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New competition (?) The Steam Deck

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So far Valve has yet to make hardware that isn't terrible beyond belief, but maybe this one will be different. Thing looks ugly, heavy, and not at all comfortable. So, typical Valve hardware. 

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I have the GPD Win 3 and have both the Aya Neo and OneXPlayer on the way. If I'm able to, I'm going to order the Steam Deck once it goes live today. There are several things I like/dislike about the Win 3, so I'm curious if the Aya Neo or OneXPlayer - especially the OneXPlayer with its larger screen - overcome some of the things I don't like. It's clear that the Steam Deck is already incorporating some lessons learned from this space, even if 2/3's of those players aren't quite yet in wide release.

 

With that in mind, while I knew big things were happening in this space, I really didn't see something like the Steam Deck coming, at least this fast. It's roughly half the price of the other options (give or take) and has some interesting features. While it's definitely more limited out of the box versus the other systems that run straight up Windows, I can say at least from my experience with the Win 3 that that's not necessarily a bad thing, as some things just don't work right or well at all anyway, so having some restrictions/limiters with the stock OS in place aren't really that different.

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15 minutes ago, Mockduck said:

So far Valve has yet to make hardware that isn't terrible beyond belief, but maybe this one will be different. Thing looks ugly, heavy, and not at all comfortable. So, typical Valve hardware. 

Steam controllers and the Index are amazing if you know how to use them.  Steam Link is pretty sweet as well. 

 

I wonder if they will manufacture these themselves, like they did with the Steam Controller.

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56 minutes ago, leech said:

Steam controllers and the Index are amazing if you know how to use them.  Steam Link is pretty sweet as well. 

 

I wonder if they will manufacture these themselves, like they did with the Steam Controller.

I have used and owned all of those, and have the exact opposite opinion about them. The best usage tip is to throw them into the trash and pretend you never purchased them. 

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1 hour ago, SegaSnatcher said:

Considering its Valve who has a crap ton of resources, yes.   I'm interested to see what demand will be like

They may have a crapton of resources, but as far as I'm aware they don't own their own fabs.  That puts them at the mercy of supply and demand like everyone else.

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Posted (edited)

Apparently I have no idea which tab I'm even posting in anymore.  Yay!

Edited by x=usr(1536)
Browsers is hard
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Personally I would have not added the trackpads.  That area would have been better served as placement for D-pad and face buttons.  

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Posted (edited)

The Steam Deck is a curiosity to me.   I am sure it will be powerful and the ability to play a large portion of my steam library on this handheld appeal to me.    It does look a little clunky and heavy(almost twice the weight of a Switch) but I am going to preorder a base model and evaluate it in person after playing one myself.  

Edited by swlovinist

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59 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

They may have a crapton of resources, but as far as I'm aware they don't own their own fabs.  That puts them at the mercy of supply and demand like everyone else.

Yeah, I don't think they own their own chip fabs, but they do have their own manufacturing plants.  The video of how the steam controller is assembled is awesome.


 

 

1 hour ago, Mockduck said:

I have used and owned all of those, and have the exact opposite opinion about them. The best usage tip is to throw them into the trash and pretend you never purchased them. 

I'll have to remember that your opinion does not match my own... The Index at the very least has nothing comparable to it.

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16 minutes ago, leech said:

Yeah, I don't think they own their own chip fabs, but they do have their own manufacturing plants.  The video of how the steam controller is assembled is awesome.

Cool video, but that looks like a Flextronics facility. 

 

 ..Al

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So after fighting with Steam like everyone else and getting the "you've tried too many transactions in the last whatever" message, my purchase of the 512GB Steam Deck ($5 deposit) went through now after letting it sit in the cart on the Steam app on my Windows PC for about an hour. I don't know if already being in the cart from before helped it work. Hopefully, it won't get canceled.

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5 hours ago, leech said:

Yes.  Ha.  There was some steam bundle with tge higher priced ones, and the highest price one has better screen protection or something. 

The price of the nVME SSDs seem to vary pretty widely depending on brand, but not quite THAT widely.  And it doesn't sound like they are making them user upgradable, which is sad.  So there are some advangages to the VCS, one of which is you can take it up to 32gb of ram.  Not that much needs more than 8 yet... well, maybe if you run Windows...

If true, this will kill it for me.   I'm surprised more people aren't talking about it.   Steam games can be quite large and even 512Gb  for the high-end model isn't quite enough if you have a large library--   look at all the crap PS5 took for only having 825Gb internal -- but at least that's expandable!   Expanding via SD card isn't the same since they are much slower than NVME and seemingly less reliable.

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58 minutes ago, zzip said:

If true, this will kill it for me.   I'm surprised more people aren't talking about it.   Steam games can be quite large and even 512Gb  for the high-end model isn't quite enough if you have a large library--   look at all the crap PS5 took for only having 825Gb internal -- but at least that's expandable!   Expanding via SD card isn't the same since they are much slower than NVME and seemingly less reliable.

I guess the question is; would the games that are 100gb+ really run all that well on it anyhow? 

Cool thing is, you could just stream from your desktop if you want.  I am also curious about the continuous play thing.  If you can be playing on the computer, then take over on the Steam Deck, then go somewhere and then continue on another computer, that would be a neat trick.  Wonder how much of that trick is local or streamed.

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7 minutes ago, leech said:

Cool thing is, you could just stream from your desktop if you want.  I am also curious about the continuous play thing.  If you can be playing on the computer, then take over on the Steam Deck, then go somewhere and then continue on another computer, that would be a neat trick.  Wonder how much of that trick is local or streamed.

True, but I can already stream with Steam Link on a phone.   Truthfully the only time I use mobile gaming is when on a trip/airplane whatever, so I'd want the games on local storage.

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First, I am not planning on buying one - I've got too many other ways to spend my discretionary time and $$ on.

 

But I do wonder who the target market is.  While it is an impressive portable PC at the price point almost everything seems to be a little bit of a compromise.

 

The CPU is decent, although will likely struggle with modern AAA titles.  The GPU is probably equivalent to a high-end laptop APU - but nowhere near as powerful as a traditional desktop dedicated GPU.  Again, fine if you're playing "casual" or "indie" games rather than Crysis X.

 

Only 16GB of RAM (I'm assuming shared with the GPU) might be a limitation, but probably not as much as the 64GB of slow storage in the base model.

 

And as others have pointed out, the low resolution of the display may be an issue as well.  (OTOH, lower resolution typically means higher framerates.)

 

There's also the issue of what games will be playable.  While Linux versions do exist for many titles, they often aren't quite as good as the Windows versions.  Nor will many games be playable via Proton.  (See https://www.protondb.com/ for lots more info.)

 

However, one place Valve hasn't skimped is on the controls - although I do wonder how well most games will work "out of the box".

 

But back to "who is the target market" ?  Probably not the people playing competitive online multiplayer games which dominate the Steam top 10.  And post-COVID will as many people be commuting via public transportation?

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3 hours ago, Albert said:

Cool video, but that looks like a Flextronics facility. 

 

 ..Al

This is what you need for when too many people order from you at once :P

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4 minutes ago, leech said:

This is what you need for when too many people order from you at once :P

Ha, that would be something.

 

 ..Al

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It better have Netflix, or they're going to lose the mom market.

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7 minutes ago, EricBall said:

First, I am not planning on buying one - I've got too many other ways to spend my discretionary time and $$ on.

 

But I do wonder who the target market is.  While it is an impressive portable PC at the price point almost everything seems to be a little bit of a compromise.

 

The CPU is decent, although will likely struggle with modern AAA titles.  The GPU is probably equivalent to a high-end laptop APU - but nowhere near as powerful as a traditional desktop dedicated GPU.  Again, fine if you're playing "casual" or "indie" games rather than Crysis X.

 

Only 16GB of RAM (I'm assuming shared with the GPU) might be a limitation, but probably not as much as the 64GB of slow storage in the base model.

 

And as others have pointed out, the low resolution of the display may be an issue as well.  (OTOH, lower resolution typically means higher framerates.)

 

There's also the issue of what games will be playable.  While Linux versions do exist for many titles, they often aren't quite as good as the Windows versions.  Nor will many games be playable via Proton.  (See https://www.protondb.com/ for lots more info.)

 

However, one place Valve hasn't skimped is on the controls - although I do wonder how well most games will work "out of the box".

 

But back to "who is the target market" ?  Probably not the people playing competitive online multiplayer games which dominate the Steam top 10.  And post-COVID will as many people be commuting via public transportation?

Based on the leaked data, they already sold several hundred thousand, so there's definitely a market, which will no doubt grow dramatically once these are actually shipping and not just a nebulous deposit-based pre-order. Based on my experience with the GPD WIN 3, I can say that a lot of PC stuff is quite playable, and I'm sure with Valve behind this there will be further optimizations. While it's also true that the screen resolution is low compared to desktop PC gaming, at these screen sizes that's pretty typical and generally looks pretty fantastic anyway.

Overall, I'd say the audience is the same basic one as what's for the Switch, just for those with a more PC-centric slant. That's definitely a much smaller market, but there are lots of good reasons to play PC games portably, even if you're not running strictly off battery power (which I personally tend not to with the GPD WIN 3). 

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9 minutes ago, EricBall said:

First, I am not planning on buying one - I've got too many other ways to spend my discretionary time and $$ on.

 

But I do wonder who the target market is.  While it is an impressive portable PC at the price point almost everything seems to be a little bit of a compromise.

 

The CPU is decent, although will likely struggle with modern AAA titles.  The GPU is probably equivalent to a high-end laptop APU - but nowhere near as powerful as a traditional desktop dedicated GPU.  Again, fine if you're playing "casual" or "indie" games rather than Crysis X.

 

Only 16GB of RAM (I'm assuming shared with the GPU) might be a limitation, but probably not as much as the 64GB of slow storage in the base model.

 

And as others have pointed out, the low resolution of the display may be an issue as well.  (OTOH, lower resolution typically means higher framerates.)

 

There's also the issue of what games will be playable.  While Linux versions do exist for many titles, they often aren't quite as good as the Windows versions.  Nor will many games be playable via Proton.  (See https://www.protondb.com/ for lots more info.)

 

However, one place Valve hasn't skimped is on the controls - although I do wonder how well most games will work "out of the box".

 

But back to "who is the target market" ?  Probably not the people playing competitive online multiplayer games which dominate the Steam top 10.  And post-COVID will as many people be commuting via public transportation?

It's for when they can figure out the self-driving cars thing :P

 

Question: Have you tried gaming with Linux+Proton?  The compatibility is really really good.  If it doesn't just outright work out of the box, protondb usually has a work around (assuming the game is popular enough 'someone' will figure out how to get it to work.)  There have been a few that just refuse to work, but they're far and few between, or even fixed fairly quickly.

 

There's also something called Boxtron, which is similar to Proton in that it's a wrapper, but it makes it so all the DOSbox wrapped games run under the native dosbox instead of via Wine/Proton.  Excellent piece of software.  I think the one for ScummVM supported games is called Roberta.  Again, makes them all run native.  Linux gaming has come a VERY long way in the past decade.

 

The question is probably more about 'what games will translate well from a typical PC to a mobile form factor, and how good does the virtual keyboard work?  Like I wouldn't play any text adventures on it...

 

1280x800 is perfectly fine for a mobile screen (16:10 is even better than 16:9, though that may cause some problems, as games these days mostly just support 16:9, which is terrible...) and at that resolution, you have the benefit of better battery life, and better frame rates (as you said).  Pretty sure the Switch only supports 1280x720, and people love that.

 

My biggest concerns are heat / noise level.  Otherwise, it looks like a fine device.  I may, for shits and giggles, swap out Arch Linux for Debian though :)

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I have well over 1,000 games on steam so I'll be getting this without a second thought. If I'm not playing it, someone in the house will be on this thing constantly. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bill Loguidice said:

Based on the leaked data, they already sold several hundred thousand, so there's definitely a market, which will no doubt grow dramatically once these are actually shipping and not just a nebulous deposit-based pre-order. Based on my experience with the GPD WIN 3, I can say that a lot of PC stuff is quite playable, and I'm sure with Valve behind this there will be further optimizations. While it's also true that the screen resolution is low compared to desktop PC gaming, at these screen sizes that's pretty typical and generally looks pretty fantastic anyway.

Overall, I'd say the audience is the same basic one as what's for the Switch, just for those with a more PC-centric slant. That's definitely a much smaller market, but there are lots of good reasons to play PC games portably, even if you're not running strictly off battery power (which I personally tend not to with the GPD WIN 3). 

What would be more interesting is fir it to support an eGPU.  Dock it into one and boom, you have a rather nice, high powered machine.

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5 hours ago, zzip said:

If true, this will kill it for me.   I'm surprised more people aren't talking about it.   Steam games can be quite large and even 512Gb  for the high-end model isn't quite enough if you have a large library--   look at all the crap PS5 took for only having 825Gb internal -- but at least that's expandable!   Expanding via SD card isn't the same since they are much slower than NVME and seemingly less reliable.

As pretty much anyone with a Steam library that runs to thousands of games could tell you, there's no rule that says you've got to install all of them at once. I'd need about 30TB for my library, but luckily I've only got 29 downloaded at the moment so it's more like 300GB. 512GB is an adequate amount of storage, although 256 would be pushing it and 64 is joke tier.

 

The PS5 users should figure it out eventually. 😀

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4 hours ago, Matt_B said:

As pretty much anyone with a Steam library that runs to thousands of games could tell you, there's no rule that says you've got to install all of them at once. I'd need about 30TB for my library, but luckily I've only got 29 downloaded at the moment so it's more like 300GB. 512GB is an adequate amount of storage, although 256 would be pushing it and 64 is joke tier.

 

The PS5 users should figure it out eventually. 😀

 

Ha, would be nice to be able to just install your library on a NAS and load games over wifi, though that'd sort of defeat the 'faster storage, on the more expensive things.'

I did manage to reserve mine.  Maybe I'll get it around my birthday!

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