Is the Steam Deck Here to Stay?

Is the Steam Deck Here to Stay?

The Steam Deck changed the face of mobile casual gaming in 2022. This handheld device, developed by Valve, was released into the wild in February 2022 to tremendous fanfare.

The device utilizes Valve’s Linux-based SteamOS combined with Valve’s compatibility layer, known as Proton, enabling gamers to power Windows-based games and apps on these agile handsets.

It’s said the Steam Deck can provide access to 8,000+ independent games, including some of the most hardware-hungry titles on the PC gaming market. All the early indication suggest the Steam Deck is here to stay. Valve insists it plans to invest time and money into developing a successor, but a faster version of the original is unlikely to arrive in the next couple of years. Below, we look at the story of the Steam Deck so far to gauge its impact on the casual gaming scene.

Handheld PC Games

Handheld consoles were a lightbulb moment for casual gaming. The Steam Deck took this to a whole new level. With hardware and battery power capable to power even the latest titles, including Cyberpunk 2077 and Elden Ring.

Handheld PC Games

On the Steam Deck, you’ll find most games will play at impressive graphics settings thanks to its 720p screen. It is possible to lower the graphics quality manually if you’d rather preserve the battery life, but it’s fair to say the Steam Deck does a solid job of replicating serious PC experiences on the move.

Vintage PC Gaming: An Evergreen Trend?

Sure, indulging in the latest PC games on a flashy, handheld device is darn cool. There’s nothing quite like using your Steam Deck to access old-school games too. In fact, the Steam Deck is helping to take cross-platform gaming to even greater heights.

It’s taking a leaf out of the iGaming industry, which has spent the last decade working hard to lean on HTML5 technology to build fully responsive online casino experiences compatible with smartphones and tablets, as well as desktops and laptops. As with vintage PC games, the leading iGaming developers have also successfully brought classic slot machine games to life online too.

With that in mind the Steam Deck makes it possible to access vintage DOS-based games on demand. Within the device, it’s possible to install something called DOSBox within the Steam Deck’s desktop environment.

Steam Deck Teething Issues and Updates

Of course, nothing is perfect in life and there’s a few notable bugbears with the Steam Deck. The microSD port is exposed to the elements, so there’s little protection for your storage card or even the internal hardware of the Steam Deck. This is something Valve should resolve with “Steam Deck 2”. Secondly, the device’s battery drain is a big issue, requiring serious adjustment for any future iterations. Although the battery life is said to range between two and five hours, it’s more likely to be at the lower end of that scale even if you take advantage of its battery-saving features.

In September, Valve released SteamOS 3.5 which has delivered a host of visual enhancements to gaming on the Steam Deck. Players can now manually alter color vibrancy and color temperature which can help preserve more battery life. In summary, Steam Deck is a huge step forward for mobile, cross-platform gaming. Better still, Valve knows where to improve should it forge ahead with a successor in the coming years.

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