Valve has just announced it’s launching the Steam Deck, a portable gaming PC that lets you take your Steam library with you wherever you go. I’ve already pre-ordered the pre-order (you have to reserve your spot on the pre-order invite list with a €4 fully-refundable deposit), and am hoping for delivery in Q1, 2022, at which point I will host a small but beautiful memorial service for my Nintendo Switch. You are all invited, Covid permitting.
Let’s go through the information that we have so far, before we move on to how Twitter is desperately trying to find a way to bring it down before it’s even up.
So, according to Valve, the Steam Deck is “more like a PC than a console because it allows you to customise your experience and have all the options at your disposal that are typically associated with PC gaming.”
You can plug in a mouse, monitor and keyboard, and, in addition to playing games, you can use it to browse the web. There is also an accompanying dock in the works that will be sold separately, however a standard USB dock will work just as well.
Select Your Weapon
The Steam Deck is currently available in three different tiers:
Although it wasn’t an easy decision, I decided to go for the 64GB version @ €419, since the other two options would mean my family would have to go without food for a few months – which would normally be fine, but one of them is only two-years-old and I didn’t want him to get rickets or something and then get bullied at day-care for having floppy knees. I’m quite a selfless mother like that.
Anyway, it comes with an SD card slot, so I can just buy more memory later.
Battery life is important, and this one seems to have a similar span to the Nintendo Switch. According to Valve, you can play Portal 2 for around 4 hours, which gives you a rough marker. So, not ground-breaking, but good to know that such a customisable bit of kit is genuinely portable.
So, let’s get to the bit where everyone behaves like the world was created only to cater to them: i.e. let’s see what Twitter is saying about the Steam Deck:
This design looks horribly uncomfortable— MicahChips 🏳️🌈 #EldenRing (@CrispsCold) July 15, 2021
I find it difficult to understand how so many people who have never held it are complaining about how uncomfortable it is to hold. Bo Moore, executive editor of IGN actually has held it and he said “When I first saw the Steam Deck, I was a bit thrown off by its control layout…however, as soon as I held it myself, the layout felt completely natural.” And since he has held it, his opinion is slightly more useful to me than the armchair product managers on the internet.
So, for anyone who wants to see the Steam Deck in action, I’m leaving you with the IGN Hands-On video for your viewing pleasure: