24 Oct 2022 - mrtn
After I’ve been quite hyped about the pre-order already, I know had quite some time to use the deck.
tl;dr The Steam Deck is an amazing device if you are a pc gamer who is comfortable with - using a controller. - don’t need 4k 144Hz AAA graphics - ideally already have some games you bought and never played
After I got it in Spring 2022, I went through several emotions in the first two hours: Joy, because the carrying case seemed so sturdy. Then I was annoyed, because the fan was noisy. But then I was happy again, because the beta-software made it disappear.
After that rollercoaster, I started downloading games from my library, that I already owned and were compatible. And since that moment, I (almost) never looked back.
Some of the games i played on it:
As you can see, with minecraft and fall guys i’ve also left the relaxed territory of the steam store and installed non-steam-native games. With a tutorial it was easy enough - but I’m also a linux user for quite some time. If you don’t know your ways around the terminal, I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone.
I also don’t try to “run all the things” on it or tinker - It’s a gaming appliance and this is fine for me. So I can’t say anything in that regard. I’ve read some blog posts about repairs, changing thumbsticks etc and it seems that Valve did a great job for that as well. You can also order replacement parts or send it to one of the official repair centers if anything is broken.
Regarding the hardware, here are my two cents:
I have small hands - but I’m able to reach all the buttons without problem. I haven’t played a lot while standing, but it seems to be light enough for me that I didn’t care (yet).
I’m barely using the gyro besides in minecraft, but it appears to be pretty precise. I’m open to suggestions what I should play with it…
Despite some negative opinions i read, I’m happy with the thumbsticks. Happy enough that I barely use my steam controller at my pc anymore because it lacks thumbsticks…
As I got the 512GB Version with the Anti-Glare glass screen, I can’t say anything about the cheaper screens - but this one is great. It’s playable outside, even if you’re not sitting in the shadow. At night you can dim it that it doesn’t hurt in your eyes or wakes the child sleeping beside you. Top notch :)
The additional buttons on the back are amazing for shooters like apex or horizon zero dawn - never let go of your movement/aim thumbsticks! really cool.
And the speaker that valve put in that handheld are way better than expected. I barely play with headphones as the sound is good enough for me not to care any further.
Apart from the games and the literally zero issues I had as long as they were somewhat verified, it has been great to be able to hang out on the couch with my wife in the evening, when I really wanted to play some games - but she didn’t want to join me in my office. Understandably - I also prefer the living room…
I barely travel at the moment, so I can’t say much about this use-case. But being able to enjoy Horizon Zero Dawn while sitting in the train was pretty neat. If I’d commute, I’d totally carry it all the time.
What didn’t work though was “not to buy new games” before i diminished my pile of shame - so yeah…