I haven’t owned a handheld console since the Nintendo DS which was about 15 years ago. I’ve never really felt the need to have one bar the odd game here and there. However, since the Steam Deck came along, the idea of having my Steam library with where ever I go has been an enticing prospect.
I’ve had mine Deck for about a month now and I’m so glad I decided to buy it.
I pre-ordered the Steam Deck during the summer when the estimated delivery time was around Q4. Expecting it to be November or December. The idea was that it would be a Christmas present to myself because, why not. Then at the end of September, I got an email saying it was available for me to buy. I’ll be honest, initially, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to go through with the purchase as I figured it wasn’t something I needed. More something I wanted. For a day or two (I had a few days to make my mind up) I deliberated on whether to go through with it. After all, upwards of £400 is a lot of money. But obviously, I decided to do it. Just over a week later it arrived.
Why did I buy it?
I have a good PC for gaming, I don’t play on console. So why did I want a Steam Deck?
I thought it would be something good to have for traveling, like when I’ve found myself staying at a hotel on my own for a conference or something. Having my Steam Deck then would have been so much better. Additionally, sometimes I just want to lie in bed or lie on the sofa, chill, and play something a little more casual. Let’s be honest, I have no ‘real’ need for it. I just wanted one because I thought it was cool and the idea of being able to play some of my PC games ‘on the go’ was appealing.
It also felt like an opportunity to play some other games. Far too often when I’m on my PC I revert back to playing similar games – mostly FPS games. However, with the Steam Deck I don’t feel like I want to play FPS games on it, mainly because I prefer mouse and keyboard for those games. It’s therefore the perfect oppourtunity to play some of those games I’ve had sitting on my wishlist for ages. I have loads of Indie games on my wishlist that I want to play but just haven’t gotten around to it.
Now that I have it though, I’m starting to work through some of those titles.
The Perfect Indie Machine
I know that there are already a fair few AAA games that have been optimised to perform well on the Deck. Games such as Elden Ring, Cyber Punk, Unchartered, and more. However, for me, it’s more of a console for the smaller games. The games I can complete it in a handful of hours. That I can sit down on my sofa for an hour or so and chill out with a good Indie game or two.
I opted for the 256GB machine meaning I don’t have bags of room. That being said, when you’re installing games that are only a few GB at most you can easily fit a lot of games on the machine. So far I have about 10 games installed and I’ve used hardly any space. Being able to carry all those amazing games around with me is very cool.
The Deck itself
As for the Steam Deck itself, I have no complaints so far. The build quality feels great. Out of the box, everything feels familiar and intuitive. It does feel fairly heavy and is pretty big. But I’ve not found that to be an issue.
I’ve only been using the Steam Deck as it comes out of the box so far. However, I know that you can basically set it up like your home PC in desktop mode. I know people who I work with who are running emulators on it and doing all sorts of tinkering. Talking about how good of a piece of kit it is.
Maybe I will mess around with that at some point. But for now, I’m happy to use it as it is.
Obviously, I’ve not tried any of the more technically challenging games. That being said, the performance for all of the games I’ve played has been excellent. I’ve not had to mess with any game settings to make sure a particular game works properly. The load times for the games are good. I’ve been very impressed with how it’s performed.
Once I’ve had some more time with it I will give some more final thoughts on the Steam Deck. But so far, it is an exceptional little machine and I have zero regrets in purchasing it.