It’s too early in the production process and it’s hard to say what will happen in the future Steam deck. But the portable hardware comes from valve Flexible, powerful, and affordable—and it has potential.
If Valve can allow Deck to gain enough widespread circulation, it has the opportunity to change the face of PC games. again.
Deck, which was first officially announced a few weeks ago, is a handheld PC running a new version of Valve’s Linux-based SteamOS. Out of the box, it has gamepad controls and two trackpads built into the sides of the 7-inch LCD touch screen, but you can also connect it to a monitor, mouse and/or keyboard and treat it as ultra-portable Computer tower.
Valve invited me and others to try out the first production models of Steam Deck in a one-hour demo at the Valve office in downtown Bellevue, Washington on Thursday afternoon. We were told directly that the unit we were using was the first pre-production model of Deck’s 512 GB model, but there were still some bugs that Valve had not yet resolved.
Regarding the deck, the first thing that reminds me is how light it is. I have been subconsciously expecting it to be brick-like like the old portable system of the 90s, but the deck is only about 1.7 pounds, and most of the weight is concentrated on the handles.
If you have ever used a controller, it is also very intuitive to play. The D-pad on the panel, the cross-shaped button in the upper left corner, is indeed located in a strange place, but the left trackpad under the thumb stick is mapped by default to work like the D-pad usually works in the game used. It is still surprisingly natural.
On the other hand, the right trackpad can be used as a more fine-tuned version of the right thumbstick, and That It took some time to get used to. I think it will never completely replace my thumbstick, but if you are looking for precise operation outside of the Steam platform, then at least in theory, you can use the trackpad. For example, I can imagine using the correct trackpad to arrange more precise shots in an action game without having to go back to the mouse and keyboard.
Of the games I tried on Deck, the one that surprised me the most was the 2020s Doom is eternal, It runs at 110 FPS without any problems. 2019 year control Works equally well.
Instead, Valve’s own Portal 2 It runs smoothly, but some strange texture errors appear when I move around in the game, and the Microsoft release Sunset speeding I don’t want to load its colorizer at all. The game functions on the deck, at least in this early stage, are best handled according to the specific situation.
Deck also has the same problems as Nintendo’s Switch, because not every game is designed for or very suitable for 7-inch screens. UI scaling can and is likely to solve some of its problems, especially as Deck continues to mature, but games designed to look good on 42-inch or larger screens cannot cope well with scaling down to a sixth one. size.
Like a recently released game rise, With the player character already relatively small, trying to play it on Deck’s screen is like an interactive and violent Monet painting.You really can’t tell what is continue.
Of course, this is not Valve’s fault, but it is something that customers should pay attention to.There are many Switch games that you probably shouldn’t try to play in portable mode because of poor UI scaling or poor graphics, ie Skyrim, This is also true for the deck. Valve did say that the final version of Deck will be equipped with a built-in magnifying glass, but this should solve any problems in this regard.
One of my other important gains from Deck is its versatility. Valve will definitely show this at the event. One station is dedicated to multiplayer games through several Bluetooth-connected Dual Shock 5 controllers, and the other shows how Deck works when connected to a keyboard and monitor.
There is a USB-C port on the top of the Deck, which can be used to plug in an off-the-shelf adapter, or you can use a Bluetooth compatible wireless mouse and keyboard. When it is connected to a monitor, Deck will automatically switch to desktop mode, where it runs an operating system derived from Arch Linux.
Valve set up a Deck with a monitor and a wireless keyboard in its office, running Blender, VLC media player, Chromium and Visual Studio Code at the same time. Start the game without causing any noticeable performance degradation.
Valve’s team members will definitely point out that Deck is a PC, not any type of console, and can be used like an individual. It also plans to launch three models, priced at $399, $529, and $649, respectively. The only serious difference between the three is the size of the internal hard drive.Their Internal specifications It’s all the same, you can expand its internal storage through the SD card slot at the bottom of the device.
I don’t think we’re talking enough: anyone who buys Deck can get a pre-built PC with amazing performance for as little as $399. Of course, Deck mainly runs games, but at this price, it can compete with high-end Chromebooks. Steam Deck can be huge for low-income audiences, whether as a gaming platform or as an affordable PC.
Its portability also provides many options for other niche audiences, such as tournament organizers. From the moment the Steam platform was released, it has been attractive to people who regularly host events (such as the Evolution Championship Series this weekend) because it is an easy way to carry a dozen or more game settings.
The only drawback is that at the time of writing, Steam Deck does not have any built-in anti-theft measures, such as the Kensington security slot on the back of Xbox Series X; otherwise, the deck will become an absolute lock for national fighting competitions.
The deck also has a lot of tinker potential. Valve’s team will definitely mention to me that Deck will not install any locking measures on it that prevent users from installing their own software on it, even if it means erasing its original operating system.
Now that I have played Steam decks, I will redouble what I said before: decks are by no means “switch killers”, as many people have said on social media.it It looks like It’s like a Switch, but Valve didn’t even try to target Nintendo’s audience. (This is a shame, because I bet Half-Life Kart Some units will be moved. )
If there is anything on the Steam deck, it is the next generation PlayStation Vita.
Vita is the successor to Sony’s popular PlayStation Portable, a handheld video game console that was discontinued in 2019.Although its actual software library has some fans, the main reason people get Vitas is because they were and are Very It’s easy to crack, and it’s very useful once you do.
So far, users have transformed Vitas into a platform for movie streaming, game simulation, and e-reader. Steam Deck is cheap, versatile, and almost all designed for the same kind of homemade exploration. It is impressive enough on its own, but what I am really interested in is that now I have seen what fans will do with it.
Steam Deck is still scheduled to start shipping in December. The first available models are planned to be provided on a first-come, first-served basis to Steam users who managed to make a reservation last month.