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This is the web version of the free 40 Bit Gaming newsletter, you should totally sign up for it!

For the past couple of months, playing videogames hasn’t been about unlocking achievements or defeating bosses (or re-re-re-defeating bosses as is the case with Division 2). It’s been about connecting.

During quarantine, it’s been the best way to connect with some of my closest friends to check in on one another on a regular basis.

But lately, it’s been a way to connect with my 9 year old son. His favorite game is Overwatch and for the past few Saturdays we’ve both sat on the couch and just played, taking turns, handing the controller back and forth.

Right now we talk game strategy (he tells me what I’m doing wrong) and favorite characters (I like Orisa, he likes Genji). But playing videogames today seems like the equivalent of going fishin’ with your ‘Pa back in the day (at least I think so, I’ve never fished).

As he gets older, it feels like playing games will be our chance to sit next to each other and talk. I least I hope so, because it may be the easiest way to get him to open up about the small stuff, the life stuff and the important stuff.

A lot of important events are happening right now. More than ever I want my son and I to connect so we can talk through them. If videogames are the way we do that. Awesome.

A quick Valorant Q&A:
What is Valorant, is it like the Dean Martin song?
Valorant is a new squad-v-squad first person shooter game released by Riot Games (League of Legends) this week. Check out the cinematic trailer.

That looks cool! Should I download it?
Well… That depends. This newsletter is for people over 40, so… no. Probably not. But hey, it’s free-to-play so knock yourself out. CNBC says it is “poised to be the next billion-dollar franchise.” (ed. note: Ugh.)

You don’t sound super reassuring.
Look, I can only speak for myself here, but in researching the game, the thing that came up was the need for “pixel-perfect accuracy,” which I don’t have, and millions of people have been playing the beta for two months already so I’m already behind, and the game makers are going after the competitive market and not interested in casual players.

As Dean Martin might have sung: Valorant, oh-oh-OH-oh – no.

DIY: Make a Switch dock smaller
Because of its portability, the Nintendo Switch was one of the best purchases our household ever made. Throw it in a bag when you go on a trip and the kid(s) are occupied the entire flight/drive/whatever. The dock that connects the Switch to the TV, however, isn’t as portable. So some enterprising folks figured out a way to make a smaller one. Pocket Gamer has the DIY details if you’re feeling sinister crafty.

Speaking of the Switch, Nintendo’s president said that the platform (which doubled its y/o/y sales in March, thank you coronavirus and Animal Crossing) is merely in the middle of its lifecycle. So if you’ve got one, it’s going to last a few more years. (via the unfortunately named TweakTown).

By Odin’s beard!
Pre-ordering the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla on Amazon, will get you a cool $10 discount on the game, due out this holiday season.

Rick and Morty had a pretty epic season finale this past week (the fight choreography on that show remains top-notch). Anyhoo, it was also filled with a bunch of videogame Easter eggs. Looper breaks it down for you.

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PS5 Looks Ahead, Xbox X Aims Backwards (in a Good Way)

Hey! Welcome to the first-ever 40 Bit Gaming newsletter! (This is the web version, you should totally sign up though!)

The best (and possibly only) newsletter devoted to people over 40 who still play videogames.

Why do the olds need their own videogame newsletter, don’t they have enough? Well, sure, probably. But like some animal featured on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, us olds are a peculiar breed with our own idiosyncracies: We like games, don’t have a lot of time to play them, probably don’t care too much about processor speeds, and at this point, we’d just like to get through five minutes of Overwatch without being mowed down repeatedly by someone one-third our age.

So this newsletter is for us (though we welcome everyone). Each week you’ll get a curated selection of stories about videogames. That’s it. No listicles. No autoplay ads. No overwritten story packed with keywords to game SEO.

It’ll be quick, fun and filled with antiquated references like Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. Plus, maybe you’ll be able to impress your kids with newfound videogame knowledge (ha ha, just kidding, they’ll still ignore you).

Hopefully you’ll like it, and if you do, forward it to a friend!

But enough of my yakkin’. Whaddya say, let’s boogie.

Sony Playstation 5 games announcement next week?
You do realize that you’ll be spending $500 (at least) this holiday season, right? Both the Xbox X and the PlayStation 5 are slated to launch then. Bloomberg reports that “Sony Corp. is planning a digital event to showcase games” for the forthcoming console on June 3, though it could slip because pandemic, but still, something to (possibly) look forward to.

X marks the (backwards) spot
As we noted, the next-gen Xbox X (a phrase that’s fun to say out loud), is scheduled to be out in time for the holidays. But it looks like the Xbox X will give you plenty of bang-bang/pew-pew for your x-buck, because of its backwards compatibility. According to the Xbox Wire blog, thousands of games from previous Xbox consoles will be playable on the X. Microsoft says the games should also play better, given the POWER OF X.

Free games and games on sale
I saw Faith No More when I was in college (mark your old guy reference bingo card if you’re playing at home). Anyway, throughout the show, frontman Mike Patton kept saying to the crowd “Are you good? Because if you’re good… you get stuff!” Well, I think you’re pretty good — nay, great! — for signing up for my li’l newsletter, so you should get stuff.

It’s a Last of Us Festivus
If you’ve got 24 minutes to spare, Sony State of Play showed off a ton of gameplay footage for the upcoming The Last of Us Part II. It looks intense, brutal and yet another reminder that if society breaks down in real life, I am screwed.

LMNO-my, this lost Steven Spielberg game looked interesting
Steven Spielberg (Hook, Always) worked on a number of videogames in the early 2000s. One of them, codenamed LMNO, was about protecting a sentient AI. Polygon has a story up complete with a video packed with interviews about the project as well as video gameplay footage. The look was a little reminiscent of that time Mr. Burns got irradiated (to bring you love), but more interesting was that Spielberg didn’t want guns in the game, so all the action was parkour and ole fashioned fisticuffs, which was harder to create than you’d think.

Mrs. America on the Borderlands
Speaking of movies, Cate Blanchett of Thor: Ragnarok and Mrs. America will be starring as Lilith in the movie adaptation of Borderlands. Eli Roth of Hostel is directing, so hopefully she won’t lose an eyeball, but more interesting, is that Craig Maizin of Chernobyl wrote the script. Anyhoo, movie adaptations of videogames always work, so be sure to mark your calendar, for when we ever start going to the movies again. (via Polygon)

Amazin’ Mythic Quest episode
Speaking of Craig Mazin, this is tangential to videogames, but have you watched Mythic Quest on Apple TV yet? (Yeah, yeah, I know Apple TV. Sign up for the free trial and binge it.) The show is about a videogame company and it’s actually funny and sweet and Mazin is great and OMG the quarantine episode it released last week was the best episode of TV to come out of this horrible pandemic. F@st Company thinks so too.

That’s it for this week. Stay cool. Have a good summer. And subscribe.

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