I finally got my Steam Deck two weeks ago. After a full year of waiting as I watched everyone and their mama get theirs, I finally had the honor of receiving mine. So, what are my thoughts? Is the $500 device worth it when you already have your superior PC build? Yep!
It’s no exaggeration when I say that I am beyond happy with my purchase of the Steam Deck! For something that claims to allow you to play all your steam library, I was a bit hesitant to believe it. However, I was swiftly proven wrong. Thanks to the optimized Linux operating system called Proton, Steam Deck virtually plays all games available in your library (with a little tweaking of course)! It’s a device that’s best suited for PC gamers looking to play their games on the go and yet have the flexibility to customize their experience, in their own way.
Now, this isn’t an in-depth review of the Steam Deck, more so a first impression of the device as I have yet you fully tap into the full potential of the portable unit, aka emulation and other awesome features that have been cramped into the gaming machine. At most I have been playing games like Divinity Original Sin 2, Tales of Arise, and No Man’s Sky which, all run pretty well. The Steam Deck quite honestly reinvigorated my desire to play games in a whole new way. It’s even gotten to the point where I am willing to even tolerate 40FPS in most of my games. But to be fair though, the 40FPS is quite surprisingly smooth so it was manageable for my PC elitist eyes. And coming from a guy that actually buys the Nintendo Switch version of any game that’s multi-plat because I prefer to play it portable, it’s a major upgrade.
One of the key features that I liked about the Steam Deck is the user profile settings, allowing you to optimize for each game, thus saving you time for playing. The only negative thing I can think of when it comes to the Steam Deck is the battery life and that it’s not for the casual gamers who usually play on consoles. Now personally when it comes to me, I at most can play for three hours at a time before needing a break, which is what most gaming sessions tend to be before the battery dies so I was worried at first but I found it later to not be that much of an issue. Plus, I can always get a power bank if it becomes necessary.
I was able to get my hands on the 512 GB version and honestly, I am grateful that I did because I filled up my Steam Deck quite quickly, even with the extra 512 GB SD card that I got. I am not much of a tinkerer when it comes to electronic devices, aside from building a PC, so most of the time, I never mess with anything prebuilt. I’ve seen people buy the 256 GB version and just add a 512GB SSD but for me, eh, I’m willing to shell out the extra money. As for the anti-glare, the only thing I’ve noticed is that the color contrast is deeper, slightly than the 256GB but not enough to notice unless you have them side-by-side.
Earlier, I did mention that the Steam Deck really isn’t suitable for casual gamers who play on consoles and that is true. When a game has an issue, most people who play on PC have an idea of what could be the issue and can fix it relatively quickly, whereas console gamers aren’t used to something like that. Tinkering with the settings is a native thing to PC gamers, so with the Steam Deck, PC gamers will feel right at home.
Now there is one aspect of the Steam Deck that I don’t see many people talking about, and that’s the fact that the greatest feat that the Steam Deck was able to accomplish is the fact that it’s bringing Linux to the mainstream, and it breaks the dependency of games to be on Windows, aka make gaming open source. That alone is impressive. Yet, right now some multiplayer games can’t be played right now, but that will be addressed with time.
Overall, this deceives is the greatest and quite frankly the quintessential portable device for any PC gamer out there. Well done Valve!