April 19, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Steam Deck Review Roundup: An Impressive Portable PC

Valve’s Steam Deck successfully allows gamers to bring their Steam library on the go, but notable issues hold the console back from true greatness.

Valve’s Steam Deck has finally released, and reviews suggest that the hardware successfully delivers on its promise of portable PC power. The handheld console, which was announced back in July 2021, lets users take the entire digital Steam library of games with them wherever they go. Steam Deck’s February 25 release date has arrived at last, allowing users to give feedback on Valve’s latest gaming venture.

Combining the power of a PC with the portability of a handheld, the Steam Deck is able to run a huge variety of different Steam titles. The system’s hardware can handle incredibly demanding games, like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and a wide variety of controls can make even the most complex title accessible. Not every game can run on Steam Deck, however, so Valve is using a verification system to show gamers which titles the innovative console can access. Valve has also announced that a dock accessory is in the works, allowing users to connect the handheld to a larger display, with the release of the Steam Deck dock rumored for later this year.


Related: Elden Ring Officially Verified On Steam Deck

With the official launch of the Steam Deck, reviews are praising Valve’s newest project for its accessibility and power. The small system can run demanding games like Red Dead Redemption 2 without issue, allowing these games to travel anywhere. While the Steam Deck is larger than its Nintendo Switch competitor, it is apparently still small and light enough to carry easily. However, some criticism has been aimed at the Steam Deck’s short battery life, loud fan and small storage capacity. A selection of Steam Deck reviews can be found below:

Steam Deck 150 Compatitble Games

Patrick Klepek – Vice

“What I wanted and hoped from Steam Deck was a more versatile and powerful Switch, and it’s proven to be capable of filling that niche—and more. While the limited battery and rowdy fan are noticeable—and feel like the kind of thing that’ll be much better in a Steam Deck 2.0, if Valve doesn’t drop interest in the device like many of its other side adventures—it’s not a deal breaker.”

Chris Plante – Polygon

“But for people who already have a Steam library, or are eager to dip their toes into the waters of PC gaming, the Steam Deck already feels like a legitimate alternative. It builds on the Switch’s pitch of playing anywhere and everywhere, because now my games and save files aren’t tied to a console. They live in the cloud, following me wherever I can access Steam — from my Steam Deck, to my gaming PC, to my work laptop, and wherever else I might want them in the future.”

Wes Fenlon – PC Gamer

“The Steam Deck is a handheld gaming system a Leatherman guy would love. It was quite possibly designed by Leatherman guys at Valve, who decided that a handheld gaming PC would only work if it had a big screen, two big analog sticks, trackpads, and access to a proper Linux desktop underneath its friendly UI. The problem I’ve always had with Leathermans (please don’t be mad at me, Leatherman guys) is that the miniature scissors and other doodads are never as good as the proper tools they replace. And the Steam Deck isn’t completely immune to that jack-of-all-trades problem—after two weeks with it, it’s not a replacement for my desktop PC or as portable as a Nintendo Switch.”

Dan Ackerman – CNET

“After spending some time getting used to its quirks and figuring out which games and genres worked best on its small screen, I had a great time using the Steam Deck. I was especially impressed with how well some keyboard-and-mouse games translated to the built-in touchpads, after some hands-on tweaking. The two biggest things to watch out for are battery life and storage capacity, but that’s always been true of portable gaming devices.”

Norman Chan – Adam Savage’s Tested

“From the design of its numerous controls to how well modern and legacy games play on the Linux-based SteamOS, the Steam Deck is a remarkable feat of portable computing and feels like the beginning of a new branch of PC gaming.”

Steam Deck Post Launch Updates

Valve has a history of video game innovation, and the company seems intent on bringing its greatest achievements to the Steam Deck. Valve recently launched a free Aperture Desk Job demo set in the Portal universe to celebrate the handheld computer’s launch. The developer’s beloved series of first-person puzzle games lets players traverse the quirky Aperture Science laboratory using a marvelous handheld portal device. Aperture Desk Job is not Portal 3, sadly, but the demo does introduce users to key Steam Deck features in a fun and interactive way.

While the system is clearly imperfect, reviewers seem to agree that the a perfect way for gamers to take their Steam library with them wherever they go. Some refer to the hardware as an imperfect replacement for a desktop PC, however, with limited battery life and storage capacity marring an otherwise excellent Steam Deck experience. Many reviewers see the handheld console as a solid foundation for Valve to build upon with a theoretical Steam Deck 2.

Next: Steam Deck 2 Is Already Being Considered By Valve

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