Still waiting for the Steam Deck dock? This fan made their own

The Steam Deck docking station might be subject to an extended delay, but fans of the handheld gaming system have taken measures into their own hands, creating their own 3D-printed variations of the accessory that work just as well as the peripheral promised by Valve.

Most recently, a Reddit user by the name of Hannover2k shared images of their own Steam Deck docking station rig, detailing that the accessory is based around a Dock-Teck DD0003 USB-C hub. The user also added two USB 3.0 slots, an SD/MicroSD slot, an HDMI and LAN ports, and a 45-watt USB C-Charge port passthrough, TechRadar noted.

No problem. I created my own docking station with the 3D printer + a template from Thingiverse + a USB C 8in1 hub. 👍

— Thomascz (@Nerdpfleger) June 1, 2022

This Reddit user isn’t the only Steam Deck fan to get creative by fashioning their own docking station for the Steam Deck while waiting for the real Steam Deck, which became available in February.

Valve announced in early June that it had once again delayed the launch of its docking station peripheral to an unspecified time, due to “parts shortages and COVID closures at our manufacturing facilities.”

During that time, Twitter user @Nerdpfleger shared images of their Steam Deck docking station iteration, which is based on a template from Thingiverse and powered by a USB C 8-in-1 hub.

In comparison, the actual Steam Deck docking station will include one USB 3.1 port, two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a DisplayPort 1.4, and a USB-C port to connect to the Steam Deck console.

Fans’ ability to 3D print a Steam Deck label for their USB hubs to get the look and feel of a Valve-branded product without any wait could pose serious competition for the gaming company, considering the accessory has been delayed for most of this year. The Steam Deck docking station was originally set to release in February as a main accessory for the Steam Deck when the gaming system first became available.

For those who are not as handy, there are options such as shopping for ready-made docking stations on Esty. Or you can simply use a multiport USB hub, which, of course, won’t have Steam Deck branding.

Editors’ Choice

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Google Stadia players can now join games without waiting for an invite

Google’s cloud-based gaming platform Stadia has received a small update that will make playing games with friends much easier going forward. In an updated support document, the company revealed that Google Stadia players can now join their friends’ games without first receiving an invite, mirroring the option available on traditional gaming consoles.

The Stadia change was rolled out quietly and first spotted by 9to5Google, which points to an updated Stadia support document with the new feature details. Put simply, Stadia players can now join multiplayer games their friends are playing without asking them to send an invite. This feature is only supported by some games, however.

Anyone who has played games on Xbox and PlayStation is likely very familiar with this sort of feature. A Fortnite player, for example, can view and join their friends’ existing matches without requesting an invite as long as their friend doesn’t have the match set to private. Stadia, as exciting as it is, launched without these sort of arguably basic features.

According to Google, the ability to join supported multiplayer games without an invite is disabled by default. Players who want to enable the feature will need to open Your Activity > Current Game > “Join your current game.” Enabling this feature will make it possible for friends to join the match even if you don’t send them an invite.

Google offers some control over this feature, however, by allowing players to decide whether they want to limit invite-free gaming sessions to only friends or make the opportunity available for all players. Users who aren’t in the mood for random multiplayer sessions can set their game to “Only You,” “Private,” or toggle the “Join your current game” feature off in the same menu used to enable it.

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This Is The Dell XPS Laptop Deal You’ve Been Waiting For

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You’ll find many laptop deals online, but you’ll have to do your research if you want to end up buying a reliable machine. If you want a device that’s powerful and dependable, you should be on the lookout for Dell laptop deals, and Dell XPS deals in particular. Fortunately for you, Dell, one of the most trusted names in the computing industry, is selling the XPS 13 with a $150 discount, bringing its price down to $800 from its original price of $950.

The Dell XPS 13 is the top choice in Digital Trends’ best laptops in 2021, as it continues to improve in its latest iteration with a 13.3-inch Full HD screen that uses a 16:10 aspect ratio, for a bigger display without increasing the overall size of the device. Dell also introduces a larger keyboard and touchpad, with bigger keycaps and better spacing for the keyboard plus quieter clicks for the touchpad for a more comfortable experience.

In terms of performance, the Dell XPS 13 also won’t disappoint. It’s powered by the 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and Intel Iris XE Graphics, which makes it more than capable of running the latest productivity apps with ease, and it can even multitask between several apps that are open at the same time. The laptop also comes with a 256GB SSD for storage, an extremely durable construction, and dual fans and heat pipes that work together to keep its temperature low.

You can’t go wrong with the Dell XPS 13, one of the best laptops that you can buy right now. It’s an even better choice with Dell’s $150 discount, lowering its price to just $800 from its original price of $950. If you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to purchase a laptop like the Dell XPS 13 for cheaper than usual, here’s your chance. It’s unclear when the deal will end though, so you should click that Buy Now button as soon as you can.

More Dell XPS deals

The Dell XPS 13 is one of the best choices that you can make if you’re planning to buy a new laptop, but you might want to take a look at other models in the Dell XPS line to check if there’s something else that’s a better option for you. Here are some of the best Dell XPS deals that are currently available, so you have an idea what’s out there.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

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Editors’ Choice

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Battlefield 2042’s Portal platform is what super-fans like me have been waiting for

Last month, we heard a rumor which claimed that one of Battlefield 2042‘s unrevealed modes was actually a sandbox mode that would let players combine different Battlefield eras. Today at EA Play Live, EA and Ripple Effect – the new name for DICE LA – revealed exactly that. The new mode is called Battlefield Portal, and it’s described as “a love letter to fans and creators.”

EA and Ripple Effect have published a lengthy blog post to the Battlefield website with details on Battlefield Portal, but the short and sweet of it is that Battlefield Portal is a mode that will let you customize most things about a match. For example, you can pit different factions against one another, customizing their weapons and vehicles. You can also change movement settings and remove things like going prone or aiming down sights.

Battlefield Portal will pull components from three different games from the franchise’s past: Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3. In addition to those three classic games, you’ll also have the content in Battlefield 2042 available to you in Battlefield Portal. Players will create “experiences” using components from all four games that other players can join. When creating those experiencing, players can run either custom matches or use preset modes like Conquest, Team Deathmatch, or Rush.

You’ll be able to follow creators you like and hop into their games when they’re hosting them, while creators will have some admin tools available to them that let them ban usernames across all of the experiences they create. Ripple Effect even says that it will feature popular experiences in official playlists, so if you make a good one, it could end up in front of a lot of eyes.

For those who have experience with visual scripting logic, there will even be a Logic Editor they can use, allowing for more granular changes that the settings menu can’t accomplish on its own. So, for those who want a lot of control over what happens in their custom game modes, it sounds like they’ll have the tools to get there.

Ripple Effect says that there will be six fully reimagined maps launching with Battlefield Portal. From Battlefield 1942, we’ll see Battle of the Bulge and El Alamein. The two maps from Battlefield: Bad Company 2 are Arica Harbor and Valparaiso, while finally, we’ll see Caspian Border and Noshahr Canals from Battlefield 3. In addition, Ripple Effect will be bringing back various weapons, gear, vehicles, and soldiers from those games, including the M1 Garand, the M416, the Spitfire, and the B17 Bomber.

While EA and Ripple Effect confirmed a lot of details about Battlefield Portal today, there’s still more to come, as the two companies say that progression will be detailed at a later time. For now, hit the link above to read everything that’s been revealed so far. We’ll let you know when more is announced, so stay tuned for that.

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Tech News

Still waiting on your PS5 and iPad to ship? Blame the global chip shortage

Today, one of the largest chipmakers in the world, Intel, said that it might take a couple of years for the worldwide chip shortage to settle down. Pat Gelsinger, the CEO of the company, emphasized severity of the problem yet again during a virtual session of the Computex conference after highlighting it first in April. 

Intel’s not the first or only company to raise the alarm about this global crisis. In April, South Korean tech giant Samsung noted that this problem is hitting its smartphone and appliances business. The company said that it has to “rebalance” its production plans to manage its sales demands. Fellow Korean tech company LG has also voiced similar concerns.

This seems like a serious problem. So let’s take a look at what’s causing it, and how it will impact you?

What’s causing the global chip shortage?

There are a couple of major reasons surrounding this issue. First, we’ve been using more chips than ever. Your car, your speaker, your phone, your microwave, and probably your hand-wash dispenser also has some kind of chip. So, to make all these devices and meet the demands of production, chipmakers have had to buckle up.

The second problem is of course the coronavirus pandemic. Companies in various parts of the world have had to shutter their factories in compliance with local regulation to stop the spread of the deadly virus. That means they’ve had to cancel several bulk orders of hardware components from different companies, and leave their product launch and marketing plans in disarray.

Glenn O’Donnell, vice president of research at the advisory firm Forrester, noted that pandemic has also accelerated demand for work-from-home products with meetings and events being conducted over Zoom calls all over the world — leading to an increased demand for chips.

How’s this affecting companies and you?

The simple answer is that your devices will get delayed. Last year, Apple had to delay the launch and availability of the iPhone 12 series by few weeks past its usual shipping dates after its annual September launch event. Earlier this year, the company’s CEO, Tim Cook, noted that production of the new iMac and new iPad Pros will be delayed because of this global problem.