Handheld gaming can often be seen as an outdated activity. We all loved our Nintendo Game Boys, and the Sony PSP had a brief spell of popularity. Even with the popularity of the Nintendo Switch, handheld devices have largely fallen out of favour in the face of competition from more powerful consoles and computers.
However, the Valve Corporation’s Steamdeck is keeping handheld gaming alive. Let’s take a closer look at the unit and ask whether or not it is worth the investment. Read on to learn more.
What is the Steam Deck?
Game developer and publisher Valve Corporation released the Steamdeck in 2022. The handheld unit arrived at a time dominated by consoles and computer gaming, and many expected it to perform poorly with such stiff competition.
However, the Steamdeck has done remarkably well. Millions of units have been sold, and Valve Corporation is confident about the future of the device with plenty of updates and new features in the pipeline.
What Games are Available?
If you’re thinking about getting yourself a Steamdeck, there are a number of things you have to consider. The most important thing to look into is the games available for the unit. After all, you don’t want to buy one only to discover you can’t play your favourite games.
One of the biggest draws of the Steamdeck is that it can be used to access the entire Steam library of games. This digital marketplace is home to tens of thousands of titles, from AAA blockbusters to obscure indie games.
With a Steamdeck, you’ll never be short of games to play. You can load up the library and check what games are topping the charts or go digging through the extensive and incredibly varied collection.
Steam Deck Advantages
Other than the fantastic games download options, what other advantages does the Steamdeck have when compared to consoles, laptops and PCs?
The most obvious answer is the size. The Steamdeck is a compact unit, easily stored in a backpack or case. The biggest problem with games consoles is that they are large and require mains power. With the Steam Deck, you can play games on the go. This makes the unit perfect for keeping you entertained while travelling or commuting.
While the Steamdeck is small, this doesn’t mean it skimps on the tech under the hood. With an RDNA 2 GPU and a quad-core Zen 2 AMD processor, the Steamdeck is more than capable of handling most modern games.
Steam Deck Disadvantages
Nothing is perfect, and the Steamdeck is no exception. The battery life on the unit leaves a lot to be desired. While the device is perfect for remote gaming, you may find that you need to charge it regularly to prevent it from running out.
Additionally, the screen is not OLED-equipped. This means it may not be able to generate images that are as clear and crisp as those you could see on your TV.
Finally, the Steamdeck can get quite noisy. The unit has an in-built fan to keep it cool, but this can be loud and distract you from the gaming experience.
Is the Steamdeck Worth the Investment?
The Steamdeck starts at $399 for the most basic unit. If you’re looking for a handheld gaming console, it is definitely the best option currently on the market.
Access to the Steam library means there are far more available games when compared to something like the Nintendo Switch, and the unit’s portability makes it perfect for the travelling gamer.
Handheld gaming was thought to be a thing of the past, but the release of the Steamdeck has propelled it back into the mainstream. The unit is perfect for gamers looking for a compact, portable console with plenty of available games.