After all that waiting, Senior Editor Jessica Conditt finally got her hands on Playdate. From the makers of Firewatch and meme-friendly Untitled Goose Game, it’s a petite portable console that marries the familiarity of the GameBoy with the spirit of indie game innovation. That last bit might sound like hollow platitudes, but well, it’s true.
This isn’t a console for FPS, teraflops or anything MMO, it’s like a pixel-filled brainstorm of delights. Having said that, if you decide to order the handheld today, you're in for a wait. "We've filled our production capacity for 2022, but we're ramping up to make even more systems," the company says on its website.
— Mat Smith
The biggest stories you might have missed
An EV that makes vans cool again.
If you want an electric van, your options are limited, which is precisely what VW is hoping to address with the upcoming ID.Buzz. At the New York International Auto Show, we finally got to check it out.
It’s slated to go on sale sometime in 2024, featuring a 77 kWh battery and two rows of seats for the European model (which is the version VW had on display) or a full three rows of seats and slightly longer chassis for the US market. Other specs, like its range and price, are still TBD.
Hardly an upgrade.
Samsung’s Galaxy A53 5G offers one of the better displays on a midrange phone, with a 2,400 by 1,080 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. But Samsung’s slow Exynos 1280 chipset struggles, even with basic tasks. If you’re set on a Samsung phone and have an extra $100 to spend, consider the Galaxy S21 FE, which has been heavily discounted since its launch last year.
Battlefield 2042 will finally get in-game voice chat, but with caveats. The VoIP feature won't work across an entire team. The only channel options are for parties and squads (with a maximum of four members). Given that teams can have up to 64 players, voice chat could get messy fast with that many people talking over each other. A proximity-based option might have been helpful for callouts, though. Sigh.
Nintendo Switch Sports and Elon Musk's ongoing Twitter affair.
This week, Cherlynn Low and guest co-host Sam Rutherford discuss the new Nintendo Switch Sports games, a coincidental week of beauty gadget coverage and the ongoing saga of Elon Musk trying to own Twitter.
For some reason, Nintendo’s Super Mario anime has been remastered in 4K
But we still don’t understand it.
Nintendo's first anime movie, from 1986, is back. Femboy Films has released a 4K remaster of The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach on both YouTube and the Internet Archive. You’ll get clean, color-corrected visuals based on a rare 16mm print, and new English subtitles and a fresh two-channel Dolby Surround audio capture from the VHS release. Oh, and Mario and Luigi work at a grocery store now.
It gets weirder...