It has certainly been an exciting few months with news for big releases, the holiday season saw the release of both the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X bringing the next generation of platforms to players, and whilst mobile still tops the list of gamer favorites largely in part to the huge number of genres available particularly amongst the likes of gambling where you can find some real money casinos that have continued to attract an older and less represented audience, new consoles are never a bad thing. It had been long expected that PC gaming giant Valve was working on something, and fans have now been able to get their first look at the Steam Deck.
The device draws immediate comparisons to the Nintendo Switch with a very similar look, which may make it look like a handheld console device, however, the developers have told players to look at it in a different way – whilst it does come pre-loaded with Steam OS, the suggestion is that it’s more akin to a miniature PC as anything can be installed on it, and peripherals can be used at will too, which makes it something a little different from the latter. Some of those differences are immediately noticeable too, with the two big trackpads on either side of the screen which has been greatly improved on from the Steam controller with feedback that is supposedly very similar to using a mouse.
There are still a lot of questions left to be answered by many too – battery life will be the big one, although cited numbers are between two to eight hours with the heavier games coming in at the lower end, these figures could change with actual hands-on experience and with any handheld device with portable gaming at the heart facing the same scrutiny. Any heat the device produces will also be a big question too, handheld devices have always had a problem with running on the hotter end of the game was too demanding, and since you’ll be able to load up any game on your Steam library, there are fears that some players running a game a bit heavier may run into difficulties in this regard.
That isn’t to say the internals aren’t impressive, by partnering with AMD to deliver internal components that are very strong, it does pack a punch – the hardware makes performance comparable to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but also not an entirely fair comparison as the Stream Deck was designed to handle running games at 720p flawlessly. Pre-orders for the device will start soon will the planned release being the holiday season of 2021, but it’ll certainly be extremely exciting for those who do get their hands on a device and comes with the shared library meaning you don’t need to repurchase games, there are big savings to be found there from other consoles too.