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New competition (?) The Steam Deck

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5 hours ago, Matt_B said:

Naah, audiophiles just buy a vinyl copy for the shelf and a 24-bit FLAC file for listening these days. 😀

Ha, pretty much.  I got a vinyl player as a band I like tends to release extra tracks that are not available on CD, and I wanted to transfer them to MP3... whole lot of popping going on.  Still need to see if the needles I bought will help that...

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5 hours ago, Matt_B said:

Naah, audiophiles just buy a vinyl copy for the shelf and a 24-bit FLAC file for listening these days

I would not be shocked..   I've always been skeptical of this vinyl resurgence.  I had vinyl as a kid, moved to cassette and then CD.  CD sounded better to me hands down.   But it's all subjective.

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On 7/26/2021 at 1:11 PM, x=usr(1536) said:

Total speculation on my behalf here: 20,000 units doesn't seem unreasonable, but I suspect 15,000 may be closer to the truth at this time.  Figure on 10,000-ish for the initial run, plus another 5,000 for the first retail wave with the option to do a second run of 5,000 once those are gone.

 

Again, total speculation, but somewhere in the range of a 15,000 to 20,000 unit manufacturing lifetime seems likely.  In all honesty, I can't see any production runs taking place in 2022 at this point short of an unexpectedly large burst of interest taking place in Q4 2021, so can see 20,000 as the absolute upper limit.

What isn't known is how much actual unsold stock there is and will be. Could be, say, 5,000 units that end up being manufactured and shipped that go unsold. So I'd put an "absolute" upper limit at maybe 25,000, but agree that 15,000 is the likeliest guesstimate.

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8 minutes ago, Mockduck said:

What isn't known is how much actual unsold stock there is and will be. Could be, say, 5,000 units that end up being manufactured and shipped that go unsold. So I'd put an "absolute" upper limit at maybe 25,000, but agree that 15,000 is the likeliest guesstimate.

I was among those that pegged the 20,000 upper limit (absolute best case scenario) many months back in those other threads, so I definitely agree there's no scenario where the VCS exceeds that, especially as more and more time passes with no hardware upgrades or price drops (which are unlikely because of the required margins for a company the size of Atari). The OneXPlayer, one of the Windows-based handheld gaming PCs I'm using now along with the GPD WIN3, moved "only" around 2,300 units on Indiegogo, but also at much more than double the price of the VCS. The GPD WIN3 moved just over 1,000 more than that. The AYA NEO basically matched the OneXPlayer's crowdfunding numbers. Again, all of those at much more than the price of the highest tier VCS package. 

 

By those metrics, the VCS moving 15,000 - 20,000 units (again, by the end of its lifespan, and maybe 10,000+ at this point) is a comparatively raging success, but it also had much greater media exposure and the dulled, but still potent, cache of the Atari name. I feel like it's all but exhausted its potential (ultra-niche) market at this point, though, hence the cap. And if the VCS did hit that cap, for perspective, that would be a disastrous MONTH of sales for any of the three mainstream consoles.

 

There's little doubt that the Steam Deck sold more than all of those aforementioned systems combined - or will ever sell combined - in its first 90 minutes at 110,000+. Again, though, we're talking one of the most popular companies and services on the planet, so that level of sales is expected for a solid product. The other three handheld gaming PCs can only hope for some type of tangential bump in interest for their higher priced, but at least in some ways, better, offerings. Either way, though, I think those three companies likely don't need to sell many more to consider what they did a success, although once the Steam Deck actually hits, it might be difficult to compete even with an objectively superior gen 2 offering at the price point they'll have to put them out at. They'd likely still get the roughly 2,000+ hardcore backers that they got before.

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On 7/26/2021 at 12:11 PM, x=usr(1536) said:

Total speculation on my behalf here: 20,000 units doesn't seem unreasonable, but I suspect 15,000 may be closer to the truth at this time.  Figure on 10,000-ish for the initial run, plus another 5,000 for the first retail wave with the option to do a second run of 5,000 once those are gone.

 

Again, total speculation, but somewhere in the range of a 15,000 to 20,000 unit manufacturing lifetime seems likely.  In all honesty, I can't see any production runs taking place in 2022 at this point short of an unexpectedly large burst of interest taking place in Q4 2021, so can see 20,000 as the absolute upper limit.

 

Even if it is 20k, that's still 1/3 the number of consoles that Ouya had at launch after Kickstarter, and 1/10 the estimated number of Ouya consoles that were sold total.  With those numbers, the Ouya couldn't sustain a viable marketplace for games, which is what ultimately killed the system since nobody wanted to develop for it since their sales numbers would essentially be capped.  And with no first party titles driving console sales, it doesn't exactly bode well for future success.

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From what I’m seeing on eBay it looks like no one is interested in buying a new VCS. I hope the new recharged series will turn things around, but I doubt it where they are available to play on other consoles.  I’m contemplating buying a SteamDeck to play them on. It would be great to have them on the go!

Edited by adamchevy

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3 hours ago, adamchevy said:

From what I’m seeing on eBay it looks like no one is interested in buying a new VCS. I hope the new recharged series will turn things around, but I doubt it where they are available to play on other consoles.  I’m contemplating buying a SteamDeck to play them on. It would be great to have them on the go!

I mean... why would you shop for something new on ebay?  Sure it made sense when they were not available to order yet.  But now?  Mine seems to be waiting for more games.

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I mean... why would you shop for something new on ebay?  Sure it made sense when they were not available to order yet.  But now?  Mine seems to be waiting for more games.

Mainly because it’s cheaper. I can save about a 100 bucks with some of the bundles available on eBay. The problem I’m having is paying close to $500(with 4 controllers) for a console that doesn’t offer an experience that I can’t get on what I already own.

 

I really want to support Atari and I hope they find a way to make this console relevant and more desirable. I think the price is to high currently for what they are offering. Maybe if I didn’t own many different consoles including a Series S then this would be a must buy. The PC option would have been intriguing if the Steam deck wasn’t announced a few months ago with much better specs and portability.

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8 hours ago, adamchevy said:

 

I really want to support Atari and I hope they find a way to make this console relevant and more desirable. I think the price is to high currently for what they are offering. Maybe if I didn’t own many different consoles including a Series S then this would be a must buy. The PC option would have been intriguing if the Steam deck wasn’t announced a few months ago with much better specs and portability.

I feel like that ship has sailed. It was already outdated before it was released and the tepid response, chip shortages, and other logistical issues would make it difficult to come out with upgraded models. 

 

Since Atari has their own UI and e-store, it's not inconceivable they can license the VCS experience to other manufacturers, like those with the less expensive mini PCs. They already do that with their software library for things like inexpensive Raspberry Pi bundles. I don't know why a manufacturer would want to do that instead of simply offering Windows, but it could be an option I suppose. Otherwise, I don't see a sustainable path forward given all the challenges and don't see the platform lasting beyond 2022. I wonder if the service itself will even last beyond 2022.

 

In terms of the Steam Deck, I already enjoy several similar handheld gaming PCs and I think while not a huge category, will definitely pick up some momentum once Valve's entry is out. In retrospect, it's a shame Atari couldn't have partnered with one of these manufacturers like a GPD or OneXPlayer, even if it meant a $900+ handheld (which they are). Even at that price point it could have been a bigger relative success than they already are thanks to the Atari name and would have gotten people a lot more excited than just another set top box. That's another ship that's sailed, though, but still makes for an interesting what if.

 

 

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I feel like that ship has sailed. It was already outdated before it was released and the tepid response, chip shortages, and other logistical issues would make it difficult to come out with upgraded models. 
 
Since Atari has their own UI and e-store, it's not inconceivable they can license the VCS experience to other manufacturers, like those with the less expensive mini PCs. They already do that with their software library for things like inexpensive Raspberry Pi bundles. I don't know why a manufacturer would want to do that instead of simply offering Windows, but it could be an option I suppose. Otherwise, I don't see a sustainable path forward given all the challenges and don't see the platform lasting beyond 2022. I wonder if the service itself will even last beyond 2022.
 
In terms of the Steam Deck, I already enjoy several similar handheld gaming PCs and I think while not a huge category, will definitely pick up some momentum once Valve's entry is out. In retrospect, it's a shame Atari couldn't have partnered with one of these manufacturers like a GPD or OneXPlayer, even if it meant a $900+ handheld (which they are). Even at that price point it could have been a bigger relative success than they already are thanks to the Atari name and would have gotten people a lot more excited than just another set top box. That's another ship that's sailed, though, but still makes for an interesting what if.
 
 

I was contemplating the upgraded models idea this morning. I don’t see Atari coming out with another machine for a few years even if they were successful. The flashback units released with some regularity so maybe they will do something in the future.

I would have liked to see them partner with someone as well to offer a unique handheld and it is an interesting thing to imagine them doing in an alternate universe.

They really needed to meet their core audiences desires I think to release an updated home console experience.

I did notice that Atari vault was available on steam today along with DLC for 50 games that include many 5200 games. I’m not sure why I haven’t noticed Atari vault on steam before? I would love to play these games on the go on the SteamDeck. It would be awesome to also be able to play with the new VCS Classic controller if it had steam support.

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One thing that never made sense to me about the new VCS: Atari SA could have rolled the OS into a licenseable product, ready for inclusion into <insert 3rd-party Atari-branded thing here>.  But they didn't.

 

This is something that seems like it would have been a natural fit for something like a Flashback, Arcade 1UP, or other game-playing device.  Pitch it as saving development time, money, and effort while bundling the right to use Atari's software and trademarks in your commercial product.  It could have been a decent long-term moderate revenue stream.

 

Having said that, I'm still not convinced that the VCS was ever intended to have any significance in the marketplace, so perhaps it's not that surprising that the OS sits where it does.  We've been over this before, though, and I'm not terribly interested in rehashing that discussion as nothing has changed.

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One thing that never made sense to me about the new VCS: Atari SA could have rolled the OS into a licenseable product, ready for inclusion into .  But they didn't.

 

This is something that seems like it would have been a natural fit for something like a Flashback, Arcade 1UP, or other game-playing device.  Pitch it as saving development time, money, and effort while bundling the right to use Atari's software and trademarks in your commercial product.  It could have been a decent long-term moderate revenue stream.

 

Having said that, I'm still not convinced that the VCS was ever intended to have any significance in the marketplace, so perhaps it's not that surprising that the OS sits where it does.  We've been over this before, though, and I'm not terribly interested in rehashing that discussion as nothing has changed.

It would be nice to be able to install Atari’s OS on to something like the SteamDeck. Unless they offer native controller support inside of Steam, then I think it would be pointless.

 

It appears to me that Atari may have known the VCS would have a niche audience, but strived to broaden it with other OS support and upgrade ability. It would have been nice to have a socketed APU as that’s a standard offering in AMDs product catalog.

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1 hour ago, adamchevy said:

It would be nice to be able to install Atari’s OS on to something like the SteamDeck. Unless they offer native controller support inside of Steam, then I think it would be pointless.

Out of curiosity, why would it be useless without native controller support?

 

Also, and please correct me if I'm wrong on this: aren't the Atari controllers detected as generic USB controllers?

 

 

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Out of curiosity, why would it be useless without native controller support?
 
Also, and please correct me if I'm wrong on this: aren't the Atari controllers detected as generic USB controllers?
 
 

I can see useless was the wrong wording now. You may mistake my criticism as not a fan. I’m a huge fan and will likely purchase a VCS out of pure nostalgia and ease of use to play the Atari Vault on a TV with the new Classic controller. That’s enough honestly for me to warrant the purchase.

As for the detection of controllers I’m generally curious because I don’t own one.
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On 10/3/2021 at 9:39 AM, Bill Loguidice said:

it's a shame Atari couldn't have partnered with one of these manufacturers like a GPD or OneXPlayer, even if it meant a $900+ handheld (which they are). Even at that price point it could have been a bigger relative success than they already are thanks to the Atari name and would have gotten people a lot more excited than just another set top box. That's another ship that's sailed, though, but still makes for an interesting what if.

Nobody's going to get excited for a $900 Atari handheld.   If people spent the last three years complaining about a $299 Atari PC box being a rip off,  I can only imagine the outcry over a handheld that cost 3x as much as a Switch.

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9 minutes ago, zzip said:

Nobody's going to get excited for a $900 Atari handheld.   If people spent the last three years complaining about a $299 Atari PC box being a rip off,  I can only imagine the outcry over a handheld that cost 3x as much as a Switch.

I disagree. A PC handheld is very different from a Switch. It still wouldn't have been blockbuster sales, but would have garnered much more interest than the VCS and been viable for far longer. While the VCS is not a good value at $299+, even a $900+ handheld that's more capable - again, like we have several examples of already - would have garnered much more interest than just another (and underpowered) set top box. It's a nascent market with potential, whereas just another set top box, and an underpowered and overpriced one at that, is good for yawns from most people.

 

And again, it would have also given Atari an easy way to release additional iterations, something I don't see possible with how they've done the VCS. If these modestly funded China-based corporations with no major branding/naming attached can keep doing it, then certainly having an Atari name slapped on would have been a nice bonus.

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1 hour ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I disagree. A PC handheld is very different from a Switch. It still wouldn't have been blockbuster sales, but would have garnered much more interest than the VCS and been viable for far longer. While the VCS is not a good value at $299+, even a $900+ handheld that's more capable - again, like we have several examples of already - would have garnered much more interest than just another (and underpowered) set top box. It's a nascent market with potential, whereas just another set top box, and an underpowered and overpriced one at that, is good for yawns from most people.

 

And again, it would have also given Atari an easy way to release additional iterations, something I don't see possible with how they've done the VCS. If these modestly funded China-based corporations with no major branding/naming attached can keep doing it, then certainly having an Atari name slapped on would have been a nice bonus.

$900 is a big chunk of change.   Much riskier than $300.   Atari doesn't have a proven track record in the PC space nor have they done much with hardware for 25 years.   I just don't think a lot of people would have taken the chance.   Steam Deck got a lot of attention because of the Valve name.   If anyone else made that product (except for someone like a Microsoft), I think it would have been received with a collective yawn.

 

At best an Atari PC handheld would be like an Archos Android-based media player,  or a Creative labs MP3 jukebox-   the big name in a niche market until a bigger name like apple releases the iPad or Samsung releases smartphones and takes the market mainstream and becomes the dominant player in the process.

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11 minutes ago, zzip said:

$900 is a big chunk of change.   Much riskier than $300.   Atari doesn't have a proven track record in the PC space nor have they done much with hardware for 25 years.   I just don't think a lot of people would have taken the chance.   Steam Deck got a lot of attention because of the Valve name.   If anyone else made that product (except for someone like a Microsoft), I think it would have been received with a collective yawn.

 

At best an Atari PC handheld would be like an Archos Android-based media player,  or a Creative labs MP3 jukebox-   the big name in a niche market until a bigger name like apple releases the iPad or Samsung releases smartphones and takes the market mainstream and becomes the dominant player in the process.

Again, though, we already have several $900+ handheld gaming PCs that sold well even before the Steam Deck. I'm just making the argument that having slapped the Atari name on it and having Atari do the same type of marketing they did for the VCS and pretend it's their invention would have helped one of those sell even better. It would have been far more appealing than the VCS and not something they would have had to worry about being released underpowered and overpriced like with a set top box. 

Of course, the point is moot. Atari did release an underpowered and overpriced set top box with no foreseeable future. Now Valve with the Steam Deck is poised to help elevate the handheld gaming PC category presently populated by smaller players like OneXPlayer, Aya Neo, and GPD.

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15 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

Of course, the point is moot. Atari did release an underpowered and overpriced set top box with no foreseeable future. Now Valve with the Steam Deck is poised to help elevate the handheld gaming PC category presently populated by smaller players like OneXPlayer, Aya Neo, and GPD

Even that remains to be seen.   Valve also generated a lot of hype with the Steam box console concept that went nowhere.   These are still SteamOS-based devices that may cause compatibility headaches with some games,  and Valve isn't immune to the chip shortage woes either that everyone is stuggling with.

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30 minutes ago, zzip said:

Even that remains to be seen.   Valve also generated a lot of hype with the Steam box console concept that went nowhere.   These are still SteamOS-based devices that may cause compatibility headaches with some games,  and Valve isn't immune to the chip shortage woes either that everyone is stuggling with.

Not immune, but they certainly have the buying power to make a difference. The pricing also reflects that power. 

 

It may ultimately be a category that doesn't take off in a big way, but I think this is far more sustainable and has a far better reason to exist than something like a Steam Box. They also presold a ton and I'm sure they'll be able to sell far more than they can make for a while.

 

From my perspective and using the devices I already have like the OneXPlayer and GPD Win3 (with Aya Neo arriving soon), I think as long as certain incompatibilities get ironed out, this can easily be the PC realization of what Nintendo was able to do with the Switch (albeit with much more modest numbers). Again, there are some real challenges there, but many of them have already been overcome and it's clear that things will only get better in that regard. It feels like an inevitability given where technology has gone. It's just a question of how big the market is going to be.

Edited by Bill Loguidice

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Atari's 10,000 crowdfunding number is actually a fair bit better than GPD and Aya ever got, as their most successful campaigns only attracted around 3-4000 backers. They were just far better at getting positive attention because they offered something that you couldn't get in the mainstream market. Plus, they run a hardware-only business model so don't have to provide an OS or any games. As such, if you could sell Atari's numbers at GPD/Aya prices and with their model, it'd look a pretty good deal for both parties.


That said, I'd think that the ship has sailed with the arrival of the Steam Deck and GPD's last crowdfunding only managed to shift 800 units. Most people won't buy a $900 handheld when there's an upcoming $400 (or more realistically $650) one on the horizon, even if they were prepared to when that was the only option. Valve are essentially in the same position that Microsoft and Sony are in relation to Atari; it's a mug's game to compete in their price range when they've got the advantages of volume and the ability to sell at a loss.

 

Accordingly, both Aya and GPD are working on cheaper Android handhelds for their next projects. Maybe Atari could do a badge deal with one of them? It'd seem a better bet than attempting to make something in house and having to pay for all the complicated work to be outsourced as well as being on the hook for any delays and legal actions.

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16 minutes ago, Matt_B said:

Atari's 10,000 crowdfunding number is actually a fair bit better than GPD and Aya ever got, as their most successful campaigns only attracted around 3-4000 backers. They were just far better at getting positive attention because they offered something that you couldn't get in the mainstream market. Plus, they run a hardware-only business model so don't have to provide an OS or any games. As such, if you could sell Atari's numbers at GPD/Aya prices and with their model, it'd look a pretty good deal for both parties.


That said, I'd think that the ship has sailed with the arrival of the Steam Deck and GPD's last crowdfunding only managed to shift 800 units. Most people won't buy a $900 handheld when there's an upcoming $400 (or more realistically $650) one on the horizon, even if they were prepared to when that was the only option. Valve are essentially in the same position that Microsoft and Sony are in relation to Atari; it's a mug's game to compete in their price range when they've got the advantages of volume and the ability to sell at a loss.

 

Accordingly, both Aya and GPD are working on cheaper Android handhelds for their next projects. Maybe Atari could do a badge deal with one of them? It'd seem a better bet than attempting to make something in house and having to pay for all the complicated work to be outsourced as well as being on the hook for any delays and legal actions.

It's almost certainly way too late now for anyone but a major player (even putting aside the obvious worldwide parts and logistics issues). Valve both legitimized and decimated the category with their entry into it by hitting a price point smaller companies simply can't match (although these other companies can still compete in a smaller niche by throwing more power/features into their hardware, even with a higher price point, e.g., there are still some things the OneXPlayer can do better than even the best Steam Deck). I was more referring to Atari having thrown in with one of the existing players in the category (instead of going the set top box route) well before the announcement of the Steam Deck (although to be fair, handheld gaming PCs were not a thing back when they were first kicking around the idea of a sub-$200 STB all those years back). And I absolutely agree that it would have made a lot more sense for Atari to avoid the OS/UI thing. No one was, is, or will be clamoring for an Atari-centric OS, and certainly an E-Store front is not dependent upon being tied to anything proprietary. I still can't quite figure out whey they insisted on going that route.

Ultimately, it will be most interesting I think to see what happens in the category once the Steam Deck is actually out in the wild and if it's early success is sustainable. Will a Microsoft (or even a Sony) throw in? Someone else big? Will a smaller player figure out how to outperform the Steam Deck for just a little more money? (or will there be a big player team with one of these smaller players? etc.) We'll see.

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The original GPD Win went to crowdfunding in April 2016, a year before the VCS was first announced. The price was $330 too, so not that much more than the VCS ended up being. There would definitely have been a window of opportunity had the interest been there. Lest anyone suggest that Atari wouldn't have gone into partnership with some obscure Chinese company who'd only made a few Android handhelds by that point, I'll counter that that's still a considerably better record than Feargal Mac had. 😃

 

The prices of subsequent handhelds went up mainly because the people who bought them wanted more performance rather than value and there's only so much gaming you can do on a cheap PC. The original GPD Win is only good for emulation, indie games and maybe a few AAA games from the PS360 era if you're prepared to do a lot of tweaking. Running modern games with out of the box settings requires much more powerful hardware, and that's how we ended up with $900 handhelds; because nothing cheaper would cut it. Well, at least we did until Valve came along and took over.

 

As for Valve, I'd think that there's some potential to compete against them by offering features that the Steam Deck doesn't have. Mind you, when GPD are offering Windows, a keyboard and easily upgradeable storage and still can't shift units, I'm not sure what it'll take. Maybe we'll just have to wait until it's out to find out what the most serious deficiencies really are in practice.

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11 hours ago, Bill Loguidice said:

Ultimately, it will be most interesting I think to see what happens in the category once the Steam Deck is actually out in the wild and if it's early success is sustainable. Will a Microsoft (or even a Sony) throw in? Someone else big? Will a smaller player figure out how to outperform the Steam Deck for just a little more money? (or will there be a big player team with one of these smaller players? etc.) We'll see.

Problem with the Steam Deck is the price is misleading.   I wonder how many people are really going to be happy with the $400 model?  You are really going to want more and faster storage.

 

Imagine Sony was to make a portable version of the PS4 now that it's been out long enough to be miniaturized.  No PS4 model has ever shipped with less than 512Gb storage, and you can eat through that with relatively few games depending on what you install.   Would Sony be looking at a $650 handheld?   There's no way they would go for that.   Would they be able to build something under $400?   The Vita was originally $250, reviewed well but sold poorly.   I don't see them jumping back in for the prices the Steam Deck is going for.

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39 minutes ago, zzip said:

Problem with the Steam Deck is the price is misleading.   I wonder how many people are really going to be happy with the $400 model?  You are really going to want more and faster storage.

 

Imagine Sony was to make a portable version of the PS4 now that it's been out long enough to be miniaturized.  No PS4 model has ever shipped with less than 512Gb storage, and you can eat through that with relatively few games depending on what you install.   Would Sony be looking at a $650 handheld?   There's no way they would go for that.   Would they be able to build something under $400?   The Vita was originally $250, reviewed well but sold poorly.   I don't see them jumping back in for the prices the Steam Deck is going for.

I agree that it makes little sense to get the lower end Steam Deck models. Supposedly the performance using expansion storage is good, so we'll just have to see how it is in actual practice. I'm sure many games will run fine via expansion storage, but others will only run acceptably with the internal performance.

 

When I mentioned Sony (and Microsoft) I was not thinking of a portable version of one of their consoles, although if that ever did become practical both Sony and Microsoft are obviously already well-positioned from the software side from day one since just about everything going back several generations is available digitally. I was more thinking of a Microsoft- or Sony-branded gaming PC. Both companies - although obviously Microsoft far moreso - are already in the PC and PC software spaces - so it wouldn't be out of the question to take Valve head-on should it suddenly become an appealing market. There was talk for years of an Xbox portable from when the PSP was a thing, but it obviously never happened, which was probably a good thing. Now that you can get good performance in a handheld gaming PC, there's no reason not to go all in, especially one that can leverage the digital and platform-agnostic streaming services that both Microsoft and Sony offer. Again, I don't think they'll necessarily have much incentive, but if the Steam Deck continues to do well in 2022, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a big splash from one of the two in late 2023 or some time in 2024. There would certainly be some appeal with a powerfully-spec'd handheld gaming PC from one of those two companies for say $599 with the controller components (Xbox Controller/PS controller) that everyone already loves. It would similarly be something of a defense against the continued growth of the Switch platform, although that obviously has advantages of its own despite not having anywhere near the same performance levels of a traditional console or decent gaming PC.

 

7 hours ago, Matt_B said:

As for Valve, I'd think that there's some potential to compete against them by offering features that the Steam Deck doesn't have. Mind you, when GPD are offering Windows, a keyboard and easily upgradeable storage and still can't shift units, I'm not sure what it'll take. Maybe we'll just have to wait until it's out to find out what the most serious deficiencies really are in practice.

I think you really need the Switch-like form factor like with the GPD Win3, OneXPlayer, Aya Neo, and Steam Deck to have a chance at broader appeal. The clamshells and other form factors have their advantages, but I think it gets too close to a laptop-style device, which kind of defeats the purpose. (And let's be clear. For the most part, you're not going to play mouse/keyboard-centric games for the most part on these devices except under very specific circumstances. These are optimized primarily for controller-driven games like any other console.)

 

Anyway, I think that's the problem though for companies like GPD. They don't exactly have mainstream coverage or advertising, so half the problem is not being able to reach enough people to get big enough interest. All of the aforementioned companies, save for Valve, have very targeted and miniscule advertising budgets that are clearly run from overseas offices. That's just not going to translate to a bigger audience without a lot of luck. That's why I originally suggested if an Atari had teamed up with one of these companies and slapped their logo on there and included a free copy of Atari Vault, it would have been an easy way of gaining a lot of interest just because of the name. Again, the VCS (nee, Atari Box) got a LOT of coverage and initial interest, it's just that the product itself arguably didn't have particular appeal (arguably the classic controller was what stole the spotlight for a time), something that has only gotten worse as more time has passed. Again, I'd argue that Atari branding a handheld gaming PC would have been seen as "innovative" versus just another set top box, and while the high price would have limited sales still, it might have been a more effective long-term strategy from a brand standpoint.

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