You can not buy even a decent graphics card at the price of Steam Deck. This is the state of computer games in 2022. a hobby with such an expensive entry requirement right now that those with no serious disposable income do not need to apply. Even if you could find a computer at the same price as the new Valve laptop, I can guarantee it will not come with a discrete GPU today, and I can also guarantee that you would be very disappointed trying to play any game on this side of it. 2006.
But Steam Deck will even play Elden Ring with a decent lick – also Anything I can play this stuttering computer port right now — and I’ve had an impressive gaming performance from it in almost every game I’ve thrown at it. Sure, you have to be a little frugal about the graphics settings, you might give it a frame rate limit if you want to run out of playback battery life, and it only works at 1280 x 800, but it’s a gaming PC that can play and become yours with just $ 529.
If you’re willing to wait, this is it.
Yes, the thorny issue with Steam Deck praise is the fact that availability is quite limited and it is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. No one on the PC Gamer team who booked the first day had any hints that they were closer to getting their hands on the microphone.
Gabe himself told us that he has no visibility as to when players will want a Deck, click on the market and receive one in a matter of days or a week. Although there is some good news that Valve designer Lawrence Yang has stated that he believes production of the Steam Deck will grow rapidly and will reach hundreds of thousands by the second month of the sale. Fingers crossed means Valve will overcome these pre-orders fairly quickly.
But looking beyond these, hopefully temporary problems, the material itself does so much that it’s good. Its potential as an economical gaming PC is enormous, more than just a low-end laptop with low-end graphics, which will still cost more than a mid-range Steam Deck.
And don’t forget to try to create a desktop computer with vague loud gaming chops for anything that looks like the price of the Deck. Especially since the higher-end embedded graphics from either AMD or Intel are constantly connected to more expensive processors.
With Steam Deck you can play your PC games on the go, in the garden, at a bar, on your couch or in your office, connected to a screen, mouse and keyboard. It is incredibly flexible, portable and amazingly powerful. a computer that can be almost anything to anyone. And you can get all of them for just over $ 500. Less if you choose the 64 GB version and fill it with micro SD cards.
There are of course limitations. The Linux operating system is incredibly accessible, either on the simple, portable focused Deck UI or on the desktop, but is still Linux and has a slight learning curve. And while Proton does a fantastic job of running Windows-only games on the Deck operating system, some do not work and some are not intentionally supported.
We already know that two of the biggest games, Fortnite and Destiny 2, are not supported for SteamOS, so you will need to use Windows (or streaming via GeForce Now) to play on either Deck. And right now AMD is still working on Windows drivers for the Van Gogh-based Aerith APU at the heart of the device, so you can’t really install the Microsoft operating system there yet.
While these are not bargains, they are definitely a gaming console.
At a time when the barrier to entry for gaming PCs is high – with the price of graphics cards still at an honestly offensive level, and almost everything else seeing a demand-related price premium – for Steam Deck to come as such a value proposition seems in fact almost anachronistic.
But that was always part of the plan for Deck.
“We always believed that price was one of the crucial things,” Gabe tells us. “I mean, very early on, we were driven by a set of ergonomic parameters, by performance factors and by the price point.”
That in itself was difficult, though.
“One of the key challenges we thought we had to face with this generation was honor,” says Gabe. “The price of $ 399 was written in stone. And we had to do a lot of things, like make huge minimum commitments. [minimum order commitments]and other items to reach the volumes that would allow us to hit these types of prices “.
However, the fact that most users have kept the top version of 512 GB has surprised Valve.
“I think we were a little surprised that instead of the basic SKU being the most popular,” says Gabe, “it was the high-end SKU that turned out to be the most popular SKU.”
“Many of us, including myself,” says designer Greg Coomer, “did not anticipate it when we finished the process and were preparing to announce the Steam Deck. We anticipated otherwise.”
These are these pre-order reserves, however. When the system is more widely available and parents are shopping for big birthday and Christmas presents, you can bet that the lower deck will start coming out on its own. It’s the kind of situation we’ve seen with the Xbox Series X being the big seller in advance and the Series S coming to the fore later on the line.
And, even though it only has 64 GB of eMMC storage inside, the cheaper Steam Deck still retains all the other features and specifications of its older siblings. Okay, you may miss the top-notch engraved glass screen, but you get 16 GB LPDDR5 and an APU capable of smashing God of War at an extremely fast frame rate.
During my test, every time I encountered a small error or performance that caused me to stop, I always returned the value. The Steam Deck is one third of the cost of many other gaming laptops and is much cheaper than most gaming laptops. And that’s why price is so important to Valve and why you should not think about spending chances on an ebay listing for a second, no matter how much you want.
This is, at its heart, an economical gaming computer, and indeed excellent.