All the games in Valve's Steam Deck reveal were running off the SD card

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Rock Paper Shotgun 20 July, 2021 - 04:51am 36 views

Is Steam deck a PC?

Only this time, its Steam Machine dreams and unusual touchpads have been rolled into a 7-inch handheld PC that looks and works like a Nintendo Switch. It's called the Steam Deck, and you can read all about its specs, extensive controls and TV docking station right here. The VergeWhy the Steam Deck won’t flop like Valve’s Steam Machines

I bet when you were watching Steam Deck's first media presentation, you probably weren’t thinking: “Hmm, yes. Looks good, but what storage medium are these games running from?” That's the sort of question that arrives later. But it’s worth asking, because even the biggest and best of Valve’s new portable PCs only has 512GB of drive space. I eat that for breakfast. As it happens, a lot of the games we’ve seen running already were stored on a microSD card.

Don’t just take my word for it. Valve engineer Lawrence Yang said so on Twitter. Someone called K-Med asaked: “Are there concerns about the read/write speed of the SD card and slot? Will games on the SD card be playable, just taking longer to load than if stored internally?”

Yang responded: “Yep, games will load faster off internal storage, but games still play great off an SD card. When IGN came by, all the games they tried (and shot footage of) were played off a microSD card.”

That's a bold move by Valve. But it’s also a nice little mic drop to have in your back pocket when asked about it. 'Oh, no need to be worried. You’re already seeing how well they run.'

I grabbed the 256GB version when pre-orders opened last Friday (I have a 2TB version of this Samsung drive lying around), but it’s great news that I can just grab more storage if required. I was worried because I'll probably fill the thing full of mods. Though not all SD cards are created equal, we’re probably at a stage where a reasonably specced and affordable card could double or triple the capacity of the device without adding the additional burden an external SSD would bring.

I love square sausage, cats, and climbing pretend rocks.

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VR Download: Facebook Cancels Mind Reading, Can Steam Deck Do VR?

UploadVR 20 July, 2021 - 07:00am

At noon Pacific we’ll be driving through the news that Valve announced its “open” Linux-based handheld PC, aka Steam Deck, Facebook cancelled a head-mounted brain-reading research effort, and there might be a larger-storage entry model for Oculus Quest 2 coming in the near future. It is sure to be a lively discussion as both Valve and Facebook have expressed considerable interest in more direct brain-computer interfaces than we have today, but the exact approach these companies pursue, how far away it is from actual consumers and how directly these systems will integrate with VR and AR headgear remains unclear.

And while Valve made clear that its Steam Deck handheld PC is technically capable of VR, its performance isn’t tuned for that use case. Still, some people are going to dive right in and start experimenting with VR nonetheless on Steam Deck and its existence might offer a playground for experimentation with things that Facebook’s Oculus Quest simply doesn’t allow.

We’ll be discussing all this and more on today’s show produced live in VR in our custom-built studio using hand tracking, Oculus Avatars, and standalone VR headsets. You can tune in live and we’ll be able to see YouTube comments and incorporate them into our discussion, or subscribe to our VR Download podcast on the platform of your choice and listen to it after the recording session.

Watch at the YouTube link embedded below:

Ian Hamilton is a journalist based in Arkansas and managing editor at UploadVR. He's covered VR full-time since 2015 as well as Oculus VR since 2012. He is interested in the people creating VR and AR hardware and software, their motivations, and how that work affects the people who spend significant time in simulations. If you have information to pass along you can send him a direct message on Twitter, Facebook or via email.

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