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What do you think about Steam Deck handheld PC ?

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First post, by antrad

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Recently Valve officially announced Steam Deck; a handheld PC running SteamOS, similar to GPD Win 3, Aya Neo and One Xplayer that already had successful crowdfunding earlier this year and that run on Windows.

https://store.steampowered.com/steamdeck

https://antonior-software.blogspot.com

Reply 1 of 67, by RandomStranger

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I love the idea, but I don't see it succeeding. Most steam games are not a good fit for handhelds. The design philosophy of desktop games and 'mobile' games are fundamentally different. Imho handhelds are more for 30mins or less bursts on the go and desktops are for 1 hours or longer gaming sessions. If I'm at home I'll be playing on the big screen and if I'm travelling somewhere or have some idle time away from home I won't play games where I'm just about to get into the flow by the time I have to stop.

For that I don't see the price being justified when I could get a Switch/Lite for half that much.

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Reply 2 of 67, by Pierre32

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I don't need one, but I think they're neat. It's interesting to see the culmination of Valve's hardware & Linux developments so far. The Steam controller and its insane configuration ability showed that it's possible to play the entire Steam library with a controller - even if it's not always optimal. I'd never play Arma with one. Some folk do! But even if you rule out all the hardcore kb/m titles, there are still thousands that will be right at home on a controller.

Since it has a dock and takes peripherals, it could even be an alternative to a new low/mid tier build.

Reply 3 of 67, by gerry

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if it genuinely runs all those AAA games it might make an alternative to the Switch and others for some, but it looks like a niche product that is destined to be on an episode of an LGR type program 15 years from now along with a few "i remember those", " they were quite cool, wonder why it didnt catch on" etc - but you never know, it might tap into some demand and balloon from there

Reply 4 of 67, by DosFreak

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No interest from me. I'm sure people will buy it and let it gather dust.

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Reply 5 of 67, by Zup

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It's hard to imagine it succeeding.

I mean, every bit of hardware designed / promoted by valve has been abandoned (except that VR glasses). And please note that I didn't say "discontinued"...

Looking at the Steam deck, the biggest drawbacks are:
- Price. Although is on par with the Switch, both are expensive for a portable console.
- The controls seems not well placed. The back buttons are the worst offenders (BTW... can you do Ctrl+Alt+Del?).
- Compatibility. One point of having a console is that games are suited to the system specs, you buy a PS4 game and it will run on every PS4. Not every Steam game will run fine (or run at all) on deck.
- Lack of dockstation. Switch, laptops and even tablets like Surface have docks where you can drop the thing without having to plug anything.

So it falls between a console and a computer... but it doesn't take full advantage of any of those worlds.

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Reply 6 of 67, by Drasglaf

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I'm sure it'll be awesome for people who travel or commute a lot. I don't so when I want to play something from my PC while on the couch/in bed, I just stream it with Moonlight.
Proton sure has helped Linux gaming a lot, but there are still many games that either don't work or work with issues. You can still install Windows if you want, confirmed by Gabe, so there's that.

There's been similar Chinese consoles for years in the market, so there is a public for it. I said it several times in the last few years: I can't imagine no one would try and take part of the handheld pie from Nintendo. My personal bet was Microsoft, but I was wrong.

Reply 7 of 67, by Almoststew1990

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I think it will just be too slow to meet people's expectations. I've had a few low watt netbook things and they're never as fast as you think. 15watts for the entire device just cant be enough to play AAA games well at 720p.

(People are moaning that it won't have capacity to install the 100GB AAA games like RDR2 and CP but it doesn't have a hope at running those games well to begin with. I would love to be proven wrong...)

Regardless I've always found these devices intriguing so I've "pre-ordered a pre-order" or whatever it was for one. I'll be using it for late PS360, early PissPoor gaming which it can hopefully manage.

I've been installing and running games from SD cards and USB sticks on various x86 tablet devices for years and it's manageable.

I'm not sure I'm onboard with the touch pad things either. My Vita has a touch pad and it's a waste of space. You can't do anything constructive with such a small touchpad and it'll have a touch screen for 'pointing and clicking' I think.

I also find my switch heavy because I'm a wimp and I think this thing will end up heavier and bulkier so I might not like playing it in bed holding it up.

I think developers will need to design a SD Mode for their games, even if it's just a settings preset, so that it has an element of It Just Works.

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Reply 8 of 67, by antrad

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Almoststew1990 wrote on 2021-07-20, 13:08:

(People are moaning that it won't have capacity to install the 100GB AAA games like RDR2 and CP but it doesn't have a hope at running those games well to begin with. I would love to be proven wrong...)

You can already play those games on GPD Win 3 and Aya Neo which are much smaller devices:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB-nMBOTQNs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX3JA0ciifA

There are also videos of it running Cyberpunk, but I don't want to spoil the game for me.
Steam Deck is rumored to have better GPU performance.

https://antonior-software.blogspot.com

Reply 9 of 67, by Pierre32

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Zup wrote on 2021-07-20, 12:55:

- Lack of dockstation. Switch, laptops and even tablets like Surface have docks where you can drop the thing without having to plug anything.

It does have a dock, sold separately. It sounds like you can use any generic USB-C dock too. https://www.steamdeck.com/en/hardware

Reply 10 of 67, by Caluser2000

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Anything running on steam is fine by this geriatric...😉

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Reply 11 of 67, by cyclone3d

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It actually looks like a really cool portable, especially for platformers which it will most likely excel at.

The newer AMD APUs are pretty powerful. Pretty sure it won't really run higher end 3D titles at acceptable speeds though.

This actually looks like something I would be interested in.

Looking at the various pages, it can be use for streaming video, etc. Sounds like it will have some version of Windows on it... hmmmm.

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Reply 12 of 67, by chinny22

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About 15 years ago when I was doing a lot of traveling I heavily used my PSP. Sometimes 1hr or so long sessions on rainy days or fire up dosbox for PSP for a quick game of an old dos platformer which are well suited for casual playing. So I can see a demand, well I could if the travel industry was back up to where it was pre pandemic but with most people taking limited holidays at best and mostly staying home your better off getting a new console I'd think?

Other major problem is while console games are written around the hardware so your pretty safe in knowing AAA titles ported to your console based handheld for at least 5 years or more.
System requirement for PC games is a slow and steady creep for more powerful hardware. So while you may be able to run a AAA title in 5 years time with details turned down (which could be argued what a handled port is anyway) it still seems a bit of a risk if you ask me, especially when most AAA games are ported to every platform anyway.

I like the idea but I think the timing is bad and for me I see more negatives vs positive points.
What I do like the idea of is in about 10 years time when good emulators are written for it and playing the next wave of what will be retro games by that time.

Reply 13 of 67, by Kerr Avon

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I would really like a handheld PC, but quality is everything. The screen has to be large enough for the text to be legible, the controls have to be comfortable and precise, and it has to play the games (both Steam and non-Steam games) properly.

I travel a lot, commuting (I can't drive) to and fro from work, and I would love to play my old and new favourites on a suitable handheld system. Plus it would be great when I'm staying away from home due to the length (and cost) of the commute. So hopefully the Steam Deck will turn out to be just what I want, but I do think that if it turns out to be a success, at least initially, then it will be redesigned with better control placement, so I might not jump right in (especially since the price is a little high when you factor in the higher storage costs, which I will require if I buy one).

But if it does play all of my favourite PC games, including third party game mods for games like Skyrim, the Half-Life series, Duke Nukem 3D, GTA San Andreas and V (I don't like GTA IV), the Resident Evil 2 remake, the Unreal Tournament series, the Thief games and the Dark Mod, and Deus Ex, and with really good controls then it will be a dream come true.

Reply 14 of 67, by BitWrangler

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I've been watching "UMPC" developments, thinking I'd like one, nothing so far quite hits the spot though. I'm always on the lookout for an old handheld that will run DOS too (Portfolio etc)

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Reply 15 of 67, by mothergoose729

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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-07-21, 06:09:
It actually looks like a really cool portable, especially for platformers which it will most likely excel at. […]
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It actually looks like a really cool portable, especially for platformers which it will most likely excel at.

The newer AMD APUs are pretty powerful. Pretty sure it won't really run higher end 3D titles at acceptable speeds though.

This actually looks like something I would be interested in.

Looking at the various pages, it can be use for streaming video, etc. Sounds like it will have some version of Windows on it... hmmmm.

It will be steam OS which is based on linux, but I feel reasonably confident that valve will leave the boot menu accessible some how if you want to install windows.

Since it uses a custom APU driver support might be an issue.

I think it's a neat PC at a very aggressive price point. No way they are making money off the sale of the hardware. If I had one given to me I would play with it, but I am not interested in buying one myself. I prefer my handhelds to be smaller and I think battery life will probably be in the 2-4 hours range. My go-to gaming/emulation device is still the GPD X D just because it lasts 8 hours and it fits in my jeans.

Reply 16 of 67, by creepingnet

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I think it's going to be another one of those pieces of hardware we'll see on LGR in 20 years.

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Reply 17 of 67, by mothergoose729

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creepingnet wrote on 2021-07-21, 15:12:

I think it's going to be another one of those pieces of hardware we'll see on LGR LGR Oddware in 20 years.

Oh I love that. Slight addendum 😁

Reply 19 of 67, by Zup

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Pierre32 wrote on 2021-07-20, 21:21:

- Lack of dockstation. Switch, laptops and even tablets like Surface have docks where you can drop the thing without having to plug anything.

It does have a dock, sold separately. It sounds like you can use any generic USB-C dock too. https://www.steamdeck.com/en/hardware[/quote]
a) You have to buy it separately. Switch already includes.
b) A USB-C dock is not a craddle-like dockstation like those of Surface and Switch. Even if it has the right shape to hold the console, you will need to connect a wire; a proper craddle has ports that automatically connect when you drop the device into it.
c) OEM craddles are meant to run with specific devices, so every craddle behave equal. This can help to troubleshoot some problems.

BTW... will this thing work automatically when not connected? Although Steam has offline mode, it never work well enough so I consider Steam games online games. Will I be able to play on places where I don't have access or I don't want to connect to a WiFi?

I have traveled across the universe and through the years to find Her.
Sometimes going all the way is just a start...

I'm selling some stuff!