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Discussion Steam Deck

GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
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Kind of an odd duck discussion topic, given its technically a console but it runs PC games:


Props to Valve for giving it a shot and keeping the price remarkably reasonable, to AMD for providing some kick ass underlying hardware. We'll see if it gets scalped to oblivion or not. Valve does have the benefit of offering the item exclusively through its storefront, giving them much more control on who can actually purchase the device and in what quantity at least early on.

I remember someone else here had posted a very similar device but for much much more money in a rougher more kick-starterish form.
 

ZGR

Golden Member
Oct 26, 2012
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My main concern with the Steam Deck are if the controls are easy to repair or not. I have never had a controller last more than a few years before buttons start to wear out.

The other device is called the AYA NEO. It has an R5 4500U.
 
Feb 4, 2009
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Interesting that it can be used for big picture mode and effectively become a portable desktop. I wonder if a mouse & keyboard can be plugged in.
I haven’t read much about it.

Also anyone know if there is a guaranteed support time as in it will be supported for x years. My main concern with things like this is they have an enormous chance of failing in the marketplace then support & games get dropped and you end up with some useless handheld that no longer does anything but play a handful of games you’ve played.
 

Stg-Flame

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2007
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Interesting that it can be used for big picture mode and effectively become a portable desktop. I wonder if a mouse & keyboard can be plugged in.
Halfway down the main Steam page it says "Use your deck as a PC because it is one" and shows a keyboard and mouse plugged into it with the video output on a computer monitor.

My only complaint is that just looking at the deck itself, it looks incredibly uncomfortable for anyone with large hands. I cannot fathom what they were thinking by cramming the buttons in the top left and top right of the controller and from the "in-use" videos they feature, the buttons are very close together. I'm guessing this is mainly targeted for a children's handheld despite them using only adults in their previews. Maybe the previews are just really deceiving.

However, this does look really cool to have for some games and for emulation if it supports it. Though I'm not dropping $400 just to have an easier time playing emulators or third-person action games. I still have a PC and wired 360 controllers for that.
 

GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
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I personally look forward to picking one of these up for 90% off in a year or two's time. Should be fun to play around with at that point.

PC's and Windows are just not good mobile platforms, in everything from UI to resource overhead. I still have a laptop if I feel like doing some small screen gaming, after all and it comes with a full sized keyboard and a whole suite of connectors.
 
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Feb 4, 2009
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I personally look forward to picking one of these up for 90% off in a year or two's time. Should be fun to play around with at that point.

PC's and Windows are just not good mobile platforms, in everything from UI to resource overhead. I still have a laptop if I feel like doing some small screen gaming, after all and it comes with a full sized keyboard and a whole suite of connectors.
Pretty much what I am thinking. Portable gaming has zero value to me.
However
Looks like a fun little machine assuming it is cheap.
 

guidryp

Golden Member
Apr 3, 2006
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Props to Valve for giving it a shot and keeping the price remarkably reasonable, to AMD for providing some kick ass underlying hardware.
Kick ass? It's a slightly better 4 CPU core, 8CU APU.

I've never been interested in portable games machines. Might be interested in an inexpensive STB with that APU.

I figure this is just where the GPU goes on the next AMD APUs. Which might make them an ok stopgap until you can find a discrete GPU if they were here now for desktop use.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
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Well, I'm ordering the thing most likely. Its a tinkerers handheld which is the only kind of handheld I want. And I'm a Valve fanboy and run linux these days so its right up my alley. When I heard about this thing I was really worried they were going to dump the steam controller trackpads...instead it has them and a second stick AND a d-pad. I don't have big hands so its no compromises to me. I'd like it to play a lot of back catalog games on the couch while my kids watch their cartoons.

The price for the power is pretty surprising honestly. Looks like they made it so you can't preorder unless you have a steam account that has had money spent on it prior to this June. This was literally a April fools joke as a way to reduce GPU scalping and sell directly to gamers. But I thought was a bizarre but decent idea. Kind of funny to see it become real. I'm curious if the upgraded SSD are soldered in (most likely are) because there is quite the markup for storage from the base model.

Probably the only downside I can see to it is that it might be to heavy.
 

GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
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Kick ass? It's a slightly better 4 CPU core, 8CU APU.
-Right, it's vastly more powerful than something like The Switch which is running on a relic Tegra X1 platform or the AYA Neo which has a 6core zen 2 and a 6cu Vega GPU.

For this form factor, the hardware does indeed appear to be kick ass.

I don't think anyone was expecting full form factor performance squeezed into a handheld.
 
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guidryp

Golden Member
Apr 3, 2006
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-Right, it's vastly more powerful than something like The Switch which is running on a relic Tegra X1 platform or the AYA Neo which has a 6core zen 2 and a 6cu Vega GPU.

For this form factor, the hardware does indeed appear to be kick ass.

I don't think anyone was expecting full form factor performance squeezed into a handheld.
The difference is that Switch has games specifically coded and optimized for it's light HW, and Steam Deck, is just a gaming PC.

So regardless of form factor it still has to run full fat PC games, and it's HW is anything but kick ass for that.
 

JujuFish

Lifer
Feb 3, 2005
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I personally look forward to picking one of these up for 90% off in a year or two's time. Should be fun to play around with at that point.

PC's and Windows are just not good mobile platforms, in everything from UI to resource overhead. I still have a laptop if I feel like doing some small screen gaming, after all and it comes with a full sized keyboard and a whole suite of connectors.
No chance that it'll be 90% off. Gabe calls its current price painful, implying it's being sold either close to or at a loss. Also, it's not Windows; it's SteamOS/Linux.
 
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Feb 4, 2009
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No chance that it'll be 90% off. Gabe calls its current price painful, implying it's being sold either close to or at a loss. Also, it's not Windows; it's SteamOS/Linux.
I suppose he is thinking like me.
It won’t sell well and those sales will not be worth the effort because they simply won’t drive new game sales. Product will be dropped and inventory dumped.
This product doesn’t have a use to me but that doesn’t mean I want it to fail.
Seems like the Nintendo Switch is the premier device and I expect that to be a huge hill for valve to climb particularly since switch games are made to be played on a small mobile thing and aaa PC games are not.
 
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Roger Wilco

Golden Member
Mar 20, 2017
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I assumed this thing had a vega 8 when I saw the gpu has 8 CUs, and I immediately blew it off.

Apparently this is Zen2/RDNA2...and it has 16 GB memory, which seems like a heck of a deal.
 

JujuFish

Lifer
Feb 3, 2005
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Seems like the Nintendo Switch is the premier device and I expect that to be a huge hill for valve to climb particularly since switch games are made to be played on a small mobile thing and aaa PC games are not.
I don't understand this logic. If anything, the Switch has shown that there is an appetite for this exact kind of device.
 
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I don't understand this logic. If anything, the Switch has shown that there is an appetite for this exact kind of device.
Who knows maybe I’m wrong. Here is my logic:
Kids want what other kids have. Being the guy on the bus without a switch would suck. See Eddie Murphy’s bit about Mama’s hamburger.
Adults seem to want to play specific Nintendo classic titles.
Others seem to like the multiplayer.
All of which you will not be able to do with the steam deck however maybe other kids will like your hamburger better vs their McDonald’s burger over time.
 

guidryp

Golden Member
Apr 3, 2006
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I don't understand this logic. If anything, the Switch has shown that there is an appetite for this exact kind of device.
Nintendo has consistently shown there is a appetite for Nintendo hand held gaming. It's been almost non stop and unassailable since the first Gameboy was released in 1989. Last attempt to to beat Nintendo at this game was the Sony PS Vita, which had superior HW, yet failed against the weaker Nintendo 3DS. It's never been about more powerful HW.

It's been about tailored and targeted Nintendo handheld experiences. Just cramming desktop games on a mobile device won't crack that.

I see the Steam Deck as a niche device, that will mainly appeal to more home brew oriented niche, because it has Linux and they can run emulators on it, or use it as a mini-PC, but I don't see it as any kind of breakthrough gaming device to challenge Nintendo Switch.

Instead, it will mainly kill off similar niche device like the AYA Neo which is now essentially dead man walking. Bear in mind Aya Neo had something like 2500 backers. These niche PC devices get more chatter than sales. Not saying that will be Valve sales. With Valve name behind it and hyping it, it will probably sell pretty well initially.

It's also not likely to bring many new Steam software sales for Valve, since most people buying one, will likely already be PC owning Steam users. Heck you need a Steam account to order one. So it's just going to be different device to play a pre-existing steam library on.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,588
445
126
Semi serious question, how long until someone cracks this thing and uses it for mining?
Its a reasonable worry, although I'm not sure how profitable it would be even though the device is sold at a loss. Plus its probably cheaper to buy the actual APU chips than the whole device to do mining anyway. I don't think there has been any mining on playstations for instance.
 
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DeathReborn

Platinum Member
Oct 11, 2005
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There isn't anything to crack. It's open, standard PC HW. You can install Windows 10 on it.
Just don't expect to install many games on the 64GB one with Win10/11 installed on it... or the SteamOS stock OS either. This should have been 256GB min with 512GB/1TB option.
 
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JujuFish

Lifer
Feb 3, 2005
10,428
422
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So it's just going to be different device to play a pre-existing steam library on.
That's why it's very intriguing for me. Everyone talks about the Switch as a portable indie machine. But I already have hundreds of indie games on Steam. I'm not going to buy them again on the Switch. Now I have the opportunity to play my Steam library in portable form.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,588
445
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Just don't expect to install many games on the 64GB one with Win10/11 installed on it... or the SteamOS stock OS either. This should have been 256GB min with 512GB/1TB option.
While I agree 64GB is painfully small, its a loss leader using the classic "starting at..." price trick. As far as Windows, well...it doesn't come with Windows which is a real space hog compared to linux. I'd fine just installing windows itself without any games difficult to live with in 64GB.

Anyway, some have pointed out that you could probably install a SSD to the USB-C port.
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,588
445
126
I sort of thought they'd do something like the joycons only with the ability to swap in steam controller trackpads. It would have been helpful for quick "repairs" to worn out controllers and maybe they could be plugged together for a "steam controller 2.0".
 

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