3 Recent Tech Announcements You Need To Know About

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By Billy Givens on July 22nd, 2021

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In the world of gaming, there seems to be something new and exciting announced just about every day. Though most gamers are eager to hear about the newest titles from their favorite developers, there are some truly nifty gadgets that also find themselves garnering plenty of attention, too. Today, let’s take a look at three such new pieces of tech that have been making a splash recently.

GB Operator

It’s hard not to be enamored with this really cool adapter aimed specifically at retro handheld enthusiasts. Discovered late last month and expected to release in early August, the GB Operator from Epilogue allows you to play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Gameboy Advance cartridges on your PC just as they’d be played on the original handhelds – all for the affordable price of only $49.99.

Based on the popular open-source Game Boy Advance emulator mGBA, this handy gadget includes a desktop application that can be used on Windows, Mac, or Linux. It also comes with some extra features like the ability to detect counterfeit cartridges, back up your saves off-cart, rip your own ROMs, or even make use of the Game Boy Camera accessory – should you still have one lying around.

GB Operator preorders have been so popular that stock has been a bit of an issue, however – though the same can be said for just about every piece of hardware and accessory released during these unusual times, right? If you’re really wanting one, just keep checking back on the official website, and hopefully you’ll be able to get your hands on this useful bundle of nostalgia eventually.

Steam Deck

If you’ve been to any gaming site or Twitter in the past week or so, you’ve probably already seen the Steam Deck, Valve’s Switch-esque handheld that has wasted no time getting PC gamers stoked to take their Steam games on the go. Don’t think it should be compared to the Switch on looks alone? Do note that it can even make use of a dock (sold separately) to charge or assist in hooking the device to larger displays. It’s basically a Switch.

Sporting some surprisingly solid specs for a handheld PC, the Steam Deck will offer a modified version of Steam that lets you access most of your games from your library. The keyword here is most, however, as Valve’s new machine is Linux-based, so they’re currently trying to figure out how to bypass some incompatibilities that would keep players from booting up a handful of gaming’s most popular titles, such as Apex Legends and Destiny, due to their anti-cheat features. They hope to have this worked out in some way by launch, but you’ll want to keep it in mind in the meantime.

This portable PC comes in three different versions, each with progressively larger storage capabilities, so considering how massive some games can be nowadays, it’s easy to recommend grabbing the largest one you can afford, of course. Regardless of which version you get, you’ll have all of the expected buttons, triggers, and joysticks needed to play just about any type of game you could imagine, and it even features additional programmable paddles on the back and two trackpads to make use of a mouse in a variety of situations.

The Steam Deck is expected to ship its first batch this December, but you may be out of luck by now. Scalpers have already bought up tons of reserves for those early units before promptly listing them online for thousands of dollars. If you go ahead and reserve your own now, it could be late 2021 or sometime in 2022 before you ever see it shipped to you. Some people really suck, don’t they? But that’s life, so here’s to hoping you’re one of lucky ones who manage to snag this portable heavyweight before then.

xScreen for Xbox Series S

We all know good and well that Microsoft isn’t ever going to bless us with a true Xbox handheld – though in their defense, they really don’t need to. Having fully embraced cloud gaming, they’ve ensured that Xbox players can just stream their games onto a variety of devices with screens (including many phones). But what if you’re feeling old-school and really want a simple way to make your Xbox Series S more portable? That’s where xScreen comes in.

The xScreen is currently in its Kickstarter campaign phase, but it has already far exceeded its meager goal of only $9,618. It’s a hell of an intriguing peripheral that makes it so that you can take your Series S anywhere with minimal cable management. The screen attaches directly into the HDMI and USB ports on the back, meaning it only requires the original power cable to work. So while it’s not truly portable in the traditional sense, it does make it a lot easier to take places that may lack televisions, and can even be used on car trips.

Unfortunately, as of right now, xScreen will only be available for Series S, and it won’t be a timely affair, either. Shipments aren’t expected to begin taking place until December at the earliest, and even then, it could be January or February before you would actually receive the screen. If you’re the patient type, though, this could be the best way to make your Series S a fully portable machine.

Billy will always claim he didn't intentionally get the platinum trophy in Snoopy's Grand Adventure, but he's lying.

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