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Reaperman

Steam Deck

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On 5/14/2022 at 8:09 PM, Reaperman said:

Well, one of the guys from work got his 'invitation to pay for the deck' on thursday, so I'm sure he'll be rubbing it in until my turn comes up sometime probably late June. Until then I just have to play Deep Space Waifu, at home, and out of the public eye--like some kind of weirdo shut-in. 

 

Anyway, I've been learning more about stick drift, from a recent Ben Heckendorn vid. I really keyed in on the facts that 1) it doesn't have to happen, 2) it didn't used to happen, and 3) even as controllers got more expensive, they switched to the 'going to die sooner than later' business model. ...and so did the steam deck. 😡 (though its recent bout with stick drift seems to be a firmware issue, they will all eventually suffer with it)

 

Enter GuliKit, a chinese controller manufacturer that has recently started putting hall effect sticks into their higher end controllers (the 'kingkong 2' line), and has rigged up a prototype steam deck upgrade kit using that stick module.  If they ever become a product, I'm buying a set. Actually I was so interested, I went ahead and ordered myself a king kong 2 pro controller, which does some amazing things (review link). They're expensive for a chinese controller, even from their aliexpress page.

 

Sh8bEy7m.jpg S4VHmzxm.jpg

 

9GeDJ2nm.jpg ivj3LC8m.jpg

Wow….it…..it looks…….easily repairable!

 

:: faints next to a couple Xbox Series x controllers with bad sticks ::

 

Seriously-I like the option of just popping in sticks rather than desoldering the old and soldering in the new.  Low chance of screw up. The Wii control pad had replaceable sticks like this and that worked slick.

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It makes sense in that you really don't want to risk trashing your Steam Deck for the sake of a drifting stick, as replacements are expensive and you'd probably have to wait months. A certain amount of modularity for the components most likely to fail isn't a bad idea, even if there's only so far they can go in a handheld device.

 

For what it's worth, the same goes for the Switch Lite as the sticks are on daughter boards separate from the main, which can be swapped out without having to touch much else.

 

I suspect the main reason why nobody does this for stand alone controllers is that replacements aren't particularly expensive and it's only really the thrifty few who'd attempt a repair anyway.

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11 hours ago, Matt_B said:

For what it's worth, the same goes for the Switch Lite as the sticks are on daughter boards separate from the main, which can be swapped out without having to touch much else.

One stick is easy to replace on the Switch Lite, the other not so much

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Posted (edited)

I got the email and paid for mine back on monday. I also went with (these) screen protectors and a 512gb sd card.

According to the guy at work who got his, I should see shipping info thursday (tomorrow) and get it monday-tuesday next week.

 

I believe it was yesterday that Fanatical put up a deck-compatible build-your-own indie bundle. They're blocking my vpn right now, but IIRC it had party hard 2 and murder by numbers as options--I'll vouch for those.

 

I can't wait to try purchasing directly from the deck--not that it's my desired method, but for all the complaints I've heard about it needing fixed, it can't POSSIBLY be as bad as the switch eShop, can it?  If it displays more than a half dozen games before pausing to load more, it's already won.

 

Speaking of eShop, I think I've only bought a dozen or so games (generally on deep sale) since preordering a steam deck last July and have mostly stopped the 'rebuy all my steam games on switch.' They're many times more expensive and crappier on switch anyway.

 

also my gulikit kingkong 2 pro has not arrived from china yet. I should have bought that from amazon--there have been two amazon sales since I placed that order.

Edited by Reaperman
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2 hours ago, Reaperman said:

I got the email and paid for mine back on monday. I also went with (these) screen protectors and a 512gb sd card.

According to the guy at work who got his, I should see shipping info thursday (tomorrow) and get it monday-tuesday next week.

Awesome, you're in for a fun summer! My ETA is "after Q3" so in the meantime I'll be deciding which emulators I'm going to install and getting their game libraries ready.

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19 hours ago, Zoyous said:

Awesome, you're in for a fun summer! My ETA is "after Q3" so in the meantime I'll be deciding which emulators I'm going to install and getting their game libraries ready.

Yeah, me too.  It's going to be fun as I am looking forward to diving into the world of Steam and PC gaming along with having an absolute emulation beast.

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Posted (edited)

Well, it arrived, works great, and is busily charging/downloading now.

 

One early FANTASTIC sign for compatibility is that one of my favorite games, split/second from back in 2010 works fine--or as well as it ever used to. (It still has keyboard prompts like 'press enter' instead of controller prompts, but as its always been, accepts the controller equivalent)

 

now, getting that split/second 60fps patch in--that might be a hassle.  Is there an ftp server on this thing?

Edited by Reaperman
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Posted (edited)

It's been a full day, so some more thoughts. This things pretty neat, but it is not a replacement for your computer by any stretch.

 

If you've ever tried to do anything useful with an Ouya, or other android TV box (like a Gembox, etc), you know how Steam Deck feels, and its not entirely positive.  What I mean is your time with it becomes entirely about 'seeing what works' from a mostly incompatible software library, than it is actually about playing games. :(

 

  • Firstly, Steam Deck is a fantastic way to run a tiny curated list of steam games. About 1/10 of my library is 'great on deck.' 231 of 2705. 'verified and playable' runs the complete spectrum of 'have to mouseclick through a pre-launch menu' to 'nothing works, totally unplayable, you idiots' and leans more toward that second end spectrum.
  • The back paddles press 'back' towards the screen, instead of into the handgrips, making them nearly impossible to actuate, accidently or deliberately --but I haven't played a single game where they do anything, so whatever.
  • Ergonomics otherwise are better than average. D-pad rocks properly. Placement initially feels great, but can fatigue when going at it hard. Overall size of the unit feels like a switch with one of the various mongo-grips (pic related)
  • Any game that needs a keyboard function of any kind will be broken. If you think you can easily get to the onscreen keyboard to click through onscreen prompts, like 'press enter to start,' you are mistaken, in my experience, 100% of the time. It types into text input boxes, and that's about it. There is also no way to map regions of the screen to select keys (like a row across the bottom, which would be great since a lot of games are 1280x720 vs 1280x800 so there is space)--not that it matters because again, the onscreen keyboard is useless in all but text-box scenarios.
  • Steam offers you ONE CHANCE to opt into (or probably out of) feedback, and that is not buried anywhere else in the setting menus. I initially declined, meaning the games I've discovered working will not be reported back. Some games that initially appear to work, fail MISERABLY at certain points--unfortunately the Split/Second above is in that category. I have a feeling this input is where 'verified and playable' ratings come from.
  • Desktop mode works fine outside of the input limitations. creating a blank text file, renaming it when it did that wrong, and copying it took WAY too much effort with the "keyboard" and touchpad, but installing brave browser and shortcutting it to steam went fairly quickly (though everything becomes a tiny target to hit with that trackpad and a near impossibility with the touch screen)
  • Sorting though games is always a hassle on steam, and the deck is no exception. Probably keep it to 50 games installed at a time, and good freaking luck scrolling through the library to install one. There are actually useful library/wishlist filters on this site. I will say that it loads more game thumbnails than switch, and has a fast alphabet scroll, so it is an order of magnitude less annoying in that way. 

 

I had thought this would be a good pair with travelling, rather than bringing a netbook and nintendo switch. What I'm finding is that it's not currently good enough at being a computer or a game console to replace either on travel. If it ran windows, with great driver support this would likely be an entirely different story.

 

Lastly, here are the untested "?" games I've discovered working (at least for the first 20 min or so):

  • BallisicNG - this runs so well it should be green-checked
  • Blake Stone (both of them) - kind of crappy location for strafe button
  • D&D chronicles of Mystara
  • Space Invaders Extreme - 1280x720 with small borders top/bottom. A blast as always.
  • Super Indie Karts - onscreen prompts for switch(?) controller of all things. this game is a lot better than it used to be
  • Super Pixel Racers - what an annoying game. Works, I guess.
  • Wacky Wheels - (side borders) has a better controller layout than gravis gamepad on original

 

Naturally this means I've tested DOZENS of titles and I need to stop doing that so I can properly enjoy games that actually do work.

 

Steam deck vs switch with Dobe grip:

D4qg3gtm.jpg

Edited by Reaperman
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On 6/25/2022 at 12:35 PM, Reaperman said:

It's been a full day, so some more thoughts. This things pretty neat, but it is not a replacement for your computer by any stretch.

 

If you've ever tried to do anything useful with an Ouya, or other android TV box (like a Gembox, etc), you know how Steam Deck feels, and its not entirely positive.  What I mean is your time with it becomes entirely about 'seeing what works' from a mostly incompatible software library, than it is actually about playing games. :(

 

  • Firstly, Steam Deck is a fantastic way to run a tiny curated list of steam games. About 1/10 of my library is 'great on deck.' 231 of 2705. 'verified and playable' runs the complete spectrum of 'have to mouseclick through a pre-launch menu' to 'nothing works, totally unplayable, you idiots' and leans more toward that second end spectrum.
  • The back paddles press 'back' towards the screen, instead of into the handgrips, making them nearly impossible to actuate, accidently or deliberately --but I haven't played a single game where they do anything, so whatever.
  • Ergonomics otherwise are better than average. D-pad rocks properly. Placement initially feels great, but can fatigue when going at it hard. Overall size of the unit feels like a switch with one of the various mongo-grips (pic related)
  • Any game that needs a keyboard function of any kind will be broken. If you think you can easily get to the onscreen keyboard to click through onscreen prompts, like 'press enter to start,' you are mistaken, in my experience, 100% of the time. It types into text input boxes, and that's about it. There is also no way to map regions of the screen to select keys (like a row across the bottom, which would be great since a lot of games are 1280x720 vs 1280x800 so there is space)--not that it matters because again, the onscreen keyboard is useless in all but text-box scenarios.
  • Steam offers you ONE CHANCE to opt into (or probably out of) feedback, and that is not buried anywhere else in the setting menus. I initially declined, meaning the games I've discovered working will not be reported back. Some games that initially appear to work, fail MISERABLY at certain points--unfortunately the Split/Second above is in that category. I have a feeling this input is where 'verified and playable' ratings come from.
  • Desktop mode works fine outside of the input limitations. creating a blank text file, renaming it when it did that wrong, and copying it took WAY too much effort with the "keyboard" and touchpad, but installing brave browser and shortcutting it to steam went fairly quickly (though everything becomes a tiny target to hit with that trackpad and a near impossibility with the touch screen)
  • Sorting though games is always a hassle on steam, and the deck is no exception. Probably keep it to 50 games installed at a time, and good freaking luck scrolling through the library to install one. There are actually useful library/wishlist filters on this site. I will say that it loads more game thumbnails than switch, and has a fast alphabet scroll, so it is an order of magnitude less annoying in that way. 

 

I had thought this would be a good pair with travelling, rather than bringing a netbook and nintendo switch. What I'm finding is that it's not currently good enough at being a computer or a game console to replace either on travel. If it ran windows, with great driver support this would likely be an entirely different story.

 

Lastly, here are the untested "?" games I've discovered working (at least for the first 20 min or so):

  • BallisicNG - this runs so well it should be green-checked
  • Blake Stone (both of them) - kind of crappy location for strafe button
  • D&D chronicles of Mystara
  • Space Invaders Extreme - 1280x720 with small borders top/bottom. A blast as always.
  • Super Indie Karts - onscreen prompts for switch(?) controller of all things. this game is a lot better than it used to be
  • Super Pixel Racers - what an annoying game. Works, I guess.
  • Wacky Wheels - (side borders) has a better controller layout than gravis gamepad on original

 

Naturally this means I've tested DOZENS of titles and I need to stop doing that so I can properly enjoy games that actually do work.

 

Steam deck vs switch with Dobe grip:

D4qg3gtm.jpg

Appreciate the information.  Blake Stone will probably be one of the first games I fire up when I get this in order to get back into (classic) PC gaming.  Take care and look forward to many more observations and/or additional information you can share.  I will try and do the same when I finally get mine.

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So my videoed take is below, but there haven't been too many shocking revelations over my above written one. My final opinion is that the steam deck is a 9/10 great system, when it's working, which is a little less than 10% of the time. 

 

I do look at emulation, and I feel that at least with Emudeck, it's not a great solution for that. I don't show performance, but N64 was good (better than my n64 for sure...), DC was glitchy even with bios, Gamecube was generally slow, and I didn't try anything more complex than that. But the kicker for me is that emudeck craps up the menus pretty badly, and I do show that.

 

I briefly show off a deck verified game, Grid (briefly), talk about the unverified gaming experience, especially controller profiles, mention select accessories (screen protector/docks) and mention FSR (which I didn't care much for).

 

 

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Posted (edited)

So it seems there are tweaks for that gamecube problem I was having.  Some folks were saying it was a texture cache-building issue on first play, others said that I could disable some cores and get more per-core speed, and thirdly that it was a bug in big picture mode and desktop runs better--haven't tried any of that. I was seeing two kinds of slowdown in fzero-x--one that it only seemed to skipping every other frame (~30fps) another that it was periodically dropping below that, perhaps on-screen action related. There is a (nice) texture pack that loads by default, and I wonder if that stresses the SD card's read speed for problem #2. It's not really hard to move it to faster storage, but certainly more annoying than with steam games.  

 

I loaded the linux redream, and had similar DC 2049 issues, that the redream discord thinks are video driver issues. They actually behave a lot like my split/second issues in regular steam, so hopefully those are all related and fixable. Both games play great outside of being ugly. I've actually spent quite a bit of time with both in their current/broken state.

 

I'm also getting a 'feel' for what will load with proton. It seems to work better from certain periods of gaming, and it's best NOT to stray far from popular titles.  When I stopped trying to run unverified things like 'big mutha truckers 2' or 'independence war' and started trying to run unverified things like 'deus ex human revolution' I started seeing MUCH higher compatibility.  I'm still not seeing the fabled 90% even with that subset, but I don't think I'm terribly far off. 👍

 

Also now that I'm making/sharing my own community controller profiles, I TOTALLY understand why the online ones are frequently incomplete. Creating/saving/updating/sharing UI is BAD--to the point where somebody will have to tell me if mine are even sharing, or are sharing in a fully-complete state. I've got details in the vid below, if somebody has Ampersand or Canabalt and a steam deck, please see if my profiles are there and if they work as described.🙏

 

I'm also noticing a lot of games marked incompatible do pretty well, and my success rate with them is maybe even higher than with unverified titles(!). I tend to think this is perhaps rapid improvements in proton--games marked entirely incompatible probably get the most attention in new versions.

 

one final tip about desktop mode and HEED IT WELL. If you plug an external display in, DO NOT USE THE POP-UP CONTEXT MENU for 'what do you want to do with the display'--it will rotate the handheld's display 90, drop it to 480x640 vertical+sideways, and if you picked 'mirror' will do that to your second display which is just barely large enough to get to the system/display dialog to fix it.  huge PITA. Instead cancel out of the menu, and take care of business in the regular display settings. Took me a bit to find those (though largely that was because I was in 480x640(rotated) with the mouse not rotated)

 

Here's my new vid--ten unverified racing games.  If somebody could look for my controller profiles that'd be great. At first the UI seems pretty WYSIWYG--until you restart the game and only half of it saved.

 

 

Edited by Reaperman

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Posted (edited)

Jsaux has 2 docks for sale. for $40-50 (if you sign up for their email there's also a coupon). Mine's ordered but still a few days away.  I bought the smaller one (big one did not become available until later).

V4z5XqVm.png

 

big one has usb3, an extra usb port, and gig-e. it seems the small one has usb2 and I dunno, 10/100(?)

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------

pYpdqJem.png

 

Gulikit Steam Deck hall effect stick modules are available from a couple ebay sellers for just under $30

https://www.ebay.com/itm/225083711913

 

In other news, this week aliexpress has refunded me for the gulikit king kong pro 2 that they lost in the next state over.  I ordered it back in may. I'll get one from amazon when they're on sale next time--I have a camelcamelcamel out on them.

 

 

Edited by Reaperman

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It's been about a month since I received my Steam Deck and overall I have to say that it's a fantastic device.

 

I've played a wide range of things on it including Prey (2017), Outer Worlds, Valkyria Chronicles, Stray and Sea of Thieves just to name some.  What they've achieved with Proton is incredible. An Emudeck install with some minor tweaking has proved to be very handy, taking care of controller configs out of the box almost across the board.  I've got Emulation Station as the primary centralized point along with Yuzu and RPCS3 as direct library items.  

 

This thing is an emulation portable powerhouse and is so good at it's core duties there that it may just become my primary device, period. It's exceeded my expectations and then some.

 

I picked up one of the jsaux docks which seems to work very well and is quite handy.

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From reading many of your reviews of the SteamDeck in this Forum topic I’m thinking the Deck will make a nice companion to my Mister FPGA setup. I am really looking forward to playing my steam games on the go.

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I've had my SteamDeck for about a month.  Overall I like it, but it seems underpowered and under batteried to be used for modern games. Forza Horizon 5 struggles on low and crashes frequently (maybe every 15 minutes). Older games and strategy RPGs work well, but basically most of those will work on a Switch. Still, the screen is a lot easier to see than the Switches

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This thing is finally available for me, but the price ranges from 59,800 yen to 99,800 yen! lol no thanks, I can go to the local parts store and buy a 3070 for that much! Not that I'd do that since there are no modern games that I want to play anymore, but you know.

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On 8/2/2022 at 11:34 AM, adamchevy said:

I’m thinking the Deck will make a nice companion to my Mister FPGA setup.

That really covers about all of it. Maybe also a nintendo switch or analogue pocket--those are partially redundant with the other two, but even with them, they all fit within a cubic foot.

 

I'd been thinking lately of how little physical room a decent gaming setup could take.  A couple times a year I get the thought 'maybe I should build a little campervan and take my backlog camping.' A bare steam deck board could even hide, say, in the space under a countertop but above the top drawer. But when I think like that, smaller gaming laptops, maybe with broken screens also start looking tempting for that application.

 

I'll have to check on steam deck's windows prospects--they've probably gotten better in the last month or so. Last time I checked, video drivers were trash, and audio was non-existent (people were using usb audio).

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That really covers about all of it. Maybe also a nintendo switch or analogue pocket--those are partially redundant with the other two, but even with them, they all fit within a cubic foot.
 
I'd been thinking lately of how little physical room a decent gaming setup could take.  A couple times a year I get the thought 'maybe I should build a little campervan and take my backlog camping.' A bare steam deck board could even hide, say, in the space under a countertop but above the top drawer. But when I think like that, smaller gaming laptops, maybe with broken screens also start looking tempting for that application.
 
I'll have to check on steam deck's windows prospects--they've probably gotten better in the last month or so. Last time I checked, video drivers were trash, and audio was non-existent (people were using usb audio).

I’ve had the same thoughts about a laptop instead. You can even install steam OS on one and have virtually the same experience.
Looking through my Steam library I don’t have a need for anything that has a lot of CPU/GPU power. I think it’s mainly the tinkerability, much like the Mister, that draws me to the idea of the SteamDeck. I also like that it’s more portable than a laptop. But therein also lies another issue for me. I don’t really need the extreme portability of a SteamDeck, that’s why I’m so happy with my Mister Setup.
In the end it is more of a hard sell for a seasoned gamer that already owns many different computers and laptops.
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