Steam Deck review: Valve's handheld gaming PC
But after spending more than a week with valves, portable pc, i think theres a better analogy. The steam deck is what happens when the vita and the wii? U get drunk on linux and make a big baby together. The steam deck combines valves, familiar pc storefront with some of the best ideas from these iconic discontinued consoles, and it packs all of it into a beefy bit of hardware. Just like sony and nintendo did all those years before with the steam deck valve is asking. Does anyone need this? The short answer is no, but still youre going to want one when i unboxed the steam deck and got a good look at valves, handheld pc for the very first time i laughed. I couldnt help it, but this thing is seriously so large, its funny. The steam deck is 11.7 inches, long, 4.6, inches tall and 1.9 inches thick and it weighs one and a half pounds for comparison. The switch light and vita each weigh about half a pound while the wii – u gamepad, weighs 1.1 pounds for even more comparison. The steam deck is slightly heavier than a 12.9 inch ipad pro. It weighs about the same as five bananas and its significantly lighter than most dogs, Music, the steam decks. Heft affects how i interact with every game. In my steam library, i find myself holding the system low in my lap, often propping it up on my legs and craning my neck down in order to play after about an hour in this position, the muscles along the back of my head start to hurt and Ive been calling this phenomenon steam deck neck, its easily remedied with some stretching and repositioning, but the steam deck always ends up back on my lap and the cycle of discomfort continues and then theres the size of this thing.
Anyone with smaller than average hands heres, where you need to listen up the steam deck, is a full size controller. With a 7 inch lcd touch screen in the middle. It has big, rounded grips, haptic track, pads on either side of the screen and analog sticks and face buttons above those two bumpers line, the top of the deck with two triggers and four clickers on the back at more than four and a half inches tall. I am unable to rest the steam deck on my palms, while also reaching the top buttons with my thumbs and even using the analog sticks is difficult in this position. I have to support the controller by clutching the grips about an inch above the bottom straightening. My pinky fingers and making the back buttons difficult to use each game uses a unique input method and some titles cause more aching in my hands than others swapping rapidly among the right analog, stick and face buttons, as in action, games or shooters, tends to speed up. My discomfort but trackpad and touchscreen heavy games like inscription and world of horror, allow me to move my hands down or even just place the steam deck on a table where i can tap away with my tiny fingers at the risk of narrowing my audience even more Id like to note that full set manicures present a specific problem with the steam deck the options. Tab is the perfect thumbnail distance from the x button and ive accidentally pressed it a handful of times, while slaying demons in devil may cry 5.
to all. Six of you who care youre, welcome the ergonomics of the steam deck will vary with each user, and people with larger hands than mine will likely have a less crampy time, but i bet their palms will still get sweaty. The steam deck is hot and not like. In a thats hot kind of way, after about 30 minutes of playing any game, my palms get warm enough to start sweating in a way. Thats never happened with a dual sense or xbox controller. The first time this happened. I blamed it on the pile of blankets. I was buried under, but sweaty palm syndrome is a consistent occurrence with the steam deck location be damned. Additionally, the system fan regularly blows hot air from the top of the machine, and this makes a noticeable amount of noise, though its nothing extreme noise, wise youll, be fine, pulling this baby out on public transportation, size wise thats. Your call because of the sweaty palms finger cramps and steam deck neck. My play sessions max out at two hours, this isnt terrible in terms of actual play time, and it means ive never run into a battery issue with the steam deck valve says. The system will get 2 to 8 hours of life on a single charge, depending on what games, youre playing and their settings aaa games will suck more juice out of the battery as while playing above 30 frames per second and 50 brightness. I should note this review is based on the mid tier steam deck with 256 gigabytes of nvme ssd storage.
This one costs 530 theres, also a 512 gigabyte model with a high speed ssd that costs 650 dollars and a 64 gigabyte version thats just 400. Aside from offering a dismal amount of storage space, the 64 gigabyte model uses a much slower emmc drive, and i havent seen what that looks like in person. Steam os runs the whole damn thing and it takes up 30 gigabytes on my mid tier model. Leaving me with 227 gigabytes free so keep that calculation in mind too. All versions of the steam deck have a high speed micro sd slot, so players can expand their libraries and even play games directly off a card, but internal storage will definitely be faster than this method. Now the games, the steam deck, is technically a handheld pc, which means it will theoretically support every game on steam, though some of these titles are officially optimized for the system, while others are functioning on pure hope. There are four optimization levels: verified, playable, unsupported and unknown, and roughly 10 percent of my library falls in the verified category. So far, the playable games – ive tried, like inscription, have performed okay with small hiccups that dont break the overall experience. The most common fix involves pulling up the on screen keyboard, which is accessible at any time alongside other quick settings, a prompt appears before installing playable games outlining their known issues on steam, deck like small font or mouse, and keyboard icons, and its easy to make a Decision about installing, from there when it comes to unknown titles, youre on your own until theyre tested for what its worth kentucky root, zero is labeled unknown and its been running beautifully.
For me, i tested a handful of familiar games on steam deck, including hades celeste devil. May cry 5 inscription cuphead and hotline miami, and i wouldnt say that it felt better to play any of these titles on the handheld rather than pc. However, steam deck delivers something worthwhile flexibility. The steam deck allows me to step away from my desktop where i spend all day working and play my games somewhere. I can fully relax sure this is already possible through steam link, but the steam deck makes this process seamless, ive loved, having one in the house and truly it couldnt have come at a better time. I just moved, and i dont have a tv yet so i cant escape to my living room after work. As usual, the steam deck has filled the void left vacant by my ps5 and xbox series x, allowing me to play on the couch at the end of the day, at least until my neck gets sore the steam decks battery life is less of an issue than I thought it would be largely because the way i use the machine is different than i first imagined. Initially i figured the steam deck would be more like a switch light, something to throw in my bag and take out into the world a truly mobile version of my steam library, but in practice i use the steam deck more like a wii. U it stays at home and i play it on the couch in my living room or in bed at night, never far from a charger or a sensible tabletop to rest it on the steam deck is a frankenstein synthesis of a wii? U and a vita, but with valves dna coursing through its cables, truly its a steam controller and a steam machine in one hefty package and ive come to appreciate it for what it does best.
The steam deck isnt a mobile device to take on your everyday commute. Its a steam library, extender opening up new places to play around the house, i wouldnt recommend the steam deck as an introduction to pc gaming, but for millions of existing steam users its worth the price of entry, even if you just play a few times a month, Two hours at a time for all the latest video game news subscribe to the engadget youtube channel and stay tuned to engadget.