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Steam Deck unlocks PC games like never before in 2022

Despite spending over ten years in the gaming media, I was never a PC gamer. I used to play a bit of his PC games when I was younger, but transitioned to a brief career in graphics where Macs reigned supreme around the same time that the PC hardware arms race accelerated. . As a result, PC gaming has long felt out of reach, both economically and as a matter of practical understanding. Even if I could afford it, I didn’t have the know-how to build his PC, and at best I’d heard mixed things about prefabricated gaming rigs. I’ve settled into a place where PC gaming has always felt alien and insensitive. It is against this backdrop that the Steam Deck arrived, effectively breaking down most of the barriers that stood between me and his PC gamer community.

Cost was certainly one important consideration. At around $500 for a mid-tier model, the Steam Deck is about half the price of many standard pre-built gaming PCs and roughly on par with game consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. It was a good starting point for me, having built a very small library of Steam games over the years, and was just about to dip my toes in regardless.

It also had the other important feature, the form factor, and it was affordable. The Steam Deck is first and foremost a portable PC and is sure to appeal to seasoned PC players who want to take their games with them on the go. However, as an avid Nintendo Switch fan who loves handheld games, I came from the other side. I play a lot of games on my console, and portable has always fit my life better as a sheer matter of convenience. Gaming on the go feels more like home to me, so the Steam Deck pitch for portable PC definitely stood out thanks to the portable part. It wasn’t a new way to play my PC library, but it was a completely new platform, already similar in function and form to another platform I loved, Switch.

Perhaps most importantly, the Steam Deck felt familiar and user-friendly. This is in contrast to traditional PC games, which at least from the outside look intimidating. I didn’t have to worry about fiddling with settings, installing drivers, or trying to get the best performance. Just buy and download a Deck-verified game and it should work in most cases. I was leaning back on the couch watching TV and in a few minutes I was out and playing. It was comfortable from the start.

And surprisingly, all these properties make the Steam Deck a great set of PC training wheels as well. No need to mess around, but don’t be discouraged either. Some of my favorite voices in gaming media talk about how easy and fun it is to step outside the safe boundaries of the Steam Deck UI and experiment with custom firmware, alternate storefronts, or other settings. increase. I’ve only just gotten my hands on it, but I know I can take advantage of both the ability to do custom things like Game Pass streaming using the walkthrough, and the ability to go back to the familiar Steam Decks UI and reduce the stress. It’s great to be there. A free and streamlined experience.

Sure, Steam Deck has its problems. Bulky, noisy fans, vents can get hot, games crash more often than traditional consoles, inconsistent features like background updates, poor battery life It feels more like the first draft of Valve’s ambitious idea than the final version. It reminds me of the original bulky Nintendo DS. This was later replaced by the much more streamlined DS Lite. Perhaps there will also be a refined version of the Steam Deck.

If so, I’ll probably buy it. I love Steam Deck, not only for all the amazing gaming experiences it has given me this year, but for gently ushering me into communities that I previously felt inaccessible to. I am a PC gamer. But who knows? Maybe one day I’ll have a decent desktop gaming rig. After all, you’re building a respectable Steam library.

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. Steam Deck unlocks PC games like never before in 2022

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