Valve Steam Deck Review: How Does It Game

magoo

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Introduction We bought a Steam Deck, and so what better to do with a Steam Deck than to immediately review it and find out how it performs! Here at TheFPSReview we are all about that performance and gaming experience. The Steam Deck is Valve Corporation’s handheld gaming device (that also can double as a Linux-powered […]

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Great writeup. I placed an order back in February when they started shipping, supposedly mine will ship by end of year. Makes me eager to see it!

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The Steam Deck is a great handheld, but the software development is the most important part of this. I'm really enjoying my Deck, and when I have time I'll be trying SteamOS on a desktop system.
 
I gotta say Valve got a lot right in its first try. The Deck is quite impressive. That said I think I'm going to wait for the next gen.

Zen3/RDNA3 combo should boost performance quite a bit. An 8inch ZERO BEZEL screen would be awesome. (why do portable gaming devices have such huge bezels?) and full HD please, thankyou.

BTW get rid of the useless touchpads, ok maybe leave one.
 
I gotta say Valve got a lot right in its first try. The Deck is quite impressive. That said I think I'm going to wait for the next gen.

Zen3/RDNA3 combo should boost performance quite a bit. An 8inch ZERO BEZEL screen would be awesome. (why do portable gaming devices have such huge bezels?) and full HD please, thankyou.

BTW get rid of the useless touchpads, ok maybe leave one.
I've been using the right touchpad a lot, but a lefty might prefer to use the other one.

The 6800U handhelds that are supposed to be shipping by the end of the year are interesting. I think Valve's input is better than anything on the horizon, though.
 
My Steam Deck arrived yesterday. My thoughts:


Packaging was impressive. The unit feels solid and holds well. The controls are intuitively placed for the most part — I suspect the four rear buttons as they are accidentally hit by me often, but they don’t really do a lot by default either.

I’ve only played on it for about 30 minutes. The unit has spent almost the entire day downloading updates and a few games to try out on it.

So far I’ve had the unit lock up 5 times just while poking around while stuff downloaded. Every time I go to “non-Steam apps” it asks if I want to install Chrome. If I say yes — half the controls go non-responsive. The UI still mostly works though, and Chrome does not install - it kind of soft hangs. I had the unit lock trying to come out of Desktop mode and go back to Full Screen — it just went to black screen.

The haptics feel tight. The speakers sound good. The screen looks good. The controls feel decent.

I played Transistor for about 30 minutes — that went well. It even got my previous save games from the Desktop (cloud saves). The unit can deliver as long as you have modest expectations

I was also able to get Steam streaming to work from my PC - but that you have you be careful of, as the Deck resolution is so low that most text comes across illegible.

From my limited amount of play time, I was plugged into a normal USB jack - the battery continued to drain since it was not a PD port, after 30 min I went from full charge to about 80% while plugged into low power. While letting it download updates, after about 5 hours the battery was almost drained — despite being plugged into a low power port and not playing any games, just downloading stuff. The unit can not download or perform updates while in Sleep or Standby.

Will report after I get some more playtime. The build quality feels good, many games seem like they will do great even with the small screen (Transistor looked and played great), but the software still has quirks and battery / power management feels suspect right now.
 
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