The Steam Deck was released on February 25th, 2022, to a lot of fanfare and high expectations. Designed by Valve, it plays the entire Steam library but can also be modified to run non-steam applications.
The theory behind the Steam Deck is to bring the most loved PC gaming library to a portable space. From the favorites such as Dota 2 and CS:GO, there are endless possibilities for steam categories that can be kept in your backpack. Even if you want to test out the best online casino sites, the Deck will maintain its catalog. From IGT slots Paradise Garden to Casino RPG, you can get the feel before entering a real money casino.
The Deck has a SteamOS interface, making it easy to launch games and adjust settings while playing. There’s an on-screen keyboard and built-in mic, which makes in-game chats and texts to fellow players easy, but there’s no camera, so video chats aren’t an option for now. You can see battery estimates on the screen during the in-game mode, which helps because the last thing you want is a power loss in the middle of a game. The remote play feature allows you to stream a game straight from your PC without downloading it.
Even though the Steam Deck is handheld, it’s optimized for PC gaming; it goes from portable to PC in less than 10 minutes. Pair a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, then connect a Stadia controller via USB, and it’s game time. You can add your headset and take on enemies in Tekken 7 with superior precision and all the sound effects. If you love PC gaming and want to play on a flight or in the mall, then this Steam Deck will appeal to you.
Battery life is a bit of a letdown with only two to eight hours of battery life; it’s not what we expected from a portable with such excellent credentials. The estimate of two to eight hours was greatly tested by games like Metal Gear Solid V or Star Wars, as they managed to drain the battery in one hour to one and a half hours. So if you plan on playing during a long flight or a road trip, carry a portable charger.
The Deck’s pricing is differentiated by storage, the basic model has 64GB, and the higher end has 512GB. With the basic model having minimal storage, you’ll constantly have to delete games to make space for new titles. The other issue with the basic model is that the games don’t load as fast as on the 512GB and 256GB models. To counter these storage issues, you can use a microSD card, though we must point out that game titles load slower than an SD card. Alternatively, you could use an external drive via the USB port, that’s if you don’t mind the inconvenience of a bulky dongle on your portable.
Steam Deck vs. Nintendo Switch
Steam Deck is a contender for the handheld gaming market, already there and dominating is the Nintendo Switch. Let’s look at the basic comparisons on the two devices without delving too deeply.
Both portables come in multiple configurations; the Steam Deck has three different size capacities and prices. The Nintendo Switch OLED is differentiated by the color of the Joy-Cons, one neon red and the other all white.
The Deck is pricier than the Switch OLED range, starting at $399, while the Switch Lite retails at $200. The high-end Switch costs around $350, while the Steam Deck is $649.
The Stream Deck is a worthwhile gaming investment if you’re a serious gamer. Its smooth and efficient performance both as a handheld and PC makes it invaluable. Don’t forget that it has access to the entire Steam library of more than 500 titles. Our advice, skip the basic 64GB model and head straight for the 256GB or 512GB. Happy Gaming!