your existing Steam titles on it from the get-go with cloud saving compatibility for jumping between the console and a desktop PC.
As if all that wasn’t enough, the Steam Deck can be hooked up to monitor and used as a proper PC. The notion that this is a device that in one moment can be used to play Death Stranding on the train, and the next to be set up as your workspace device in an office, is unreal – but it’s soon to be a reality. With all this functionality, the Steam Deck is this week’s sure-fire winner.
Loser: RIP Fleets
I hate Twitter. That’s a statement I make on an almost weekly basis, but in spite of my dislike for the platform, I have at least respected the fact that Twitter has carved out an impressive niche for itself in the social media space. As a medium for having direct contact with the wealthy and powerful, and in turn allowing them to connect instantly with their audience, it’s easy to understand what Twitter is in relation to Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. Unfortunately, Twitter succumbed to a brief identity crisis when it introduced ‘Fleets’ only eight months ago.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Fleets let you post pictures and videos that expire after 24-hours and vanish from the Twittersphere. An interesting concept… in 2011.
Given that Snapchat started the trend years ago, only to have it adopted and improved upon with Instagram’s imitation, one struggles to think what Twitter – the proud platform of mudslinging – could bring the table. Well, it now seems as though most of Twitter has been asking itself the same question as the feature is being pulled due to lack of interest.
In detailing the decision, Twitter’s Support account tweeted: “We hoped Fleets would encourage more people to join the conversation, but that wasn’t the case. So we’re removing them and focusing on improving other parts of Twitter.”
I don’t think anything can encourage new users to join in with Twitter’s discussions, but at least the company’s recognised that adding yet another ‘expiring content’ feed to people’s lives isn’t the way forward.