Nintendo has a monopoly on the portable gaming market. Even though they compete with Microsoft and Sony and mobile gaming, they are now the only choice for a real handheld console. Valve, the dominant force in PC gaming, has finally challenged that reign of dominance and not by Microsoft or a returning Sony but rather by Valve. PC gaming is being expanded freshly and innovatively by a corporation that has a wealth of resources at its disposal. Valve wants to make a huge, dramatic, and exhilarating statement with their next project. Is it going to work?
If you’re willing to fork out $349 for the 64GB version of the Stream Deck, You’re getting a lot of hardware. In addition to the 7-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth capabilities, this 669g behemoth also includes two analog sticks, a D-pad, four back buttons, two touchpads, and four shoulder buttons. It’s also small, coming in at 298 x 117 x 49 millimeters, and a little less portability comes with its bulk. However, a system capable of running DOOM Eternal at high settings exists.
Even so, the battery life may be compromised. Even with the 40Wh battery in the Deck, Valve claims a battery life of 2-8 hours, depending on the game or work being performed. Because my gaming sessions don’t last more than a couple of hours at a time, I’m fine with this. The Deck is expected to be power-hungry equipment, which may be a problem for those who frequently travel by car and don’t want to recharge the device continuously.
You may need more storage if you’re playing many PC games, so there are a few ways to go about it. The Deck may be purchased for £459/$529 for a 250GB SSD or £569/$649 for a 512GB SSD if you prefer. The NVME storage in the 250GB and 512GB models, rather than the 64GBs of conventional SSD storage, makes the difference in loading times. The good news is that the Deck has a MicroSD slot, so you can buy a card, insert it, and put everything on it if you choose.
Gabe Newell, the CEO of Valve, said that the company’s decision to price the game at £349 was “difficult.” Because it’s only £40 more expensive than the recently revealed Switch OLED variant, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. If nothing else, the timing of the Steam Deck announcement on the same day as Switch OLED pre-orders went online makes it look like a punch in Mario’s gut. Aside from that, the comparison is a little unfair because you can get the Lite version for roughly £190 and the normal arrangement for around £270. Remember that the Steam Deck comes without a docking station.
In addition, the Stream Deck’s versatility is the most interesting feature. While it may resemble a Nintendo Switch, it is closer to a PC in terms of functionality. If you prefer, you can remove the default Steam OS (a Linux-based operating system) and install Windows instead. According to the Steam Deck website, the Steam Store is used to buy and download games. However, because Steam Deck is a PC, you can install more apps and operating systems.
With this, you can run a wide range of emulators, even those Nintendo hasn’t yet released for the Switch but may in the future. However, I’m most excited about the possibility of using Game Pass with it, allowing you to download and play any of the thousands of games available on the huge library directly from your Deck. If that’s the case, and the Game Pass program can be installed on the Deck, Microsoft will have a portable Game Pass machine without spending any money on hardware development.
The Steam Deck will be Sony’s handheld, too, given the company has already released games like Days Gone and has more in the works. Isn’t that incredible? A handheld device that does not require an internet connection to play Horizon: Zero Dawn would be incredible. My special place becomes tingly just thinking about it.