Steam Deck – pros, cons and more
Handheld gaming and PC gaming will soon merge with the release of the Steam Deck! Imagine playing Steam games on the go on one portable device. It’s easy to compare the Steam Deck with the Nintendo Switch, but the former does so much more. After all, it’s a portable PC, so it gives you the features expected from a desktop computer.
It’s best to learn about this device before ordering, just like what you’d do when purchasing a games console like the Xbox Series X. Depending on the model you order, this could cost as much as the current-gen consoles PlayStation 5. That’s why we will help you decide by showing you the pros and cons of the Steam Deck.
We will start with a quick rundown of the Steam Deck and what it does. Then, we’ll go deeper by showing you the specs for each model of this Steam machine. After that, we will elaborate on the pros and cons of the Steam Deck. We will also explain why the Valve corporation delayed its release and how you can get your hands on one.
What’s the Steam Deck?
Valve’s Steam Deck may finally realize the dream of playing AAA PC games on a portable device. Think of the Nintendo Switch, but it contains your Steam Library.
It truly does feel like that because it shares a similar shape and size. It features a directional pad, ABXY input buttons, shoulder buttons, and thumbsticks on either side.
However, it has a touchpad on the left and right to simulate playing with a mouse. The Deck’s gyroscope lets you move the screen’s view with the device for more control.
What to Know
Many PC games involve more buttons than consoles, so the Deck has four back buttons. Together, these features should allow you to play Doom and Cyberpunk 2077, right?
A user got their hands on a dev kit and tried. Fortunately, the Steam Deck supports these titles and more. This user even reported that they ran decently on this portable device.
Popular games website IGN even shared a sneak peek of the Steam Deck in action. Bo Moore said in this YouTube video that it handled decent gaming, running medium to high settings.
What’s more, it’s a portable PC so that it could serve as your new desktop. Connect a monitor, a mouse, and a keyboard, and you now have a new computer!
It lets you browse the internet and install other PC software. The Steam Deck has an operating system, but you could uninstall that and replace it with another.
Steam Deck features
Steam Deck is a full-featured gaming PC that lets you bring the games you love wherever you go.
— Steam (@Steam) August 13, 2021
- Fast storage – You can choose three storage capacities for your Deck: 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB. If you need additional space, you could insert a microSD.
- Hi-fi audio – The Steam Deck lets you use dual microphones or your favorite headset.
- 40Wh battery – The Steam Deck can run up to 7-8 hours for game streaming, web browsing, and playing 2D games.
- Quick suspend & resume – Press the power button, and the Deck will go into sleep mode and pause your game. Switch it back on, and it will allow you to continue your progress.
- Expandable I/O – The Steam Deck lets you use PC accessories thanks to this feature. You could hook it up to any USB-C hub or connect it to its official dock.
- Wireless connectivity – Why connect with wires when you have Bluetooth? You may link this with your Bluetooth accessories and your Wi-fi.
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Pros and Cons
Seeing all these features, you can’t help but notice that it’s unfair comparing this to the Nintendo Switch. No wonder people are hyped to get their hands on it!
Of course, it’s not enough that Valve’s Steam Deck can play games on the go, and you have to see the good and bad about this device before you buy it.
Let’s start with the benefits:
- All-in-one workstation – The Steam Deck lets you use non-gaming software, which means you could use this for work too.
- Your Steam Library – We can’t stress this enough: all your steam games work on this handheld device, and the Switch simply cannot compare to such an expansive library.
- Portability – Imagine just casually having a short Ghost Of Tsushima: Legends session while you’re on the bus! Get your hands on a Steam Deck, and that will become real.
- Mouse and keyboard – Playing certain games with a trackpad and thumbstick can be difficult. For example, it’s a challenge to nail the quick precision targeting you need for first-person shooters like Call Of Duty: Vanguard. Thankfully, you can hook it up to a mouse and keyboard for better control.
- Many frames – The Steam Deck reaches 60 FPS despite being a portable device. Even the next-gen consoles can’t provide a framerate this high, allowing Steam Deck to deliver a smoother gaming experience than its competitors.
— Steam Deck (@OnDeck) October 18, 2021
The games work on the go with good graphics and a smooth framerate, so it’s a sure buy, right? Of course, we will also cover its flaws below:
- Playing with trackpads – As we said, it’s difficult to play certain games on a handheld. While you could attach a mouse and keyboard, it defeats the purpose of portable gaming, turning it into a regular desktop PC.
- Short battery life – We say that it runs 7-8 hours, but that’s for minimal workloads. AAA games work for about 2-4 hours before needing a charge.
- Poor track record – Do you remember the Steam Controller? A gaming controller allowed users to map buttons as they saw fit. Yet, you probably just remembered it now because many of Valve’s hardware offerings turned out to be flops.
- “Ninten-Dominance” – Nintendo still has a major grip on the market. The Steam Deck delivers better on its features to replace the Switch as numero uno.
Steam Deck’s biggest flaw is that it might not appeal to serious PC gamers. Why settle for 60 FPS when your gaming rig runs 120 FPS with far superior graphics?
How can I get my Steam Deck?
— Steam Deck (@OnDeck) November 10, 2021
If you like the idea of your PC games working on a handheld, this might be just for you. Unfortunately, shipping will start by Q2 2022 due to supply chain problems.
People from certain countries may secure a unit by logging on to their Steam accounts and paying the $5 reservation fee. You may order the Steam Deck in three storage capacities:
- 64GB eMMC internal storage
- Carrying case
- 256GB NVMe SSD internal storage
- Faster storage
- Carrying case
- Includes an exclusive Steam Community profile bundle
- 512GB NVMe SSD storage
- Fastest storage
- Premium anti-glare etched glass screen
- Exclusive carrying case and virtual keyboard theme
- Exclusive Steam Community profile bundle
Steam Deck is coming next year, so you might want to secure yours now. Of course, you should check its potential pros and cons beforehand.
Note that the demos warn that they do not feature the final hardware. This means your gaming experience may be different from how it was depicted.
More importantly, stay up to date with the latest about this console. Expect a few more hiccups due to supply chain disruptions around the world.