Steam Deck pre-orders are already being auctioned off for ridiculous prices

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Gamesradar 17 July, 2021 - 06:08pm 15 views

Is Steam Deck sold out?

All three Steam Deck SKUs are currently available for reservation, though they may not all have the same expected availability for final ordering. As of this moment, the $399 Steam Deck expects orders to be available in Q1 2022. The $529 Steam Deck has already sold out through Q1 for an expected Q2 2022 release. Game RantSteam Deck Reservations for 2021 Sell Out and Early 2022 is Going Quickly

“ I think that it’s going to be a great buy,” explained hardware engineer Yazan Aldehayyat in the IGN interview. “I mean, obviously every part will fail at some point, but we think people will be very satisfied and happy with this.”

Meanwhile, resellers have already swooped in and are trying to sell pre-registrations on eBay for, in some cases, upwards of $2000.

Read full article at Gamesradar

Opinion: Steam Deck Can Do Wonders For Markets Like India, Should it Ever Launch

MySmartPrice 18 July, 2021 - 05:01pm

The Steam Deck has finally been unveiled - but are people right to be a little cautious?

It is not every day that the gaming community is blessed with a major surprise announcement, especially from Valve – but that is what we got with the Steam Deck, despite early rumours in May. The portable PC from Valve came seemingly out of nowhere and has the entire community buzzing – and the community has thoughts varying from overtly positive and optimistic to confusion and reservation.

The Steam Deck, for all intents and purposes, is a pretty powerful PC that can run the best that the Steam library has to offer – but that is not the only thing it can do. What is perhaps most exciting about the Steam Deck is the fact that players can essentially access games from other great libraries like the Xbox Game Pass or the Epic Games Store.

With decent-enough hardware, a rather interesting design, and all the goodwill that Valve has earned over its illustrious run in the industry – there is a lot to like about the Steam Deck – but perhaps it is not all sunshine and roses.

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As excited as nearly everyone is about the Steam Deck – there is also a cautious voice at the back of everyone’s head that reminds them that this is not the first time Valve has tried their hand at console-like hardware. The Steam Machine is a stark reminder that perhaps a pre-built hardware platform isn’t exactly something that the PC crowd is necessarily clamouring for.

It wasn’t that Valve had essentially hadn’t tried their level best with the Steam Machine – the platform had the full weight of the company behind it. Yet, despite all the marketing and the decidedly weird controller – the Steam Machine struggled to sell and was quickly abandoned by Valve. For consolation, the weird controller is still around in case players ever felt that the analog sticks were just getting in the way of them enjoying their games.

One of the many reasons for its failures was speculated to be the fact that there simply wasn’t a great demand for the product. Purely because it was trying to bridge the gap between a console and PC – when users tend to generally favour one extreme or the other – and that it was simply a half-measure in both respects.

It wouldn’t be right to knock the Steam Deck for the failures of the Steam Machine – but it is hard to shake off the feeling that perhaps the PC community, or the gaming community at large, doesn’t take kindly to console-PC hybrids. Yet, the Steam Deck has more to offer to the average gamer than the Steam Machine in one respect – it is a handheld device.

Valve ran into quite a lot of trouble concerning the SteamOS and the generally “janky” nature of the SteamLink on their previous outing – but perhaps that failure was good education. Quite smartly, Valve will now allow players to use Windows on their hardware and not force them into using the SteamOS – which opens up all kinds of possibilities.

In theory, that alone should make it an instant winner for a lot of players – but it being portable certainly drives home the point. The fact that players can essentially blitz through Stormtroopers in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order during their morning commute will certainly help sell the Steam Deck to the PC fanbase as a great addition, a companion piece for their main PC.

One of the other things that makes the Steam Deck quite an appealing prospect for many is its potential to be a great emulator. As it can run Windows, the thing can run all kinds of emulator software – allowing players to relive the magic of vintage titles with relative ease – also on their morning commute.

The Steam Deck boasts of some pretty impressive hardware – quite especially AMD’s custom APU, which is a Zen 2 + RDNA 2 “powerhouse”. That seems like it can pack a punch and be able to run some of the biggest AAA titles of today – yet that is also what seems to be giving a lot of fans some pause.

All that power, contained within the confines of a handheld PC-console hybrid, sitting comfortably in the player’s hands – what’s going to happen when users decide to see if the Steam Deck can “run Crysis”?

So far, only a select few have been able to get their hands on the Steam Deck – and it is not easy to determine whether the next-gen AMD APU featuring a 4-core/9-thread Zen 2 CPU and an RDNA 2 GPU will run into issues that come with overheating.

One of the biggest issues PC gamers have to constantly deal with is having an effective cooling system for their setups so as to mitigate how hot a high-powered build tends to get. All that power of about 2 teraflops right in the player’s hands does seem a little concerning.

The Steam Deck, however, isn’t the first portable PC around – as others like the recent GPD WIN 3 have tried their hand too. So far, that hybrid-handheld PC doesn’t seem to be catching flak for heating issues, despite packing some pretty serious hardware. It’ll take a lot more testing and usage over time to determine whether the Steam Deck has an issue with overheating, as is the case with most PCs.

The Indian gaming community is one that has always embraced the PC Master Race as their go-to platform of choice for gaming and the Steam Deck looks massively appealing – but to whom? The pricing of the PC seems to be put in a weird place where it begins to lose a lot of its appeal as a nice, companion piece for their main setup.

Regional pricing for countries such as India haven’t been revealed, but the standard US price is a tad bit aggressive, to say the least. The lowest-priced model comes in at USD $399, which directly converts to about 22,383 – but reports from IGN India suggest that the cheapest variant of the Steam Deck could sell for about Rs. 40,000 in India.

In a country like India, building a decent PC takes quite a lot of work, but most gamers would agree that Rs 35,000 is not a decent chunk of change to build a decent-enough PC. The Steam Deck, for Rs. 40,000 presents a rather appealing offer for the Indian gamer.

The cheapest next-gen console one can purchase, the Xbox Series S is priced Rs 34,990, and for a little bit more -players can cop themselves essentially a portable Xbox with the Steam Deck. Plus, its docking capabilities will allow gamers to get a full, console-like or PC experience.

Markets such as India might prove to be rather fruitful for Valve as there is a solid demand for affordable PCs in the country and the handheld bit makes it quite a big sell. With mobile gaming forming the zeitgeist in the country, perhaps the Steam Deck could make a huge impact and turn mobile gamers onto the portable PC instead. If Valve does indeed decide to launch in the country, perhaps there is a major chance it could be a runaway success. It might not do PS5 numbers right from the get-go, but eventually, it might blossom into the go-to platform for the country.

The only part about the Steam Deck that remains uncertain is how much of a beating it can take in terms of heating and how well it runs big AAA titles of 2021 and beyond. It will take a lot more information to develop a solid idea of what the Steam Deck really is and who is it for – but for now, it doesn’t hurt to be a little hopeful.

Nintendo needs a better virtual console now that the Steam Deck is here

TechRadar 18 July, 2021 - 05:01pm

Opinion: Steam's new handheld will be a paradise for emulators

That means that people who have been wanting to play their favorite N64, GameCube and even NES and SNES games will have a way to do it on the go through an emulator, even if it's probably not the way Nintendo wants people to do it. 

The Nintendo Switch launched more than four years ago now, and it still has fewer classic games than the significantly weaker Nintendo 3DS. Right now, you can only play the handful of NES and SNES games that Nintendo includes with its online membership. There are 120 games total between these two consoles, and nothing from the N64 or GameCube.

This has always been an oversight from Nintendo, but now that there's a competing handheld that people will be able to use to emulate literally every Nintendo game, it needs to actually put some effort into providing its beloved library to gamers. 

There are probably thousands – if not millions – of Nintendo fans that would love to throw money at Nintendo just to play their favorite games again, and Nintendo should absolutely start catering to that fanbase.

Because if Nintendo doesn't start offering more of its games, Valve isn't exactly going to stop people from running emulators on its platform. 

The Steam Deck obviously has the completely opposite approach to its library than the Nintendo Switch. For the most part the Steam Deck is basically just a gaming PC that you can play on the bus, which means that being able to play all your older games would have been expected no matter what. 

But Valve took it a step further, and while the Steam Deck will ship with SteamOS installed, it's a completely open platform, and you can even wipe it and install Windows 10 if you so choose (though you will have to fork over the cash for a license).

Even Tim Sweeney had praise for the Steam Deck for its approach to storefronts, and the whole reason the Epic Games Store even became a thing is because he didn't like Steam. 

Gamers that go with the Steam Deck are going to be able to play any game they want, no matter how old it is, or even who is selling it. It's an approach that I'm a huge fan of, and I'll definitely be using it to play a bunch of old Final Fantasy games – especially since the Pixel Remasters for Final Fantasy 1-6 aren't going to be released on Nintendo Switch for some reason. I guess that's just another win for the Steam Deck. 

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Steam Deck is Switch without the magic

PC Gamer 18 July, 2021 - 05:01pm

Valve won't be the first or last to copy Nintendo without 'getting' it.

Except me. When I saw the Steam Deck reveal video, the first reaction was obviously: Wow, they really like their Switches in Seattle. Then a slight sense that I'd seen this all before. That's obviously not literally true, but it was impossible to shake off the sense that Steam Deck is a piece of hardware that fits in the same lineage as Playstation Move and Kinect. Yes, they were controllers, not platforms, but what they all share is that they follow in Nintendo's wake, without ever quite understanding why the Kyoto magicians were going that way in the first place.

Nintendo is grossly underrated as a hardware design company, primarily because it doesn't care about what hardware high-enders care about. The guiding philosophy has always been that of the late Gumpei Yokoi, best-known for the Game Boy, who encapsulated it as "lateral thinking with withered technology." That is, when everyone around you is looking at the bleeding edge of technology, Nintendo is thinking about (broadly speaking) the unexplored potential of older hardware. Trivia: the Wii motion-sensing technology was originally considered for Gamecube, which probably stands as Nintendo's last 'traditional' console.

That's not to say Nintendo always gets it right, but even when it gets things wrong the reasons why are interesting. Wii U was a failure, but the concept behind it was understandable: Nintendo guessed that living rooms were shortly going to become places with multiple screens, and that a console that could switch (thangew) between TV and couch would fit into that ecosystem. In the Wii U's case the idea makes sense, but the hardware was too withered: the rapid improvement of tablets following the iPad made the Wii U gamepad look like a Tonka toy.

Switch is successful because it's not like everything else out there. Playstation and Xbox always have, and continue, to emphasise their hardware's power and vast array of multimedia offerings, while PC is the ultimate gaming platform but also the most expensive and demands a certain amount of attention and tweaking: you have to be somewhat dedicated. Switch sacks all of that off, and instead offers supremely tactile hardware that's good enough to run brilliant games, the inspired 'docking' gimmick, and a masterclass in ease-of-use.

Steam Deck is more powerful than Switch: I had to laugh at Hard Drive's headline, 'Valve announces the Switch Pro'. It is also heavier than a base Switch, larger than a Switch, and has a rather functional bordering-on-ugly design. I've seen plenty of folk comparing the aesthetics to the Game Gear, Sega's colour portable, but honestly I think the Game Gear looked a bit better than this. Either way, this thing is chunky.

I suppose the pitch really is as simple as a handheld PC with the best elements of the Switch design, with some expectation that the platform may even help standardise target specs across Steam (if this thing sells like hotcakes it will become the default min spec for PC games).

Thing is, I wonder whether that really is a niche. Who has this particular gap in their life? If you have a decent PC, why would you want a lower-spec handheld one? If you're looking to get a new PC, why would you plump for this over a desktop? Beyond a GPU shortage, perhaps. I mean, PCs aren't just for gaming. I'm not even sure whether this is targeting PC obsessives with cash to burn, or the mainstream: because with Switch Lite retailing at half the price, the latter seems an optimistic goal.

To me the Move and Kinect energy around the Steam Deck comes because, like those devices, it's kind of in a halfway house. Move copied the Wiimote but did so with improved motion-sensing technology and completely missed the point. At least, unlike Kinect, it worked as advertised.

And Steam Deck is like a Switch without everything that makes Switch great. Every game on Switch is made for Switch, for a start, whereas on Steam Deck you'll be relying on trackpads to control games intended for mouse & keyboard and squinting at tiny text on a too-small screen. It has gyro controls but lacks the 'playability' and functionality of Nintendo's snap-on and -off Joy-Cons, the button layout is godawful (the B button is doing a Salvador Dali off that edge), and it's just too big.

Valve's hardware always seems like there's a great idea there somewhere but they never quite nail it. Steam Deck could be the exception, or the next Steam Box.

It has advantages, sure. Switch is a closed garden with Nintendo pricing, whereas Steam Deck will play almost anything and you'll already presumably have a massive Steam library of your own ready to go. Games will be dirt cheap on Steam Deck and you can't argue with that: it's just whether you'd ever play them on the thing.

Steam Deck feels like it copies Switch without quite getting it right, and is something of a compromised vision as a result. As far as it and Switch being competitors, I doubt it will take anything away from Nintendo's market share, because it completely lacks that magic of the form factor, the bespoke software, and the wonder-gimmicks. A few iterations down the line, Steam Deck might be something. But Valve won't be the first to find out that copying Nintendo isn't as easy as it looks.

Rich was raised by a Spectrum 48K in the Scottish wilderness, and this early exposure to survival mechanics made him a rooter-out of the finest news truffles, and suspicious of all the soft, civilised Amiga people. These days he mostly plays Counter-Strike and Rocket League, and is good at one of them. He's also the author of a Brief History of Video Games.

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Ctrl-Alt-Delete: The Steam Deck has oodles of potential beyond gaming

TrustedReviews 18 July, 2021 - 05:01pm

According to Valve (via IGN), the Steam Deck is capable of running Windows applications on the Linux-based operating system. Furthermore, you could even wipe SteamOS off the handheld, and install a fresh version of Windows 10 or Windows 11 if you so desired. 

This element of the Steam Deck has got me really excited. Yes, being able to play PC games on your travels is undoubtedly the main attraction, but I’m also very intrigued about how it functions as an on-the-go computer. 

Given the lack of a physical keyboard, you’re hardly going to be able to type up an essay on the Steam Deck, but you could use it to stream the likes of Netflix, Disney Plus and YouTube whenever you want to take a break from gaming. And since you’ll be able to use a web browser too, you’ll even be able to use the built-in touchscreen to scroll through Instagram, look for game guides or even make last minute tweaks to your fantasy football team. 

I know what you’re going to say: “Why use the Steam Deck as a PC when you can just use your laptop or tablet instead?” But that’s the beauty of the Steam Deck: it’s an all-in-one device that can do it all on your travels, so you’ll never need to stuff your bag with a laptop again. 

This is particularly true once you equip it with Valve’s dock. This sold-separately accessory will allow you to easily hook the Steam Deck up to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, turning it into your own makeshift desktop PC setup. I really like the idea of porting my Steam Deck between home and office, using one device to fulfill both gaming and work duties. 

And let’s not forget, the Steam Deck is packing some pretty impressive specs. We won’t be able to know how powerful it is until we get a review sample, but I’m confident it’s going to be just as powerful as your everyday laptop, with a little bit of extra GPU firepower in case you want to dabble with the likes of video editing. 

With all of this versatility in mind, the Steam Deck’s price point – including the high-end £569 model – makes it an absolute bargain. You’ll struggle to find many decent new laptops at that price, especially with this kind of GPU power.

Of course, there’s still a lot of unknown variables here. Windows isn’t really optimised for a 7-inch device so we don’t know how smoothly it’s going to run on the Steam Deck. But with Microsoft emphasising that it’s ensured Windows 11 is optimised for tablets such as the Surface Pro X, I reckon we may well be pleasantly surprised to see how well it runs on the Steam Deck. 

So yes, the Steam Deck’s most exciting feature is undoubtedly its ability to play PC games on the go, but you’ll be getting even more value for money by treating it like your own little portable PC. After all, you probably wouldn’t use a gaming laptop just for gaming, so why should you do so with the Steam Deck? 

Not everybody agrees with me though. My colleague Gemma Ryles has argued the contrary with the claim that ‘The Steam Deck can’t replace a real PC‘. Have a read through, and then let us know on Twitter which point of view you’re backing.

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