Steam Deck gaming rival to Nintendo Switch sold out? Maybe not. What to know about reservations

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CNET 16 July, 2021 - 06:07pm 57 views

Is Steam deck OLED?

Both consoles come equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen (the Steam Deck has a resolution of 1280x800 and the Switch OLED is 1280x720), though the Nintendo Switch OLED boasts an OLED display. TechradarSteam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: two different approaches to handheld gaming

Read full article at CNET

Elgato Picked A Very Bad Day To Announce A New "Stream Deck"

Kotaku 16 July, 2021 - 05:00pm

The Steam Deck is a portable PC, but you knew that already. Elgato’s Stream Deck MK.2 isn’t actually the first Stream Deck product, but it’s the newest and supposedly best in a line of devices that streamers can use to streamline their actions, assigning complex tasks (like turning a light on and setting a mic volume at the same time) to a single button.

If you don’t stream or can’t envisage why you would need that, here’s how it works:

Valve boss Gabe Newell says pricing the Steam Deck was 'painful'

Gamasutra 16 July, 2021 - 05:00pm

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Valve boss Gabe Newell has indicated that finding the right price point for its new console, the Steam Deck, was a rather painful process. 

Officially unveiled yesterday, the Steam Deck is a portable Steam device (which can also be hooked up to a display using an official dock or powered USB-C hub) that allows users to access their entire Steam Library "just like any other PC."

Valve says the Steam Deck is capable of delivering enough performance to "run the latest triple-A games in a very efficient power envelope," and intends to make the new console available from as little as $399 when it launches later this year. 

As shown below, there will be three Steam Deck variants at launch retailing for $399, $529, and $649, respectively, all offering a variety of storage options and additional features like "anti-glare etched glass."

Explaining how Valve landed on those price points, Newell told IGN it was necessary to be "very aggressive" to win consumers over, and claimed that price performance was "one of the critical factors in the mobile space."

"I want to pick this up and say, oh, it all works. It's all fast. It's all... and then price point was secondary and painful. But that was pretty clearly a critical aspect to it," continued Newell. "But the first thing was the performance and the experience, [that] was the biggest and most fundamental constraint that was driving this."

The Steam Deck will be available to reserve from 10am PDT today and will begin shipping in December 2021.

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Steam Deck Pre-Orders Start Off Shaky

Kotaku 16 July, 2021 - 01:25pm

Announced on July 15, the Steam Deck is Valve’s spin on a portable gaming console and seems to be heavily inspired by the Nintendo Switch. Players will be able to load up (quite a few, but not all) Steam games and play them on the go or connect the device to a dock to play on a TV. The Steam Deck will start shipping this December in three flavors, including a 64GB eMMC base version that will cost $400 and a 512GB NVMe flagship that goes for $650.

You can try your luck at pre-ordering one now via Valve’s store page for the Stream Deck. As of 1:35 p.m ET, many have begun sharing messages on Twitter that they have finally been able to finalize their order. And good news here at Kotaku: All of our staff who wanted one have been able to confirm their purchase. It’s a Christmas miracle in July.

Steam Deck Might Not Play Some Of Steam's Most Popular Games

Kotaku 16 July, 2021 - 10:30am

On its own, Linux is not the most video game-friendly operating system. To alleviate compatibility issues, Valve has built a feature called Proton into its Linux-based SteamOS. Proton is an amalgam of tools like Wine and DXVK that users would normally need to seek out themselves if they wanted to play a wider range of games on Linux. In short, it saves developers the trouble of porting their games to Linux, and it saves players the effort of figuring out how to make games work. Problem is, Proton isn’t flawless.

User-run Proton tracker ProtonDB (via PC Gamer) says that four of Steam’s ten most popular games—Destiny 2, Apex Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds—are “borked.” If you try to play them via Proton, they’ll appear to start up, only to crash, close, or fail not long after. According to user-submitted reports, this happens because those games’ anti-cheat systems don’t play nice with Proton, which leads to players getting insta-booted from multiplayer servers.

Fortunately, Valve is working on solving the problem.

“For Deck, we’re vastly improving Proton’s game compatibility and support for anti-cheat solutions by working directly with the vendors,” Valve wrote on the Steam Deck website.

Here’s hoping that it manages to balance out Proton’s protons and electrons before the Steam Deck launches in December. If not, my heart goes out to everybody who was hoping to farm engrams or pick up two different kinds of victory royale while on the toilet. The world mourns your loss.

That said, the Steam Deck is a fully functioning PC, so if you really want, you can always resort to a time-honored Linux compatibility workaround: install Windows.

Steam Deck isn’t just bad news for the Nintendo Switch – Windows 11 better watch out as well

TechRadar 16 July, 2021 - 08:34am

The Steam Deck runs Steam OS, an operating system built by Valve and based on Arch Linux. Steam OS has been around for a while now – though you might not have known it. Originally a Debian-based Linux distro, Steam OS was originally conceived as an alternative to Windows 10 that gamers would use, either installing it on their own gaming PCs, or by buying a Steam Box gaming device.

The benefits of Steam OS were that, like other Linux distros, it would be free – so you didn’t need to buy a license as you do with Windows 10. The money you save on that could then be spent on something more fun, like more games or putting it towards upgrading your GPU, for example.

Steam OS was also less resource-hungry than the comparably-bloated Windows 10, and that meant that when playing games, your PC could concentrate its firepower on the game, not background processes, and this could lead to better performance in games.

There’s two big reasons why Steam OS, and Linux gaming as a whole, could now be a force to be reckoned with. For a start, the Steam Deck looks like a genuinely good piece of kit, and there’s a lot of positive buzz around it already, especially from people who were hoping for a Switch Pro and were disappointed by the minor upgrades that the Switch OLED has brought.

For the first time, Steam OS could be connected to hardware that people actually want to buy. And if the Steam Deck is a hit (it’s a big ‘if’), there will be a bigger audience of gamers using Linux, and that could convince game developers to make versions of their games that run on the Steam Deck. And, if they can run on the Steam Deck, they should be able to run on other Linux distros. That’s great news for Linux gamers who don’t want a Steam Deck, but would like more games to play.

An even bigger bonus for Linux gaming is Valve’s Proton software. Based on WINE (Wine Is Not an Emulator), which is a compatibility layer that allows Windows apps to run in Linux, Proton does the same thing for games – allowing titles that can only be run in Windows 10 to be run in Linux. Most excitingly, they perform pretty well, especially if they use Nvidia’s DLSS tech.

It’s pretty certain that the Steam Deck will rely on Proton to run many of its games, so Valve, which will want its Steam Deck to run games as well as possible to generate good word of mouth. That means we can expect more improvements to Proton (and the Steam Deck may have been why Valve was so keen on creating Proton in the first place) and this will again be great news for Linux gamers.

So, while Nintendo may be thought of as being the company most at threat of the Steam Deck, maybe Microsoft should be worried as well?

It’s only just announced Windows 11, its latest operating system, and at the launch event it made a lot of how gaming will be improved. However, Microsoft has always relied on PC gamers begrudgingly using Windows to play their games on. In many ways, this led to complacency, as Microsoft neglected PC gaming for years, and while all major PC games run on Windows, Windows itself isn’t a great platform for gaming.

So, if gamers can comfortably play their games on Linux, either via Steam OS and the Steam Deck, or on their distro of choice, Windows 11 may look like a less appealing upgrade.

Both Nintendo and Microsoft should take the threat of the Steam Deck seriously – but at the end of the day, it looks like Linux gamers could be the real winners here.

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