Yep, the Steam handheld is a thing

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frytup

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#1  Edited By frytup

https://www.steamdeck.com/en/

UI scaling for all the many, many Steam games that definitely weren't designed for a screen that small seems like it would be a big problem? Curious to see where this goes.

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MerxWorx01

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Seems interesting, the button locations seem off unless this is top heavy and holding it higher feels better balance wise. I haven't kept tabs on how SteamOS has been going but I hope they are being forth coming regarding most games working out of the box.

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permanentsigh

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#3  Edited By permanentsigh

Anyone willing to buy this without considering Valve's hardware track record is a big moron.

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brian_

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As someone that has weird nostalgia for gaming handhelds, and doesn't have a gaming PC, I'm interested. It doesn't look very comfortable though. It's weird giant slab, with the sticks all the way at the top of the thing, and tiny little face buttons right next to the stick, seems like it'd be terrible for people with both large and small hands.

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ghost_cat

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As someone who uses the Switch to mainly play 3rd party games on a tv, I'm totally getting this. A Steam handheld device that will have access to Steam sales? Sign me up.

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Efesell

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This website appears to demo multiple games that I'm almost certain will not fit on the 64gb storage of the base unit.

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Gundato

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#7  Edited By Gundato

@merxworx01:

It looks stupid but look at the IGN video. Naturally you are going to hold it on its sides. If you put your index and middle on the triggers then your thumb is (hopefully, depending on hand size) perfectly positioned for the sticks and buttons.

I am a bit skeptical but I think it is MUCH better than the switch style that gdp and aya use in terms of ergonomics. It will take a bit of getting used to with having the stick and buttons that close together and I think dark souls won't work (can't claw the controller) but it shouldn't be much different than bouncing between a sony and MS controller.

@permanentsigh:

As in quality-ish hardware that tends to actually do what it set out to very well, informs design decisions and software advances in gaming for the next decade or so, and maybe just doesn't have another model for me to buy a decade down the line that has no bearing on the stuff I did buy?

Like, I still grab my steam controller when I REALLY want to play crusader kings in my living room or whatever. And that thing resulted in steam having the best controller mapping out there and even Sony leveraging some of those ideas for the PS4/5 remapping. And me not needing it regularly is more a commentary on how so many games realized having gamepad support was good that I can play a lot of 4x games on my xbone controller if I want to without relying on any community binds.

The steam link was really good for game streaming and is now just deprecated because it can be done in software on everything. But I still really like steam big picture to make a "console" in my living room even if I ended up just building a PC for media and gaming anyway.

And the big complaint tends to be steamboxes or whatever they called their htpcs. And yeah... those were stupid. But steamos and the efforts with proton (?) have made linux gaming as viable as it can be (and is the basis for the steamdeck) and just because there was not a steambox 2 doesn't mean your steambox 1 stopped working.

But what made the steambox stupid? Oh, that's right, the price. Buying a full PC will always be a LOT more expensive than a comparable console (unless you consider waiting a few years and the like and how future PCs cost a lot less because you can reuse parts and the refresh SKUs of the consoles breaking all the math but that is a different conversation). The cheapest model of this is 50 dollars more expensive than a MUCH weaker switch. And if you already have a steam account then you more than make up for that in software costs because you don't have to spend 15 bucks for Binding of Isaac or whatever it costs on the switch store.

Oh, and the Vive and Index are still more or less the gold standards of VR that isn't inside-out tracking.

So... I guess call me a big moron?

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reap3r160

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My thinking with this is, if you have a PC(and like 99.9% chance you have a steam account), you probably like it because you can upgrade it. This can not be upgraded.

If you don't, you probably have a console, where you can play all of these games and would have to rebuy them anyway.

Sales on Xbox/PS Stores are pretty much in line with Steam prices, albeit less frequent. Sure, the performance will probably be JUST under PS5/Series X, so think Series S maybe? But still, I am REALLY confused about who this is for, other than people who just want to buy a new thing.

And then yeah, there's Valve's hardware track record, sure the VR is doing well for them, but that's it. Personally, between Xbox Cloud and Nvidia Streaming I'm surprised they aren't doing more with their steam link service.

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frytup

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In my fantasy world this would be a pretty cool replacement for the Link as a way play my Steam library on a TV, but I don't think it's going to be that. Shame they didn't go with an Nvidia GPU. Add DLSS, and you'd at least potentially have something that's both a good handheld and a reasonable docked device.

At this point, it's just kinda "ok...cool?" until they give samples to someone who's actually going to put it through its paces.

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FacelessVixen

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#10  Edited By FacelessVixen

So, here are my major takeaways:

  • 4 core/8 thread AMD APU that's in the neighborhood of a Ryzen 3 5300U.
  • 16GBs of RAM for system and video memory.
  • The handheld's screen resolution is 1280 x 800.
  • Custom Linux based version of Steam OS, but you can supposedly wipe it and install a different OS.
  • A dock is sold separately, which includes a USB 3.1 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, and Ethernet.
  • Three price points:
    • $400 for 64GB (eMMC)
    • $530 for 256GB (NVMe)
    • and $650 for 512GB (NVMe SSD)

I personally would have rather seen the price points scale with stronger APUs in order to better hit 1080p, especially since I don't know which AMD chips are getting FidelityFX for upscaling. But even with that, I would only buy one for the novelty. I still like my Switch, and my Surface Book 2 has some capability as a portable gaming computer, so I just don't need a Steam Deck.

@frytup said:

Shame they didn't go with an Nvidia GPU. Add DLSS, and you'd at least potentially have something that's both a good handheld and a reasonable docked device.

AMD's equivalent is FidelityFX Super Resolution (or FSR for short), which will supposedly work with whatever APU this thing is running.

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FinalDasa

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Hard to want to commit $500-$600 when I'm worried Steam won't support this for that long. I got a Steam Link for ultra-cheap and it never felt like that was a big deal for Valve.

If it has a nice launch and does alright I'll feel a bit more confident but until then I worry no matter how good the hardware is Valve won't get behind it properly.

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Justin258

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#12  Edited By Justin258  Online

As someone who has been playing games on Linux for a little while using Proton/Lutris type solutions... I think Valve needs to be a little clearer on a few things for people who don't go messing about with Linux for shits and giggles.

Let me be clear: Proton/Lutris have done amazing things for playing games on Linux. It's definitely a viable OS for gaming now, thanks to those projects and all of the other things tied in (Wine/DXVK/etc.) and the fact that Nvidia was hyping up drivers for Linux is a pretty good sign that this is becoming a little more significant than you might have imagined a few years ago. Since SteamOS is Linux-based and Valve is the company making Proton, I can't imagine these technologies aren't included on this machine.

So, to get to my point... you still need to fiddle with this at least some of the time. Does this thing allow me to change which version of Proton I'm using to run the game? Can I install GloriousEggRoll or other custom versions of Proton? If you go scouring ProtonDB, you'll find that people will frequently recommend changing stuff around. Required tweaks are becoming less and less common, but they're still sometimes recommended. Is Valve going to include some kind of icon or note or something on store pages letting me know that this Windows-native game is going to run on my expensive handheld? One that they themselves have certified and not just pulled from the list of Platinum games on ProtonDB?

I don't want to rain on anyone's parade. I bet this thing will run lots of games very well. But also, don't forget that they keep showing Control and Star Wars: Fallen Order and Doom Eternal in the menus while primarily showing gameplay from Hades, Factorio, and Portal 2. If you want a portable 360/early-mid era Xbox One/indie game machine, this thing is probably amazing. If you're looking to play modern games on the go... this ain't it.

And it should come with a massive disclaimer for multiplayer games. Most of those don't work thanks to their anti-cheat programs stopping them on Linux.

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Hayt

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Price makes my eyes water but the appeal of bringing in your entire Steam library shouldn't be understated. I often pay more for 3rd party Indies to get them on Switch for that on the couch, on the go versatility. If buying them on Steam had them also come to this "I can't believe it's not a Switch" then that's huge.

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frytup

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@frytup said:

Shame they didn't go with an Nvidia GPU. Add DLSS, and you'd at least potentially have something that's both a good handheld and a reasonable docked device.

AMD's equivalent is FidelityFX Super Resolution (or FSR for short), which will supposedly work with whatever APU this thing is running.

FidelityFX is not equivalent to DLSS. That's not to say it won't be competitive some day, but right now it's not.

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The_Nubster

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Hard to want to commit $500-$600 when I'm worried Steam won't support this for that long. I got a Steam Link for ultra-cheap and it never felt like that was a big deal for Valve.

If it has a nice launch and does alright I'll feel a bit more confident but until then I worry no matter how good the hardware is Valve won't get behind it properly.

There's nothing to support, unless I'm mistaken. It's just a PC in a Switch form factor. You buy it and then can go on Steam and play games through their Proton layer, or wipe it and install Win10 and play whatever you want.

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Gundato

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#16  Edited By Gundato

@finaldasa: I guess my question is: What is "support" in this case?

They have been slowly iterating on steamos for the past decade or so and proton is... probably about as good as linux gaming will ever get. Same with proton support which has been going even stronger. And you can probably just install windows on this if you want gamepass (will probably do that like a month after I get this in '23).

So software is... fine? That gets us to hardware. I hope there is a decent warranty/rma process for if these get damaged in the mail or just otherwise break. And I am sure stuff like sticks and buttons will fail over time. I know what I expect for that but... yeah.

But, I dunno. I guess I view this more like buying a prebuilt PC than buying a console. If Sony were to go out of business tomorrow I would be PISSED. I have a lot of digital games and might not even have them downloaded in the right state that I can keep playing Nioh 2 in offline mode. If Valve were to go out of business tomorrow (plus two years or whatever the queue ends up being)... I would still be incredibly pissed off but that wouldn't make my steamdeck stop working. I mean, I am already more or less planning to reformat to windows for gamepass and to avoid most of the linux/proton issues.

@justin258: Yeah. Linux gaming is better than it has ever been but... it is still gaming on linux. I would hope that valve integrate something like that wine frontend that would pick wine versions for you back in the day but... yeah

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FinalDasa

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@gundato: I'll be honest, I'm not even sure. Valve tends to treat these works as side projects and not as a lineup or grander strategy. I think if they learned the lessons of Steam Machines and Steam Links they'll pay a bit more attention to their choices. Hopefully.

Maybe it's less about support and more about a broader road map that other consoles tend to have.

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Gundato

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@finaldasa: Yeah. I don't see the steamdeck lasting even a full "generation" and have a feeling that a lot of us are going to be frustrated and cancel our reservations when we get the option to buy in 2030. But I guess I also just don't see that as being the real value add of when Valve make a "failure" of hardware. Optimally, all us early adopters have egg on our face and the GDP Win 5 is AMAZING and takes full advantage of everything valve pushed for with this.

But, I guess I just don't care about the long term for this. When I am buying a laptop once a decade I don't really care TOO much what the company plans to release next year or even if they will be around in two. I am buying a laptop that works "now" and, worst case scenario, I reformat to linux mint because it can't deal with windows anymore.

I dunno, I am just trying to understand that thought process since it came up a lot when I was looking at the GDP Win 3 and Aya Neo and I know I totally had concerns about that even though I would likely not buy a new one of those for at least four or five years. Maybe it is just our brains viewing these as "consoles" and not "computers".

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Hayt

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Wait this isn't suggesting you could use a Switch dock is it? I am pretty sure a Switch dock is usb-c and powered if I understand correctly.

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Justin258

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#20  Edited By Justin258  Online

@hayt: Nintendo is weird about their stuff and the Switch dock might not be compatible with this thing. I personally wouldn't bet on it, anyway, though it's still possible it could work.

That said, you can bet your bottom dollar that a million guys on Youtube are already planning a video on trying this the minute they get their hands on one of these things.

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Eribuster

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I believe the Switch dock does not conform to USB-C standards, so I don't think it will play nice with a Steam Deck. Not sure though.

I'm really interested in seeing how the Steam Deck will turn out. As someone is ready for a Switch successor, I'm kinda thinking about the $530 just so I can play Genshin Impact portably lol

(I already have a nice phone, but I've already filled its storage. I don't expect the Switch version of Genshin to be what I want to play, assuming it's not vaporware at this point. I was thinking of getting one of the nicer iPads until the Steam Deck showed up as a consideration.)

That $400 version of the Steam Deck shouts, "We wanted something to hit a price point that we can advertise" all over it. It probably works fine, but for me the starting price is the 256GB NVMe SSD model.

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wollywoo

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As someone who hasn't had a gaming PC/laptop in a few years but who has a decent sized Steam library and prefers portable gaming, this thing is kinda tempting. That said, how well are mouse-based games going to adapt here? Is there a touch screen? It's unclear how well a lot of these games will adapt to handhelds. I'll wait and see.

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Efesell

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Gundato

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@eribuster: The 400 USD is totally planting a flag and flipping off Nintendo and, to a lesser degree, GDP and Aya.

But I think that is also going to be like the Series S conceptually. If you are in the market for "a new console" then it is really hard to justify not spending 130 bucks more for something MUCH MUCH better (and that is a privileged ass statement...). This is something that is going to theoretically last you 4-6 years and it is a significant jump for that hundred bucks.

But if you are considering a new Switch or something different? The Switch has half as much eMMC and also is going to be completely dependent on an SD card. At which point you are paying 50 bucks more for MUCH better specs, comparable display, and probably comparable battery life.

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ripelivejam

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Switch is underpowered but it's still desirable for NIntendo exclusives. I would say they need to bring the price down a tad but they're pretty much following the unofficial pricing rules that MIcrosott and Sony have set the past two generations. Honestly, for what it is the Switch should be $50 less at least for the regular and OLED models.

Still, I see the price being prohibitive at how widely desirable the Steam Deck is. But at least it's a unified, coherent thing unlike the Steam PCs.

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FacelessVixen

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@frytup said:

@facelessvixen said:
@frytup said:

Shame they didn't go with an Nvidia GPU. Add DLSS, and you'd at least potentially have something that's both a good handheld and a reasonable docked device.

AMD's equivalent is FidelityFX Super Resolution (or FSR for short), which will supposedly work with whatever APU this thing is running.

FidelityFX is not equivalent to DLSS. That's not to say it won't be competitive some day, but right now it's not.

Okay, so you do know about FSR. It didn't seem like it, so I was just trying to be helpful.

But really, just looking at the specs and the price, this thing is mainly going to shine with indie games, older games and emulation.

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Onemanarmyy

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#27  Edited By Onemanarmyy

It seems like a very smart product to put out there. If i had the money to splurge, i would definitly be looking in this direction eventhough i'm not gaming on the road. Buying a handheld and having all my games come with me is fantastic. Being able to lay down and play a quality game is one of life's simple joys. But at the same time i wonder if it would be that interesting for the non-PC crowd out there that don't have that library built up.

How does this stack up to the Switch in the market? The Switch might be mostly an indie-machine for a lot of people, but it's still also the place to play Nintendo games and i think that's the main reason people are buying that thing en masse. Indiegames perform well on it, but i can't help but feel that it's mostly because there isn't a GOTY-contending Nintendo game to play every few months so people branch out to other games. Would parents buy the steamdeck for their kid over the image of the non-violent colorful plumber games that Nintendo puts front & center? Or would it become mostly a 2nd device for people that are already deep into Steam? Then again, wasn't the Switch also seen as the ideal secondary device for Steam users a few years ago? Are these people looking for a new way to access their steam library or are they already using things like SteamLink or Nvidia Shield streaming tech to get most of the way there? I guess it's hard for me to place myself in the shoes of a consumer that buys 2-3 game devices during the same generation. If i was in that position, this would be a cool addition for sure. But if it meant that i had to give up on buying a system that would get me access to playstation or nintendo exclusives, i would probably not end up with a Steamdeck.

That said, i bet in 5 years time there will still be plenty of interesting low spec indie games coming out. Being able to pick up an old one like this for 100$ and have access to all your indiegames on the go and be able to pick up some new indiegames.. at that point it becomes hard to ignore for me.

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mellotronrules

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this isn't something i'm interested in- the games i prefer to play on pc seem particularly geared towards to contemplation at desk as opposed to on a commute or plane. but it seems very aggressively priced for what it is, and eminently hackable- so for those that want a pc in this form factor, it seems pretty cool.

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imhungry

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@gundato:Did a double take and had to check but the MSRP of the Switch is $300.

Anyway this looks like it's going to be a really attractive product for a specific part of the consumer base. The Switch comparisons are obvious but at this point it's hard to see these machines as being in much competition at all. Chances are if you're still in the market for a new Switch at this point then you aren't getting it to play the newest AAA 3rd party games.

The interesting thing to watch will be how this affects indie game sales on the eShop which have apparently been performing incredibly well. If this makes a big enough dent in the sales numbers then it could provoke an interesting response. That being said, I doubt it will again just due to where we are in the Switch's life cycle meaning it's already amassed a truly massive install base. If you're playing indies, you're probably just going to keep playing them on the system you already own.

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sweep

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#30 sweep  Moderator

This is essentially a gaming laptop in a different shell. Personally I haven't needed a laptop in a while. Even my nintendo switch has been gathering dust since the pandemic started. It seems like a weird time to develop a device which prioritises flexibility of movement at a time when most of the world is in some form of lockdown.

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Gundato

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#31  Edited By Gundato

@imhungry: OLED switch is 350 USD. So 50 USD delta

And I acknowledge I am a bit of a weird case since I got my switch FOR indie games and have largely regretted every first party nintendo game I bought but I was considering/interested in a theoretical switch pro. I made my decision to get a PC handheld earlier this year when the gdp win 3 and aya neo indiegogos were going (and passed on both...) but they very much fit the same role of "I want to play Stardew Valley and Daemon x Machina on an airplane or in a hotel" category.

But for people who might want to splurge a bit for their post-lockdown activities or who are buying a console for their kids (and don't have a super strong nintendo nostalgia)? That very much gets in to the region where a 50 dollar price difference "is not that much". And, for what it is worth, an hour or so ago I got an IM from a friend from grad school who actually has a life and said (shrinking and name swapping) "Hey Gundato, you play video games, right? I hear the Nintendo is bad and I want to get a game for my daughter. Is that stream deck thing kid friendly?" and I still have no idea how to respond to that because I did not know how to hide the porn in Steam until Will Smith explained how on a stream.

But for people who don't have a strong affection for Nintendo (so weird people like me and the kids who grew up with a playstation) or follow video games in general: They very much compete and we already have the PR blitz of "oh em gee, the steam deck is as powerful, pixel for pixel,. as an xbox series x!!!" that is a load of crap.

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Leviathan_Dive

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This could be super awesome!

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hughj

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#33  Edited By hughj

I personally would have rather seen the price points scale with stronger APUs in order to better hit 1080p, especially since I don't know which AMD chips are getting FidelityFX for upscaling. But even with that, I would only buy one for the novelty. I still like my Switch, and my Surface Book 2 has some capability as a portable gaming computer, so I just don't need a Steam Deck.

@frytup said:

Shame they didn't go with an Nvidia GPU. Add DLSS, and you'd at least potentially have something that's both a good handheld and a reasonable docked device.

AMD's equivalent is FidelityFX Super Resolution (or FSR for short), which will supposedly work with whatever APU this thing is running.

I think as long as FSR doesn't have a temporal component it's unlikely to see it upscale a very low resolution to a higher one. Strictly speaking, the 'super' in super-sampling and super-resolution has always implied some form of additional sampling taking place in order to improve the resolving power beyond what's achieved from single discrete samples. DLSS gets its extra sub-samples temporally, so even very information-starved low resolutions can see a lot of improvement.

FSR is feasible for 1440p -> 2160p as there's minimal missing information aside from slightly smoother edges and fine-grained texture detail/noise, whereas going from something like 800x500 to 1280x800 means the missing information is much more significant and can't be reliably inferred.

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GTxForza

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#34  Edited By GTxForza

That looks interesting but I wonder how will most racing games going to run like?

I'm pretty sure they will be good.

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FacelessVixen

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@hughj said:
@facelessvixen said:

I personally would have rather seen the price points scale with stronger APUs in order to better hit 1080p, especially since I don't know which AMD chips are getting FidelityFX for upscaling. But even with that, I would only buy one for the novelty. I still like my Switch, and my Surface Book 2 has some capability as a portable gaming computer, so I just don't need a Steam Deck.

@frytup said:

Shame they didn't go with an Nvidia GPU. Add DLSS, and you'd at least potentially have something that's both a good handheld and a reasonable docked device.

AMD's equivalent is FidelityFX Super Resolution (or FSR for short), which will supposedly work with whatever APU this thing is running.

I think as long as FSR doesn't have a temporal component it's unlikely to see it upscale a very low resolution to a higher one. Strictly speaking, the 'super' in super-sampling and super-resolution has always implied some form of additional sampling taking place in order to improve the resolving power beyond what's achieved from single discrete samples. DLSS gets its extra sub-samples temporally, so even very information-starved low resolutions can see a lot of improvement.

FSR is feasible for 1440p -> 2160p as there's minimal missing information aside from slightly smoother edges and fine-grained texture detail/noise, whereas going from something like 800x500 to 1280x800 means the missing information is much more significant and can't be reliably inferred.

Yeah; over the past few hours, I looked at the LTT video again for the 1080 and 720 demos with Godfall. It doesn't look great for the most part, and the frames you'd get back don't seem worth it. And if Wikipedia is to be believed as to how many games actually have FSR, trying to get every frame out of RE:8 and Necromunda: Hired Gun on an APU that's the rough equivalent to a Ryzen 3 5300U (on paper) doesn't sound like a fun time. So I've kinda changed my bet from "Maybe it'll run most games okay if it can make use for FSR" to "Older games and indies should be fine, but not Control , Doom or Fallen Order."

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hughj

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@gtxforza said:

That looks interesting but I wonder how will most racing games going to run like?

I'm pretty sure they will be good.

I'm especially curious about the quality and throw of the triggers. As much as I'd like to use the Steam controller for certain driving games, the triggers on it are hard to accept if you're used to XBone/series triggers.

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imhungry

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#37  Edited By imhungry

@gundato: Oh right, completely wasn't thinking about the OLED model. In which case they actually have the same amount of storage and only one has an OLED screen and a way to output to another screen included in the price.

All of which are just small factual corrections, because it is inarguable that this is a fantastically competitive price from Valve that they're almost certainly losing a whole bunch of money on. I agree that if you're in the market for a portable PC this is an incredibly attractive product.

I see what you mean but still don't completely agree with you. The closeness of their release dates makes the comparison to the OLED Switch instinctive but considering what's actually on offer this is much more akin to a beefed up Switch Lite. The Steamdeck is still a huge steal from a value standpoint in that comparison but I think the bigger delta in price puts them in very different target markets.

That's on top of the fact that the Switch is an exceedingly simple and easy to use console (with the exception of the truly awful eShop interface) in comparison to a Linux distro (that had dubious support commitment before this) trying to run Windows games. Proton has come a long way and is generally very good but this feels like the prototypical test case of whether the 'it just works' selling point actually has any value. Unless parents want to start putting time into teaching their kids about PC troubleshooting (as arguably more parents should!) the Switch Lite still strikes me as market leader in that space.

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On a slight tangent:

With Windows 11 and this device launching around the same time frame it's going to be interesting for the coming few years of PC games. Between Windows 11's restrictive CPU requirements (HVCI), and now an official Valve device running Linux, we're likely looking at a sizable fragmentation of the Steam userbase in terms of OS.

Right now Steam survey shows Win10-64bit at 90% of users, (Win7 at 5%, the the rest making up the other 5%). By this time next year it's going to be maybe... 65% Win10, 25% Win11, 5% Win7, 5% Linux? With DirectStorage being a Windows11-only API, I really have to wonder what sort of adoption that's going to see from developers.

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Gundato

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@hughj: DirectStorage is the windows manifestation of tech in the xse*, right?

I doubt we are going to see any games being built around that (albeit, even Ratchet and Clank feels closer to WoW requiring an SSD rather than being built around a specifically Sony thing), but optimally they don't need to be and this will just be a value add if you pick "Windows 11" in the dropdown box of Unreal Engine/Visual Studio.

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#40 chaser324  Moderator  Online

@gundato: Yeah, I think for quite a while DirectStorage is just going to be a nice bonus. We're probably not going to see stuff on PC like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart where the game is built specifically to leverage the fast load times.

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#41  Edited By Big_Denim

I am totally down for this. My PC has been STRUGGLING lately, and I really don't want to just move on from my 500+ game library that I've built up over the years. Couple that with the opportunity to run some emulators on this? That's a sweet deal for ~$500.

Being able to play Grim Dawn comfortably from bed? Sign me the fuck up.

I'm also one of the freaks that uses, loves, and defends the Steam Controller, so I think I'm just the oddball kind of person that this thing is targeted at? I think?

I don't know, all I know for sure is that I'm cautiously excited about this thing.

(And to the people crapping on Valve's hardware track record, the last thing they put out - Index - is amazing (albeit a bit expensive).

I'm also naively hopeful that they start releasing more steam store exclusives to drive more interest in this thing. Source 2 has proven to be a very efficient and scalable engine and they have claimed multiple times that they have a number of games in the pipeline. Surely those are being developed with this in mind right? Hell, they've even said that they're jealous of Nintendo being able to develop games specific to the hardware they design. If they can package something like L4D3 with this (sort of like they did with Index and Alyx) then this thing will sell like hotcakes IMO.

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@gundato said:

@hughj: DirectStorage is the windows manifestation of tech in the xse*, right?

Yeah, it's related to a subset of the API of the XSX/S storage stack ("Velocity Architecture").

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zolAIEH0n1c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0sMmt-rSzQ

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#43  Edited By Kyary

I really don't see this as a "switch killer" or anything, Nintendo has a huge audience at this point and people are comfortable with the platform. $400 is probably still a bit steep for a lot of the switch audience (of course the games are cheaper, but $400 is $400)

I think it's incredibly cool though and I'm sure it'll be a hit. My only concern is people buying it thinking it's a "real" gaming pc and not a low-power system - there's a real chance someone buys it and ends up super disappointed when they can't play cyberpunk on it maxed out. The people who know what they're getting though are probably going to like it - and the dock is a great accessory.

Personally I've got enough PCs (literally, I've got like 6 in this room) so I don't need another right now, and my next valve hardware will probably be an Index headset to replace my Vive (I've got the controllers already) but I do plan on picking one up once they're not hard to get.

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#44  Edited By apewins

Looks like it's got too much going on when it would benefit for better specialization. That thing looks big and heavy, questionable battery life, D-pad and ABXY buttons are too far to the side to the point that your finger might actually slip off the deck and make you drop the device. This looks like it's heavily designed to play the latest 3D shooters (for a while until they become too demanding), but I don't want to play those games in handheld on a small screen and resolution. I would consider this for the indies, retro games, visual novels, puzzle games, old-school strategy and RPG games that I already own a massive library of on Steam, but for those games it's too powerful and too expensive. I would consider a smaller, cheaper version of this device for that reason but right now it looks like Valve tried to do too much with it.

The Switch comes with a dock so it's a little bit different when I get to choose which games to play at home and which ones on the go. I wouldn't want to finish BotW on a small screen but it might be fine to knock out some side quest on the go. And yes, you can dock this Steam device but at that point you can also buy a mini-pc for cheaper.

ps. Anyone thinking this is even going to make a dent on Switch sales is crazy.

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The steam store currently going down like a sale is probably a good sign for this thing.

I admit it looks slightly odd but seeing someone holding it and the feedback from IGN make it make sense. The switch looks better but I've never enjoyed holding it wihtout some silicone grips on there. The weight is more of a concern but it seems to be in big iPad territory (I think it weighs similar to the bigger pro) so I'm hopeful it will be comfortable like IGN say it is.

On the Switch comparisons I understand them but I think this is going after a very different thing. I own a Switch for Nintendo games. The indies on it are a bonus. This is about playing nearly all games that come out portably and probably in addition to something else. They don't need this to do Switch numbers. They need it to sell enough to create the portable PC as a new market which I would guess is in the few million range. I don't think they will be expecting families, younger kids and too many non-pc gamers to be getting this thing, especially initally.

I'm also not sure a cheaper but more limited version would have much appeal. The market for people who want to play only less demanding PC games portably might include me but is probably not a particularly big audience. And they could probably only get to this price with making a fair number of units. Similar lesser specced small scale things like the Aya are in the $800-1000 range. Playing big games on a portable is definitely not for everyone but the existance of a Switch Lite that's doing pretty well sort of tells you there are plenty of people who are probably happy playing the bigger Nintendo games only in portable mode.

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@hughj said:
@gtxforza said:

That looks interesting but I wonder how will most racing games going to run like?

I'm pretty sure they will be good.

I'm especially curious about the quality and throw of the triggers. As much as I'd like to use the Steam controller for certain driving games, the triggers on it are hard to accept if you're used to XBone/series triggers.

I see, but for me, these days, I'm more used to steering wheels with force feedback and pedals more than gamepads when it comes to driving games, so we'll see how well the Steam handheld's analogue triggers are being compared to PS5's Dualsense controller and Xbox Series X's controller.

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I am totally down for this. My PC has been STRUGGLING lately, and I really don't want to just move on from my 500+ game library that I've built up over the years. Couple that with the opportunity to run some emulators on this? That's a sweet deal for ~$500.

Being able to play Grim Dawn comfortably from bed? Sign me the fuck up.

I'm also one of the freaks that uses, loves, and defends the Steam Controller, so I think I'm just the oddball kind of person that this thing is targeted at? I think?

I don't know, all I know for sure is that I'm cautiously excited about this thing.

(And to the people crapping on Valve's hardware track record, the last thing they put out - Index - is amazing (albeit a bit expensive).

I'm also naively hopeful that they start releasing more exclusives to drive more interest in this thing. Source 2 has proven to be a very efficient and scalable engine and they have claimed multiple times that they have a number of games in the pipeline. Surely those are being developed with this in mind right? Hell, they've even said that they're jealous of Nintendo being able to develop games specific to the hardware they design. If they can package something like L4D3 with this (sort of like they did with Index and Alyx) then this thing will sell like hotcakes IMO.

I think that's a poor move, and you end up pissing people off. Imagine theshitstorm that would happen if L4D3 or even (hilariously)Half LIfe 3 came out exclusively for the hardware. The backlash would be fierce and quick. Considering that the only thing they've shown so far are ports of older games and not any new titles, I get the impression that this is solely an accessible means to access your steam library.

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@kemuri07: Oh no. Ya I guess I wasn’t clear. I wouldn’t make it exclusive to the Deck but just exclusive to the Steam store. Then throw it in as a packin with the purchase of a Deck.

That’s gonna be their best way of capturing the non-pc folks that are interested in the simplicity of this thing compared to building a gaming pc.

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#49  Edited By spacegg

A handheld PC running SteamOS (Linux). I'm definitely interested.

I appreciate how much work Valve does for open and free PC platform. Their work for free platform, open source and open standards has been pretty amazing.

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@frytup said:

In my fantasy world this would be a pretty cool replacement for the Link as a way play my Steam library on a TV, but I don't think it's going to be that. Shame they didn't go with an Nvidia GPU. Add DLSS, and you'd at least potentially have something that's both a good handheld and a reasonable docked device.

At this point, it's just kinda "ok...cool?" until they give samples to someone who's actually going to put it through its paces.

they have to use an APU with something this small, and Nvidia's APU's are trash compared to AMD's I think. You'd basically just get the Switch at that point. But with FSR from AMD it shouldn't have issue, especially at that screen size and resolution, hopefully it can be universally implemented after the source code is released.