Steam Deck's Massive Update: A Closer Look at What's New for Deck Owners...

Steam Deck's Massive Update: A Closer Look at What's New for Deck Owners...

This week in Linux Gaming news, we've seen a massive update for the Deck's Stable client, we'll review the new features and fixes. And, what does KDE Plasma 6's MegaRelease have in store for gamers?  Plus, we need to talk about how the HDMI Forum is deliberately ruining your ability to use your monitors to their full potential. All of this and more today! Let's get into it.

Nintendo sues Yuzu devs

You've probably heard about this elsewhere, but Nintendo is suing the developers behind the free and open source emulator Yuzu... despite the fact that Yuzu and emulators like it are not only completely legal in the US but also of the highest moral imperative.

Despite the decades of legal precedent upon with Yuzu has the firmest legal footing, Nintendo has brought this frivolous, almost SLAPP-like lawsuit against the devs, here. And it seems almost libelous to me. First, Nintendo claims that somehow, Yuzu is to blame for software piracy, citing the leak of the Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Nintendo said, quote copies of the game were quote

"successfully downloaded from pirate websites over one million times before the game was published and made available for lawful purchase by Nintendo. Many of the pirate websites specifically noted the ability to play the game file in Yuzu. Defendant’s development and distribution of Yuzu to the public materially contributes to and induces those third parties to infringe the copyrights in Nintendo’s games. Defendant is thus secondarily liable for the infringement committed by the users to whom it distributes Yuzu."

The moon logic here is on a whole other level. Like, the leak of Tears of the Kingdom was due to Nintendo's own operational security failures.

So wouldn't that make Nintendo secondarily liable for the unauthorized distribution of their copyrighted games? Cause Nintendo are the ones furnishing most of the tools needed to actually make copies of Nintendo Switch cartridges? And it was actually possible to play Tears of the Kingdom on a hacked Switch before it was published. Yuzu, mind you, make a conscious effort to keep the emulator above board.

Nintendo also claims that because Yuzu decrypts Switch games (using Nintendo's own encryption keys and a common encryption algorithm), it therefore facilitates piracy. Yet every one of the Switch games I play on my Steam Deck, I own a physical copy of.

Sure, there definitely are pirates out there. But most of them are kids, and the adults among them are not going to change their ways. In fact, I regret buying so many Switch games because Nintendo has turned around to use that money to attack one of the best open source projects out there.

So here's the deal: there needs to be consequences for Nintendo's attack on free software. I'm open to suggestions. Do we start a legal defense fund for Yuzu? Are you a lawyer willing to represent them pro bono? Are there technical measures we can take? Sound off in the comments below!

HDMI Forum rejects progress

AMD, you might have heard of them. They're the folks behind the stellar performance of the Steam Deck and other Ryzen-based powerhouses. Their secret sauce is that their Linux graphics drivers are free and open source and baked right into the Linux kernel. This fact, coupled with heavy investment from Valve, makes for a stack of free software that respects your rights as a user and contributes to an open ecosystem where progress is unencumbered.

...except for one little thing. All these monied interests that own patents and control proprietary standards. One of those proprietary standards is HDMI. You know, this ubiquitous, trapezoidal connector that carries audiovisual signals (and data too) between devices and screens.

HDMI is controlled by the HDMI Forum, a veritable rogues gallery of duplicitous corporations interested in undermining your rights and combatting the progress of free software. We're talking Microsoft, Sony,  Fraunhofer, Google, Qualcomm, and Netflix, just to name a few.

So AMD recently sought to address a bug report "4k@120Hz unavailable via HDMI 2.1" where. In a follow-up to this lengthy thread, Alex Deucher an AMD engineer stated "The HDMI Forum has rejected our proposal unfortunately. At this time an open source HDMI 2.1 implementation is not possible without running afoul of the HDMI Forum requirements."

So it should be no surprise that with companies like Microsoft and Sony in the mix, this was bound to happen. We can't have open source versions of our proprietary protocol--even though HDMI itself was based on the open DVI standard.

Thankfully, though, there is a workaround for this: use DisplayPort. It's an open standard and it's managed by VESA which is a non-profit.

Proton Logo

Five years out from the launch of Valve's Proton and we finally have a logo! That's so exciting.

If you've followed this channel for a while, you'll know I'm a big branding and design nerd. Just look at my website. It's my bread and butter. So I wanted to take a moment to look at the logo and see what they did here.

There are a few things I like about it. It's a simple but strong design that works at may different sizes. It's easily readable, with visual breaks to separate each line and provides a strong sense of depth. It also doesn't invoke the feeling of any other logos I've seen. Even something like Electron is quite different. I think Proton's logo here is better than Electron because of its visual clarity.

So yeah, excellent work, Valve. They're great at branding so it's cool to see this here!

Creative Sandbox Bundle

Okay, so I'm stoked about the Humble Creative Sandbox Bundle. This bundle's got some excellent titles that bring out your creative side. For $20, you get 8 titles including The Universim (playable), Above Snakes (verified), Trailmakers Deluxe Edition (playable), TerraTech (and its DLC R&D Labs (both playable)), Necesse (Verified), From the Depths (playable), and My Little Universe (playable).

You can use my affiliate link below to pick up this bundle for yourself. A portion of your proceeds go to charity and also help out this show at no additional cost to you!

KDE MegaRelease 6 is here

Okay, KDE's MegaRelease 6 is here and it's got some excellent updates! There are two critical things of note here with KDE 6. The first is that they've transitioned to the latest version of their application framework Qt--which you might've heard of--and a migration to the modern Linux graphics platform Wayland. If you haven't heard of either of these things, don't worry. I'll fill you in.

Qt is a cross-platform framework for developing applications. Applications built in Qt can run on Linux, macOS, Windows, Android and even embedded systems with little or no change to the underlying codebase. This makes it a versatile, native, and cute platform for building an app.

Then we have Wayland. Now, this one is a bit tricker to describe. At the risk of over-simplifying things, Wayland is a means of coordinating user inputs, graphical applications, and the operating system. It's fresh, it's new, and its performant.

These two components deliver a faster and more performant desktop. But that's only scratching the surface. KDE Plasma 6 now has partial support for High Dynamic Range output. It's partial because it's only available on supported monitors and software, so it's not ubiquitous, yet.

So how will this impact your gaming? Well, depending on the game you're playing and the monitor you're using you can take advantage of HDR and it's really crazy how much of a difference that will make. But in terms of performance? That still remains to be seen. Chances are that it will have a modest impact and it will vary game to game.

Steam Deck Client Update

Okay, Tuesday saw the release of a massive new Steam Deck client update. We've had a steady trickle of beta updates over the last month and it was about time for this stable update to arrive. So what goodies did we see? What's new? What's fixed? Let's dive into it:

First, we saw an update to the embedded version of Chromium in Steam which they noted is "clearing path for further updates soon." They also have improved UI performance while navigating Steam interface, updated the Quick Access Performance menu with descriptions for each setting including how they affect the system and the expected power/performance/visual quality tradeoffs. This should be great for folks who are new to the Steam Deck experience.

Then, they made the Factory Reset option trigger a clean version of the OS if it has been modified. They improved performance when adding or removing multiple games to/from Family View. They removed duplicate friend counters on game capsules. And they fixed a number of issues including performance and user experience bugs.

But then, in Steam Input, they added a setting for Player LED on DualSense controllers, they made i so controllers can use be used to dismiss or continue when controller support information appears before a game launch, and then they added a button to the Controller Config Quick Settings and the Gyro section of the Controller Layout Editor to be able to calibrate the Gyroscope.

This stable release broke Remote Play, so Valve quickly issued a fix for that as well.