Discussion Steam Deck


Valve's newest foray into hardware. A handheld PC gaming device that runs SteamOS, but the option for the user to install full-fat Windows is available. Price point is competitive ($399) for base model and specs are top-of-the-line for a mobile unit. Everyone's talking about it in status updates, so I made a topic so we can discuss it without a stupid character limit!
 

O.Stogden

Member
But I like the stupid character limit.... It helps me be concise, and I'm never concise... :(

I definitely think the middle range model is the one to go for, I think the 64GB model will be problematic if you're running an OS on there, you wouldn't even be able to fit 1 AAA game on there. Plus you get that NVMe goodness.

And investment into a nice chonky SDXC card is a must for this, one with a high speed rating too. Unfortunately SD cards aren't great for running games off of.
 
But I like the stupid character limit.... It helps me be concise, and I'm never concise... :(

I definitely think the middle range model is the one to go for, I think the 64GB model will be problematic if you're running an OS on there, you wouldn't even be able to fit 1 AAA game on there. Plus you get that NVMe goodness.

And investment into a nice chonky SDXC card is a must for this, one with a high speed rating too. Unfortunately SD cards aren't great for running games off of.
Yeah, the 64GB model feels like an obvious ploy to get you going for the next tier model. eMMC ๐Ÿคฎ
Though, if you're just playing indies or only going through one big title at a time, it's going to take a while for you to run into any space issues. You'd only start running into issues if you tried to play absolutely massive AAA titles.
 

O.Stogden

Member
They can remake a SNES game and make it 200GB these days. I think any AAA title isn't safe on the 64GB. The Star Wars Fallen Order game they were playing in the trailer wouldn't fit on the 64GB version at least.

But yeah, if you're just keeping it for like Stardew Valley, Factorio, some Overcooooooooked. It'd be fine on the 64GB with a nice chonky SD card in there.

I did just realize I was unfair in my comparison with the Atari VCS before though, the VCS is $100 cheaper, but it does lack a display, a decent CPU, a decent GPU, a decent OS, any input methods and a brand that can be trusted.
 
They can remake a SNES game and make it 200GB these days. I think any AAA title isn't safe on the 64GB. The Star Wars Fallen Order game they were playing in the trailer wouldn't fit on the 64GB version at least.

But yeah, if you're just keeping it for like Stardew Valley, Factorio, some Overcooooooooked. It'd be fine on the 64GB with a nice chonky SD card in there.
Not even just indies. Most Japanese AAA titles aren't as horribly bloated as Western ones. Stuff like Sekiro, Yakuza 7, Scarlet Nexus, and Dragon Quest XI are much lighter and aren't going to give you any problems on a 64GB budget.
 

Kezarus

Member
For me... IDK... I usually go for broke when I build a PC and it lasts at least 5y. If I get this in my country I would probably be robbed blind by the dolar conversion rate and actual robbers. Couldn't have a thing so small to play on too, as I prefer an ergonomic chair and setup to do it for hours or I will be in pain forever.

THAT SAID, the specs are preeeeeetty good... wow. And it's not that expensive for the people on US (here in Brazil things doubles in price, it's not just conversion). And it double as PC that you can plug a monitor, keyb and mouse. Seems to be another nice move from Steam.

I would never buy it, but I see it as a great alternative to many many people. =]
 

O.Stogden

Member
Yeah, their conversion rate for the UK isn't so bad @Kezarus . We have to pay the equivalent of $500 for it. Going up to $630 for the 256GB and $800 for the 512GB.

Still cheaper than any other PC for the specs though, so it's pretty good. Like you, I wouldn't have a use for this though.
 
I just found out that if you want to preorder this thing ASAP, you need to:
- Have a Steam account (Only one order per account)
- Have made a purchase on that account before June 2021
Otherwise, you're going to have a 48 hour disadvantage. RIP Scalpers and bots ๐Ÿ˜‚ Wish more companies did anything close to that much to curb them.
 
I just found out that if you want to preorder this thing ASAP, you need to:
- Have a Steam account (Only one order per account)
- Have made a purchase on that account before June 2021
Otherwise, you're going to have a 48 hour disadvantage. RIP Scalpers and bots ๐Ÿ˜‚ Wish more companies did anything close to that much to curb them.
This is the coolest information I've seen about the system, lol

Jokes aside, good on Valve. Very consumer-friendly move. It's a slightly interesting machine, but it also feels like I don't have much use for it, I dunno. The storage space hurts the most, I think.
 

Pixel-Team

Master of Pixel-Fu
I didn't see them mention whether it can stream games from your PC like the Steam Link. Does anyone know if the Steam Deck can do that? I would be very disappointed if it can't, especially if it boasts such high specs. ***EDIT*** Ok I see that it can stream. I'm in.
 
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O.Stogden

Member
I didn't see them mention whether it can stream games from your PC like the Steam Link. Does anyone know if the Steam Deck can do that? I would be very disappointed if it can't, especially if it boasts such high specs. ***EDIT*** Ok I see that it can stream. I'm in.
Yeah I think SteamOS and Steam app in general supports Steam Link, as it's just a feature found on any PC/Laptop that runs Steam, so you'll be good for that.

I totally think they should have made a cheaper Steam tablet for like $100 that was basically this without the high powered internals, designed to use things like Steam Link, GeForce Now, PS Now, Game Pass etc.
 
Yeah I think SteamOS and Steam app in general supports Steam Link, as it's just a feature found on any PC/Laptop that runs Steam, so you'll be good for that.

I totally think they should have made a cheaper Steam tablet for like $100 that was basically this without the high powered internals, designed to use things like Steam Link, GeForce Now, PS Now, Game Pass etc.
I'd definitely buy one of those, but I don't see a huge market for that when there's a Steam Link app as well as apps for most (all?) of those other services available for mobile. On Android, you could even connect the same kinds of controllers you'd use on your PC.

Well, preorders just opened. Looks like it's doing OK for itself. Flashbacks of RTX GPUs and PS5 launch day...
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Is it illegal or just against steam's terms?
Legal, but you violate the EULA. Steam is known to be very hard on EULA violations and, in countries where they can enforce it, they permaban accounts that have been sold. On top of that, like 2nd-hand key selling sites, it's very difficult to tell whether or not an account being sold is legitimate or is stolen property.
 

Kezarus

Member
Wow... thinking about selling a Stem account... Imagine the day you decide "Ok, I'm done with playing games. Gonna sell my... +200 games." Ok, some are old as hell, but still have some value.. XD

Don't even want to sum all the money I spent on Steam. ๐Ÿ˜… ๐Ÿ˜… ๐Ÿ˜…
 

Shut

Member
Wow... thinking about selling a Stem account... Imagine the day you decide "Ok, I'm done with playing games. Gonna sell my... +200 games." Ok, some are old as hell, but still have some value.. XD

Don't even want to sum all the money I spent on Steam. ๐Ÿ˜… ๐Ÿ˜… ๐Ÿ˜…
I think that day will come soon for me. I'm so tired of it all, some days I'm just thinking about selling all my published games along with everything that still makes passive income. I still haven't found a good marketplace to try to sell on though.
 
Looks really good, but I would prefer detachable controls. This would make it easier to fix if a button starts to act up.
Typically the controls are the first thing to start acting up on consoles, especially after a year of heavy use.
Input longevity is definitely a potential issue, but detachable controllers come with their own flaws that aren't ideal. Have to design for additional points of failure (Switch has major problems here), you have to design for having less space internally (meaning, specs, features, or cooling would take a massive hit), and you have to sell controllers separately (likely at a loss or near-loss like Nintendo's Joycons). On top of that, the price of repairing components yourself or sending it in for repair would be pocket change compared to paying $60-$80 for a new pair of controllers. The joysticks are the same Alps-brand model every other controller on the market right now has, so you can expect similar longevity to the Switch Pro Controller, Dualshock, or Xbox controllers. What's been shown of the internals makes it look as if many individual components are on separate boards, which is fantastic for repair cost and ease.

Jokes aside, good on Valve. Very consumer-friendly move.
Agreed. Really, the more I think about it, the more consumer-friendly the whole purchase process looks. They're obviously focusing on actual consumer purchases by putting serious effort into curtailing the plague of profit-driven sleazeballs scalping machines. They're also easing the rush-to-buy by the method of delivery: An entirely stock driven queue system. The site gives you an idea of when you can expect your package to ship if you want to reserve an order right now. If you do preorder, you can cancel at any point before your order is placed for a full refund of the $5/ยฃ4 reservation fee; at worst it goes into your Steam Wallet. If they're able to get early systems out to tech sites/YouTubers before launch, I'd daresay this is the most consumer-friendly you could possibly make a hardware launch in today's environment.

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Additionally, the hardware specs have been updated with new info.
1626552424641.png
The 2230 form factor would certainly explain the price point differences between models. You can buy a brand-new 128GB 2230 m.2 SSD for about $20 right now, making the 64GB model a lot better-looking. Would be silly to go much higher than that unless you're willing to buy used hard drives though, as my preliminary searches show new 256GB 2230 NVMe's at $80 and 512GB at $150.
For reference, this is a size comparison of m.2 SSDs.
1626552991091.png
2280 is what you'd normally put in a desktop PC or most laptops.
 
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K12gamer

Member
I wonder how well a portable SNES (Made by Nintendo themselves) would sell. You could download games into it...and it would also play all the old cartridges.
Oh...and it would connect to TVs with a dock that upscales the images for HD TVs. Price $149
Would also like to see portable Sega Genesis, PS1, Dreamcast, OG XBOX, PS2, XBOX 360 (All under $200)

1626706756677.png
 
I wonder how well a portable SNES (Made by Nintendo themselves) would sell. You could download games into it...and it would also play all the old cartridges.
Oh...and it would connect to TVs with a dock that upscales the images for HD TVs. Price $149
Would also like to see portable Sega Genesis, PS1, Dreamcast, OG XBOX, PS2, XBOX 360 (All under $200)
That kind of console would be all but impossible to do successfully, for a huge list of reasons. For one, Nintendo ironically killed the idea of a centralized online store for emulated retro games by being so successful at it. It showed publishers that people want to pay for their dusty, old games as-is. Why would publishers put their games on neo-VC and get less profit when they can release their own collections on already-existing systems and set their own prices? A dedicated online storefront with a satisfying catalogue for such a niche device is now a pipe dream. You're not going to get that satisfying library unless you are already a collector. If you're not, casually purchasing specific physical copies of desired retro titles is rapidly becoming prohibitively expensive. Note that devices like the S/NES Classic are totally different beasts. Entirely software-based, with a fixed and very limited selection of games which showcases the issues with 3rd parties I mentioned earlier. Their limitations are their strength, decreasing cost and maximizing profit. On top of that, they are very easy to jailbreak and add your own library of ROMs to.

On the topic of ROMs and emulation, hardware emulation is very limiting. Software emulation like Hyperkin uses in their devices isn't completely accurate, and I don't know if Nintendo would settle for 99% accuracy when the hardcore niche these kinds of systems occupy would tear them apart for it. Nintendo has the schematics for SNES hardware; they don't have waste R&D to reverse engineer it like Analogue does with their FPGA consoles. Once you step outside of the very-niche audience of those that desire 100%-accurate-hardware-emulation, the theoretical device now has to compete with freely-available software emulators on vastly superior hardware. Literally impossible to do that if a user is willing to resort to piracy, which an uncomfortable amount are. Even ignoring those playing illegal copies of games, most of the consoles you listed are easy to legally obtain ROMs for. SEGA is literally selling Genesis ROMs on Steam right now. PS1 and PS2 ROMs can be obtained from any computer with a DVD drive. Dreamcast ROMs can be ripped using a specific model of CD drive, which is available for very cheap nowadays. Xbox/360 ROMs (as well as most other consoles, including: DS, 3DS, Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, Switch, PSP, Vita, PS3) can be effortlessly ripped on jailbroken hardware. Once you have your ROMs, you can play them on whatever device you want with no restrictions. With the specs the Steam Deck has, it should be more than capable of handling everything up to PS2/Wii, and even do a handful of easy-to-run PS3 games like Demon's Souls or Wii U games like Breath of the Wild*.

TL;DR
Market is too small and cannibalized by cheaper devices that can emulate an arbitrary amount of consoles better via software. 3rd parties don't want in.

*Hilariously enough, even assuming Steam Deck performance is slightly weaker than existing handheld PCs, an emulated BotW will run better than it does on the Switch
 
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The only real reason i'd want a steam deck is for the dock that lets me access my steam library from my tv. that would be nice. otherwise idk if im enough of a handheld player for it to be worth my while, and most of the handheld stuff i want to play is already loaded onto my switch
 
Valve had a demo set up where they invited a bunch of tech reviewers to check out the Steam Deck. The Linus Tech Tips one is great.

Goes over almost anything you could want from a tech perspective. Assuaged all the little voices in my head worrying about theoretical ergonomics. My favorite part is where this dude pulls out a direct competitor to the Deck (AYA Neo)โ€”at a controlled Valve event with a Valve employee standing right next to himโ€”then compares them side-by-side with FPS counters, a thermal camera, and a light sensor. Either Valve is supremely confident, or Linus has some serious stones. Probably both.
 
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