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Introducing the Steam Deck - Starting at $399 and coming in December


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13 hours ago, Graeme said:

Oh, I understand now. Since this is a portable PC for playing games and not a game console, the thought of a cartridge didn’t even occur to me since PCs don’t have cartridges. 

 

The confusion was caused entirely on my end. It was a lot clearer in my head because I, and a lot of articles I've been reading about it, was comparing it to the Switch (which has internal storage, a micro SD card slot and a game card slot to alleviate potential storage issues).

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9 hours ago, iainl said:

Cartridges are essentially custom SD cards anyway, and since the whole selling point of this is “the Switch where instead of re-buying Zelda and Mario once again, your entire Steam library is already on there for no extra charge” I can’t see Valve ever wanting to somehow integrate locked-down cards 

 

I wasn't clear about this in my first post but I wasn't suggesting that the Steam Deck should have game cartridges (that would go against their entire Steam business model). I was pointing out that the lack of a physical media alternative makes the internal storage more limiting, particularly with AAA PC games being so huge (COD: Modern Warfare requires 231GB, Quantum Break requires 178GB, COD: Warzone requires 175GB, Destiny 2: Shadowkeep requires 165GB, Red Dead Redemption 2 requires 150GB, Final Fantasy XV requires 148GB, NBA 2K21 requires 121GB, etc.). Even with the 512GB internal SSD model, it can fill up quickly. Micro SD cards are an option but at around $40 for 256GB, $70 for 512GB, and $175 for 1TB, that would just add to the cost of the device (particularly if you are buying multiple micro SD cards) and cut into the cost benefits of having your entire Steam library available/not re-buying games argument.

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Having the m2 slot in all models is interesting.  Assuming it's straightforward to open up, the SSD should be upgradeable, so you could probably put in a 2tb one.  Unless the SSD is soldered to the board of course, but I can't imagine they'd go that far...

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Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a PC gamer, so it’s not an area of this hobby that I’m really tuned into. I’ve been looking at the Steam Deck these last few days, trying to figure out what I think about it. I can’t decide if I think it looks awesome or if it’s the 2021 version of the Game Gear or Atari Lynx — great on paper, not so great in the real world. I’m inclined to think it’s awesome, but it’s definitely not something I would preorder until we had more reviews from the press and regular users. I’d like to know how well the games run, how long the battery life lasts, how nice the screen is, and the overall build quality of the product first.

 

More than anything, I’m just surprised that so many folks here want one. As we recently discovered in the Nintendo Switch thread, a lot of the Switch owners around these parts won’t even play the system in handheld mode. It’s always docked and connected to a TV. To me, it’s even more surprising that PC gamers — who are notoriously fussy about the performance and visual quality of their games — would be so eager to buy a machine like this where the games will surely fare worse on both fronts.

 

So, for those of you that want one, how do you see a device like this fitting into your gaming life? When and where do you expect to use it? What are your expectations in terms of how well games run?

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Honestly — and like you, I am on the fence — but this is the kind of device that could really get me back into PC gaming. I have a ridiculous gaming PC that I spent way too much money on that is not used nearly enough. I just prefer the ease of the modern console for most genres of games. But if I could grab the Steam Deck and easily jump into a game of Civ or Age of Empires? Or an old-school game in my Steam library? That could work.

 

I’m not ready to jump in yet — I’ll be waiting to see what your early adopters say — but I’m intrigued.

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I’m not preordering; I know how picky I am about the feel of hardware and screen quality. But my hopes are up - I currently play a fair bit of Xbox stuff streamed to my iPhone on the sofa while someone else is watching TV, so a device that’s up to Destiny 2 at 720p (and those specs can easily do that) is pretty tempting - it’s going to be a hell of an emulation box, too. 

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I think it’s a perfect starter PC or as a secondary, portable device. As a starter PC I think it would be perfect for my daughter as she loves the Sims and a few other PC games that would likely run fine on here and she wouldn’t have any of the PC maintenance hassles that a proper desktop would have. For me personally - I don’t need one but, I’m tempted just to get it out of gadgetlust, as an emulator machine or as a portable PC to use instead of SteamLink on the iPad. SteamLink actually works really well so I can’t say that’s enough to justify a purchase but, as a NüMAME (TM) I’m really tempted and combined with gadgetlust… who knows  😎

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I'm still on the fence, but I put down the deposit just in case.  I can bail if reviews are really negative, but if it turns out to be awesome, then it'll probably also be impossible to get one. For me it's a combination of wanting to mess with a wacky new gadget, and having something my wife can use to play civ on the couch.  I'd probably also get all the emulators on there, and could even see using it docked for PC indie stuff.  I don't have a viable gaming PC anymore, since my laptop is starting to show its age, and this could fit the bill.  I'll probably still keep AAA stuff to the Xbox, but if I can get PC gamepass running on this thing, along with steam and retroarch, then it's not a bad toy. 

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3 hours ago, ChrisBardon said:

I'm still on the fence, but I put down the deposit just in case.  I can bail if reviews are really negative, but if it turns out to be awesome, then it'll probably also be impossible to get one. For me it's a combination of wanting to mess with a wacky new gadget, and having something my wife can use to play civ on the couch.  I'd probably also get all the emulators on there, and could even see using it docked for PC indie stuff.  I don't have a viable gaming PC anymore, since my laptop is starting to show its age, and this could fit the bill.  I'll probably still keep AAA stuff to the Xbox, but if I can get PC gamepass running on this thing, along with steam and retroarch, then it's not a bad toy. 

 

I honestly forgot to reserve one but I'm also ok to wait as long as needed. By the time I can grab one, there will be so much documentation and videos on how to install/hack/sideload so much stuff that I'll likely be coming in on a much more mature platform overall, and I'm ok with that!

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I failed to preorder, partly due to general indecision, but also because there’s talk that the cheapest model will still have the m.2 socket in there. If there’s a good chance we can buy the cheap one then throw in a TB or so of space then that’s great. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
3 hours ago, iainl said:

Tbh I’ve not yet seen anyone preview the thing without parking a Switch on it to show the size difference. 


TBH I wrote that before watching the whole video and I thought he would do more comparisons than just the size. He does more comparing with the Aya Neo though. 

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It's a really great preview for someone with only 90 minutes to play. Seems like a great bit of kit, for those who preordered promptly. Goodness knows when I'd be able to buy one on a whim, though.

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