We’re Years Away From A Better Steam Deck

Steam Deck designer Pierre-Loup Griffais told CNBC at the Tokyo Game Show that the portable PC won’t get a meaningful hardware refresh for at least “a couple years.”

Distributor Valve thinks the Deck is in a “pretty sweet spot,” Griffais said, “in terms of being able to play all the experiences from this new generation [of games], and, you know, so far, the new releases are […] great experiences on Steam Deck.” Resource-heavy Starfield kind of crushes its spine, though.

To The Verge, Griffais clarified that a Steam Deck successor wouldn’t release until at least 2025, putting a Steam Deck 2 more or less on the same timeline as something like the elusive Switch 2, which likely wouldn’t release until 2024 or later. Kotaku reached out to Valve for comment.

“Changing the performance level is not something we are taking lightly, and we only want to do so when there is a significant enough increase to be had,” Griffais said to The Verge.

And, anyway, Griffais feels that the current Deck—an impressive machine by all counts—is holding itself gracefully amid competition like the Switch or Android-based Ayn Odin.

Read More: The Steam Deck Had A Phenomenal First Year
Buy The Steam Deck: GameStop

Sales have been steady even after covid’s (relative) decline, and Valve is routinely releasing software updates. “We’ve done a lot of work on Steam[‘s operating system, which powers the Deck],” Griffais said to CNBC. He’s also happy to recognize that “the power and strength of PC is that there’s a diversity of options. […] I think it’s great that all these other manufacturers are also participating [in creating portable consoles] […]. If they succeed, we succeed.”

While the specifics of a Steam Deck 2 are unknown even to its manufacturer, Griffais more or less confirms that trendy attention on VR, like that which Mark Zuckerberg is beaming into the Meta Quest 2, probably won’t ever pair with Steam Deck.

“We don’t really have a VR story to [the Deck],” Griffais said to CNBC, “but [VR is] definitely something we want to explore more in the future.”


THPS 1+2 Finally Coming To Steam Three Years After Launch

After launching back in 2020 on PC via the Epic Games Store, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 is finally (three years later…) making its way to Steam in October. Soon, it will be very easy to play this fantastic remake of the first two games in the series on your Steam Deck, no Heroic Games Launcher required!

Cast your mind back to September 4, 2020. The covid-19 pandemic was still a new and horrible problem, the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles had yet to be released, and the world received a new Tony Hawk game in the form of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2. It was a good game that recreated the feel of those older titles, but did so using advanced visuals. THPS 1+2 also launched exclusively on the Epic Games Store on PC. And then, uh, well three years passed, covid is still a thing, and it seemed like Activision had forgotten all about THPS 1+2 or releasing it on Steam. But now, either a really long exclusive deal has expired or someone at Activision remembers they could make extra money by bringing the last good Tony Hawk game to more players via a Steam version.

On Tuesday, the official Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Twitter account announced, with little fanfare or hype, that the popular remake would launch on Steam on October 3. The game already has a Steam store page, and players can wishlist THPS 1+2 ahead of next week’s Steam release.

It’s unclear why now, after three years and a lot of radio silence, Activision has decided to bring THPS 1+2 to the PC storefront used by most players. Kotaku has reached out to the publisher for more info.

I guess it’s possible the company signed some three-year deal with Epic, but that seems like far too long for this kind of exclusivity deal, especially for a relatively low-key game. It’s also possible that Activision realized that THPS 1+2 is a perfect fit for the Steam Deck, and putting the game on Valve’s storefront makes it easier for people to buy and play it on the popular portable PC. Or maybe somebody just stumbled upon a sticky note in a desk and went, “Oh shit, right!” and hit a button.

For now, we just don’t know. (It’s obviously because they were worried players would become confused, and try to screw trucks to their Steam Decks -Ed.)

Personally, I’m pretty happy to see THPS 1+2 finally coming to Steam. The idea of having this game easily accessible on my Steam Deck—no weird launchers or tinkering required—sounds wonderful. And hey, maybe this is a sign Activision has plans to make more Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games? Probably not, but I can hope, right?


Cyberpunk 2077 Sequel In Early Design Stage, Likely Years Away

A screenshot shows Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077 sitting in a café.

Screenshot: CD Projekt Red

Cyberpunk 2077’s first (and only) DLC expansion, Phantom Liberty, was just recently released for Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC. But developer CD Projekt Red is already sharing more details about Cyberpunk 2077’s big-budget sequel, currently known as Project Orion. However, it sounds like it’s still years and years away at this point.

CDPR’s massive open-world RPG, Cyberpunk 2077, launched at the end of 2020 and was quite a mess. The game suffered from numerous problems, glitches, and other issues. Things were so bad that players demanded refunds and Sony yanked the game from the PlayStation store just a week after its launch. Over the last two years, though, thanks to a popular anime and lots of updates, the dystopian RPG became more popular than ever and less buggy overall. Some might argue the game’s core problems can’t be fixed, but CDPR did enough to help right the ship—and the game’s recent 2.0 update and DLC helped make the game even more popular—to turn around a story that started quite poorly. And now, CDPR isn’t looking back, but looking forward to Project Orion, its tentative Cyberpunk sequel.

Buy Cyberpunk 2077: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

CD Projekt Red

On October 5, during a presentation for investors, CDPR shared more details on Project Orion. During the event, the company’s chief creative officer Adam Badowski explained the sequel is still in the “conceptual design” phase at the moment, meaning it is likely years away from release. Badowski also told investors that the sequel will be designed by a team of “veterans who were responsible for fine-tuning” Cyberpunk 2077 and its recent DLC, Phantom Liberty.

According to the CCO, Project Orion will be developed by teams located in Vancouver, Boston, and Poland. Badowski says that the target is for half of the devs to work out of Poland and the other half to be located in North America.

Project Orion was first announced in October 2022 alongside five other CDPR projects, including a new The Witcher trilogy and the just-released Phantom Liberty expansion.


Bethesda Exec Pete Hines Leaving Company After 24 Years

Bethesda publishing head Pete Hines is retiring from the Starfield developer after 24 years, he announced on Twitter (or X) on October 16. Hines’ decision comes only a few days after Microsoft, which owns Bethesda Game Studios, was rubber-stamped to complete its $69 billion Activision Blizzard buy.

“I […] will begin an exciting new chapter of my life exploring interests and passions, donating my time where I can, and taking more time to enjoy life,” Hines wrote. “This was not a decision I came to easily or quickly, but after an amazing career, culminating in the incredible launch of Starfield, it feels like the time is right.”

“This is certainly not goodbye by any means,” Hines continued. “Working with the amazing people, teams, and studios at Bethesda has been the greatest experience of my life. […] Love you guys.” Kotaku reached out to Hines for comment.

Bethesda was equally gushing in its own Twitter announcement post, saying “Pete’s public presence was only a small part of his role at Bethesda, although the way he represented us carried over into the values he nurtured here: authenticity, integrity, and passion.” Later, the developer posted a doctor’s note addressed to Hines (in the past, he’s liked pardoning gamers from work during a huge Bethesda release cycle), prescribing him “lots of gaming, devoting care and affection to foster pups, […] and of course…more games!” It’s an interesting treatment plan, but it seems like it could work for Hines, who sunk 130 hours into Starfield earlier this year.

Read More: Microsoft Finally Closes Massive Activision Blizzard Deal, Making Call Of Duty Officially Part Of Xbox Now

“More games” are also likely in Bethesda’s future—Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard merger promises to “bring players together,” Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer wrote on Twitter, and along with the franchises it’s absorbing, it will add 10,000 employees to its union-neutral workforce. 10,000 employees, but Pete Hines ain’t one.

Canceled PS2 Daredevil Game Now Playable 20 Years Later

Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, a 2003 PlayStation 2 superhero game that was in development by 5,000 Ft. Studios for the PlayStation 2 before getting canceled, has resurfaced after 20 years with a new playable build.

Read More: The Life And Death Of A Daredevil Video Game

The game preservation group Hidden Palace managed to release a playable version of Daredevil: The Man Without Fear on October 31 via member Casuallynoted, who apparently obtained the build from an anonymous developer of 5,000 Ft. It’s a late prototype with a fair amount of bugs, including possible crashes after the first chapter and getting stuck behind walls. That said, it still features the bones of what 5,000 Ft. Studios and publisher Encore Inc. were working on in collaboration with Sony during the early aughts.

The brainchild of 5,000 Ft. Studios, a Nevada-based developer whose previous credits only included two Army Men ports from 2001, Daredevil: The Man Without Fear started out as a simple project before ballooning in scope. Originally known as Daredevil: The Video Game before adopting the same name as author Frank Miller’s 1993 comic, Daredevil was prototyped as a series of “vignettes” showcasing pivotal moments in the blind crimefighter’s history.

However, as the Lost Media Wiki explains, Marvel’s imminent Daredevil movie project led 5,000 Ft. to rework the concept into an open-world adventure, now also slated for the Xbox and PC. Tensions arose when Sony had very specific requests for new types of gameplay to add to the game, while Marvel wanted it to hew more closely to the upcoming Daredevil movie.

More trouble struck when the developers tried to adapt the then-popular RenderWare engine to the project’s changing needs. After running into serious issues there, they reduced the project’s scope from open-world adventure back to linear brawler. Problems continued as “internal strife” at the studio caused it to miss its February 2003 release. A new date was set for summer, but staff departures and continuing bickering between Sony and Marvel put the final nails in the Daredevil game’s coffin. 5,000 Ft. Studios itself closed in 2012.

Now, though, thanks to an anonymous developer reportedly connected to 5,000 Ft. Studios, a near-final build of the canceled PlayStation 2 game has been released onto the internet via the game preservation group Hidden Palace.

Hidden Palace

Although it wound up getting canceled due to creative differences between Marvel and Sony, based on the video it looks pretty tight. It recalls early-aughts 3D superhero gems such as The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man, with a bit of Tomb Raider mixed in, too.

The game apparently tells an original story based on the 1999 Elektra Lives Again comic and starring Daredevil’s arch-enemy The Kingpin. It’s a shame, then, that it was canceled just before completion. As The Hidden Palace notes, only the Game Boy Advance ever ended up getting a Daredevil game. The much less ambitious Daredevil: The Man Without Fear for Game Boy Advance arrived just in time for the Mark Steven Johnson-directed live-action film.

Read More: Why I Love Daredevil

As Hidden Palace reports, the newly released build of Daredevil: The Man Without Fear is playable, but with several bugs and game-breaking glitches since it’s unfinished. It’s nice that this finally snuck out 20 years later, though still a bummer the project never got to live up to its potential. With the success of Insomniac Games’ Marvel’s Spider-Man series, and the Wolverine game on the horizon, maybe Daredevil will get another shot at video game redemption.