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Steam Deck (handheld from Valve)


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43 minutes ago, simms said:

PC gaming is not always about cutting edge hardware.

 

36 minutes ago, bradigor said:

It's going to be an Indie machine for me more than anything. 

 

Yeah, I think this is a common misconception about PC gaming.

It's all about choice, and the freedom of an open platform.

It has nothing to do with the type of games you play or the power of the hardware you use to play them.

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13 hours ago, Mallet said:

This video is from a guy explaining how powerful the track pads are by demonstrating how a Steam controller works. I'm genuinely shocked and very impressed, I never paid any attention to the Steam controller but the things you can do with one are crazy, now I want a Steam controller as well.

 

I'm getting more excited about the Deck all the time.

 

 

 

As someone who owns and likes the Steam Controller (and was sad to see it discontinued), I would add the caveat that any praise of its touch control needs to include the word "but". As in "it offers great cursor control, but with either reduced speed or precision"; and "it has a good stab at stimulating an analogue stick, but with unreliable centring". It's definitely the best combined solution, and its haptics are lovely, but it's always slightly compromised.

 

(I do think it will benefit from being paired with two analogue sticks this time around, though)

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 All this DF talk about specs and what the deck can put out is baffling to me - there is already portable devices out there that pretty much demonstrate what the Steam Deck does at an absolute base value, and it's already a perfectly acceptable product to me. I honestly don't believe RDNA2 and LPDDR5 will bring that much performance to the table - certainly some power efficiency, though, so getting more frames for less battery consumption is welcome.

 

Anyway, latching onto @Hitcher's question - for me, the appeal of the deck is the form factor and the price vs. comparable products (not the switch).

 

Companies have been fucking around with portable computers for the longest time, and units like from GPD have started to get in that window where the hardware is 'good enough' for 95% of the games that exist on PC (and, well, other systems when you factor in emulation), yet small/power efficient enough where it doesn't need to be hidden behind a keyboard or large screen like laptops and tablets.

 

I thought the Aya Neo looked great during the Kickstarter - a modern pc that has a sole purpose to just be held like a controller and play games when I can't be arsed sitting at my computer desk - be it a disconnect from work, or whatever.

 

Valve is offering a handheld like the Aya Neo, that's basically a bit better and a bit larger, for about half the price when comparing the base models of the two - and still about a £100 saving when comparing the £450 midrange Deck to the IndieGoGo prices that no longer exist. That's very appealing, no matter how you slice it.

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I know Valve claim they haven't found a game this cannot run. I am now dreaming of portable Flight Simulator.

 

I'd need to get an upgraded SSD from my 64gb

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2 hours ago, Wiper said:

 

As someone who owns and likes the Steam Controller (and was sad to see it discontinued), I would add the caveat that any praise of its touch control needs to include the word "but". As in "it offers great cursor control, but with either reduced speed or precision"; and "it has a good stab at stimulating an analogue stick, but with unreliable centring". It's definitely the best combined solution, and its haptics are lovely, but it's always slightly compromised.

 

(I do think it will benefit from being paired with two analogue sticks this time around, though)

 

Steam Controller was released ages ago, its not going to be the same surely?

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Adding an SSD to an existing model might be much more tricky than people expect. i.e. you might need to dismantle the whole unit.

 

Also, look at it this way. Can Flight Simulator run from a standard spinning disk drive? Yes. So, there's no reason it can't run from a modern SD card. It's never going to run at 60fps on this unit anyway. Not having the ultimate in disk speed will be less important.

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I've pre-ordered the 256gb version. I'm a big fan of Gamepass on my S20 Ultra and Razer Kishi so I'm definitely down for being able to play my Steam library etc in a similar fashion.

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9 minutes ago, Lorfarius said:

 

Steam Controller was released ages ago, its not going to be the same surely?

 

The issues aren't ones of quality, they're inherent in using a trackpad as a substitute for not-a-trackpad; there's not really any way around them. They're very versatile, and their configurability is great (stuff like the radial menus is particularly neat), but even with haptics, even with virtual trackball modes, a tiny patch of rubberised plastic is never going to be quite as tactile, quite as immediately scalable from full-screen to per-pixel motion as a mouse/trackball.

 

Again, it's a very sensible solution — I used mine for years when I had my PC hooked up to a TV, and it was almost as good as using a mouse at a desk. But there are inherent downsides to it, and it's worth going in expecting them rather than getting frustrated because you find it's not quite ideal for e.g. frenetic real-time strategy games.

 

Similarly, while keyboard-to-stick/trackpad works, it can feel a bit weird when playing games which don't support analogue motion, particularly 3D action games; keyboard-only games can feel a bit clunky when mapped to an analogue stick, as you automatically expect to get subtlety of motion that just isn't there. That's only really an issue for older PC games, however, as most modern ones offer joypad support inherently. Again, not a flaw of the controller, just a limitation of digital-only controls mapped to a controller oriented towards analogue motions. And one that will be somewhat mitigated with the (somewhat oddly placed) joypad being an option.

 

(At least, again, with the twin sticks you won't have to worry about modern games mapping weirdly from an expected 360/Dual Shock style controller to a one-joystick controller)

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I have a Steam controller here. I love the look and feel of the thing, the haptics in the touchpads feel awesome. Just wish I could be arsed figuring out profiles for games etc and it taking some playtime away from my mouse/keyboard and Elite 2 pad.

 

It really feels cool to fiddle with but how that translates into game control is something I don't have the patience to learn.

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14 hours ago, Hitcher said:

But it wont play Nintendo games.

 

Not legally, or entirely trivially but actually it probably is powerful enough to run Nintendo Switch games.

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1 minute ago, Alex W. said:

Finally, a way to play Switch games on a handheld with the same size of screen, the same controls, but twice the mass and volume.

 

That's for when you're playing PS3 games! :ph34r:

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PC Outrun 2/Coast to Coast - not available any more. Will I be able to find a copy and add this to Steam somehow and it be available in the deck?

 

I'll be able to emulate my Xbox/PS2/PSP versions at a minimum, I suppose.

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3 minutes ago, Kramer said:

PC Outrun 2/Coast to Coast - not available any more. Will I be able to find a copy and add this to Steam somehow and it be available in the deck?

 

I'll be able to emulate my Xbox/PS2/PSP versions at a minimum, I suppose.

Short answer = yes. Longer answer = yes, with caveats. It won't necessarily work out of the box, but it's a PC so you'll be able to get it working one way or another. 

 

You might be able to just add the exe to your steam library (piece o' piss job) and it just works. I'll have a test of that later.

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2 hours ago, bradigor said:

I know Valve claim they haven't found a game this cannot run. I am now dreaming of portable Flight Simulator.

 

I'd need to get an upgraded SSD from my 64gb

 

lowspecgamer got you covered ;)

 

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2 hours ago, Kramer said:

PC Outrun 2/Coast to Coast - not available any more. Will I be able to find a copy and add this to Steam somehow and it be available in the deck?

 

I'll be able to emulate my Xbox/PS2/PSP versions at a minimum, I suppose.

Teknoparrot? 

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10 hours ago, Alex W. said:

Valve has said that they’re targeting 800p30 for “modern” (current gen?) games. That’s at least PS4 performance right? Probably higher?

Sort of, but resolution is the tip of the iceberg in PC gaming. For example, you could slap a 'Steam Deck profile' on Cyberpunk 2077 and with bells and whistles disabled, it'll still have a challenge hitting 30fps. I'd imagine. 

 

Whereas with Doom Eternal, you'd have to go out of your way to STOP it hitting 60fps, even without Vulkan. Ditto Death Stranding. 

 

Anything that has a console version, even targeting PS5/XSX, will scale well to it. So yeah, it'll be broadly comparable to previous gen but with the 'stuff unlocked' features of current gen, so well-optimised games will fly and you won't get the hard-locked or wildly variable frame rates we saw in the last era. 

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Higher definitely. The GPU architecture is much more modern. It sits somewhere between the console generations, but probably closer to the newer ones.

 

What I'd love for Valve to do next, assuming this does as well as it looks like it's going to, is sell a version of this for under the TV or on people's desks. It's not possible to build a compact APU-based system yourself that would have this kind of performance, which is partially because of the custom design of the APU, and partially because of the memory they are pairing it with. Maybe they could even just sell you the motherboards on their own in an ITX or DTX format, for people who'd rather pick the other bits and pieces themselves. Potentially offering a (slightly swingeing) "upgrade path" where you can swap out the motherboard for a new one later. I'd love to see this more generally kick off a new category of much more affordable, accessible and mainstream PC gaming.

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3 minutes ago, Treble said:

Sort of, but resolution is the tip of the iceberg in PC gaming. For example, you could slap a 'Steam Deck profile' on Cyberpunk 2077 and with bells and whistles disabled, it'll still have a challenge hitting 30fps. I'd imagine.

 

I think Cyberpunk would be fine tbh. The issues on last gen consoles are mostly around streaming, right? This has way faster disk access (even on the lowest end model, or using SD cards) and CPU bandwidth. It should be playable as long as you're careful about the settings.

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I don't see why Valve would enter the NUC market and start making mini-pcs. It's not like the emerging handheld market where the big players are still relatively small companies who use platforms like Indiegogo when launching hardware. All the big PC manufacturers have some form of mini PCs. The big drawback to them right now is that AMDs current APUs are Vega based and Intels integrated graphics are still a bit lacking but the Iris Xe stuff is already a lot better than most people realise. 

 

Intels NUC compute unit stuff sounds an awful lot like what you want Valve to do. 

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1 hour ago, bear said:

I don't see why Valve would enter the NUC market and start making mini-pcs. It's not like the emerging handheld market where the big players are still relatively small companies who use platforms like Indiegogo when launching hardware. All the big PC manufacturers have some form of mini PCs. The big drawback to them right now is that AMDs current APUs are Vega based and Intels integrated graphics are still a bit lacking but the Iris Xe stuff is already a lot better than most people realise. 

 

Intels NUC compute unit stuff sounds an awful lot like what you want Valve to do. 


And they already tried the NUC market with Steam Machines to little success. Slightly different approach.

 

I think it’s failure was not being a simple “buy a Steam Box” but rather there’s a label for lots of devices. If the Deck does well and the hardware powerful enough in general I’d be down for a under TV version.

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1 hour ago, thesnwmn said:


And they already tried the NUC market with Steam Machines to little success. Slightly different approach.

 

I think it’s failure was not being a simple “buy a Steam Box” but rather there’s a label for lots of devices. If the Deck does well and the hardware powerful enough in general I’d be down for a under TV version.

 

Software aside, other issues with Steam Machines were the hardware was poor and so was the price point.  If Valve followed the model of the Deck, they'd commition their own APU and release it at a compelling price point.  This was apparently their plan a couple of years ago but they pivoted to Deck. Think in part due to it being a companion piece to VR and since that's so expensive anyway, not much point in pitching a reasonable priced PC.

 

All of Intel's NUCs are over priced, and therefore garbage.

 

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22 hours ago, Alex W. said:

Finally, a way to play Switch games on a handheld with the same size of screen, the same controls, but twice the mass and volume.

*also twice the frame rate

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