The Nintendo Switch’s massive success may suggest that anything with a similar form factor and price would perform similarly. But since its launch in 2017, nothing has grabbed more attention than Nintendo’s hybrid console.Valve not only has great devices like the Valve Index, but also the Steam Controller and various Steam Machines (if you can recall them). and makers of equally unsuccessful products, and was a surprising new competitor in the field when it announced Steam Deck. A handheld PC that can take your Steam library anywhere sounds too good to be true, but since it launched in February of this year, it’s been a device that has surprised me time and time again.
There were many obstacles to the Steam Deck’s initial success. At the time Valve launched, there were over 100 games confirmed to be compatible with Steam Deck, and only 60 of them achieved the highest level of compatibility. It seemed that the Linux-based operating system and Proton (which translation-layer games use) could ruin any chance before the Steam Deck actually worked. But that didn’t stop the initial inventory from being scooped up for pre-orders sooner than most people would react.
When it finally got into the hands of consumers, it had just the right amount of imperfections to be endearing. It didn’t seem to matter when the game you were playing months ago could run surprisingly easily on your handheld. Hardware limitations weren’t a factor in the superior performance, and the form factor made these games more engaging than behind a desk monitor. The Steam Deck delivers on its promise of taking a large library of games with you on the go while inviting you to continue to grow your games within Valve’s ecosystem.
Perhaps its greatest achievement is that it completely simplified the process of playing games on PC. Valve has been using Big Picture Mode, a console-like interface on Steam for years, but it doesn’t feel as homey as the Steam Deck. Browsing your existing library of titles and purchasing new games is satisfyingly easy within the confines of a well-designed user interface. It’s easy to decipher the flags that tell you if a game works with Steam decks, so you can easily understand if something works without worrying if it has to do with your own configuration of desktop builds. increase. Or worse, how to solve it.
Ignoring competing hardware, this user-friendly layer of software is what sets Steam Deck apart from many other similar competitors, such as the Aya branded multiple handhelds. It runs on Windows, so it’s much more like a desktop PC, but, incidentally, the OS and hardware struggle to work together properly, making it a bit of a pain to play games on. With such a tight link between the SteamOS and Steam Deck hardware, the handheld replicates the ease of use of the console without sacrificing the granularity of choice that allows you to play your games the way you want. It’s the closest PC game ever made for you. .
Steam Deck is willing to tinker with it, with a variety of options for refresh rate, resolution scaling (using system-level AMD FSR support), and options to limit power consumption and extend battery life. It’s malleable enough to satisfy those who aren’t. All of this, combined with the wealth of options most PC titles offer, impacts the gaming experience. Its high level of user experience therefore allows most people to enjoy the game without the complexity of these options, but it also exists for people with backgrounds that are essential to the overall enjoyment. This balance allows Steam Deck to cater to the same PC crowd that Steam has satiated for over a decade, while at the same time being intimidated by the number of choices required by simplifying much of the process. You can invite people of any kind. Valve has successfully lowered the barrier to entry for PC gaming. This device is also one that makes you question why you’d lug around a bigger, hotter, and much more expensive laptop for gaming on the go. It’s a feat that so many PC makers have attempted to achieve without coming close to this level of success.
The flexibility of the Steam Deck made it an attractive purchase, made even easier by Valve’s aggressive pricing, making it a daunting prospect to build a comparable desktop competitor. The catch is that while suitable for relatively light workloads like word processing and web browsing, the Steam Deck can also work as a productivity device. Given its open nature, you can choose to erase what Valve has put in place, reconfigure everything from scratch, load Windows if you want, and use Xbox Game Pass. Valve’s decision to leave the choice up to you (and also provide tools to undo everything if you need to), while sacrificing a lot of what makes the Steam Deck easy to use, is what makes this kind of Its consumers, because there are few mirror platforms. Spending time getting in the way of experimentation like this is a waste, and making sure the processes that support it are as sophisticated as possible is more important than the time Valve itself will spend on these systems and what will happen in the future. system is more beneficial. Finally support.
Just as it was almost impossible to discourage people from buying a Nintendo Switch, the same could easily be said about the Steam Deck on the eve of its one year anniversary. It’s become one of the easiest ways to get into PC gaming, getting you up and running with a new Steam account to play on the go or a new home to save your existing library. It compromises what it means to play games on a PC and recontextualizes the perceived barriers to entry that need to be overcome to simply enjoy this space. By streamlining the entire process of installing and playing games while providing a customizable environment to do pretty much everything else, the Steam Deck is a device that appeals to a wide audience and has been around for some time. It will definitely inform the future of PC gaming. .
The products featured here have been independently selected by the editors. GameSpot may receive a portion of the proceeds from purchases featured on our site.
https://www.gamespot.com/articles/the-steam-deck-has-transformed-pc-gaming/1100-6509947/?ftag=CAD-01-10abi2f Steam Deck Transformed PC Gaming