Steam Deck: Valve Says It Never Really Compared Its Handheld to Switch


IGN 23 July, 2021 - 01:55pm 75 views

When is the steam deck coming out?

Steam Deck is available to reserve now in select regions, and will begin shipping in December 2021. Choose which version to reserve below. When inventory is available, customers will be notified in the order reservations were made to make their purchase. steampowered.comSteam Deck is available to reserve now

Valve, however, is shying away from such comparisons. In an interview with IGN ahead of the Steam Deck's official reveal, Valve designer Greg Coomer called the Switch a "great device," but pointed out that Valve is squarely focused on high-end PC gaming — an audience that is necessarily different from the one Nintendo is seeking.

"We tried to make all the decisions really in Steam Deck that targeted that audience and that served the customers that were already having a good time interacting with the games that are on that platform, on our platform. That really was how we were making our decisions," Coomer said. "We've ended up with a device that cosmetically shares some traits with a Switch, but that just was... it's kind of an artifact of how we've proceeded down the design direction."

Despite Valve's assertions, comparisons between the two have been rampant throughout the internet, taking the form of memes, comics, and jokes about the Steam Deck being the true "Switch Pro." It's irresistible to compare the two simply because, on a basic level, they seem so similar. Comparisons also tap into a broader hunger for a more powerful Switch, which has remained largely unchanged since its launch in 2017.

In a separate interview, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell pointed out that there have been attempts to provide mobile gaming platforms "for a really long time," but that such devices have always had compromises. Newell said the difference between the Switch the Steam Deck can be seen in the design philosophy behind the device itself.

"So I think Nintendo does a great job targeting the audience they do with the content that they have. And that's going to be different. Like when you pick this up, it feels much more like the ergonomics for somebody who's used to playing with an expensive game controller, right? Because it's bigger and it's bulkier than a Switch. And if we're right, that's the right trade-off to be making for the audience that we're going after," Newell said.

Since 2007, Nintendo has prioritized casual audiences — what the late Satoru Iwata referred to as "the blue ocean." This approach continues to be evident in the success of Ring Fit and Animal Crossing, as well as more offbeat projects like Labo. Valve, for its part, remains heavily focused on technical innovation, its efforts defined by projects like the Index VR headset.

Newell was quick to point that Nintendo has had plenty of success doing things its own way. "[O]bviously, I mean, I think they've sold 85 million Switches."

In the end, whether someone prefers a Switch or a Steam Deck is down to trade-offs, Newell said, referring to the "supernatural feeling" of being able to play Resident Evil Village on Valve's device. Valve programmer Pierre-Loup Griffais added that Valve is focused on providing the "best solution" for enhancing how players engage with Steam's library.

"Let me put it this way," Newell said. "If you're a gamer, and you pick up a Switch, and you pick up one of these, you're going to know which one is right for you, right? And you're going to know it within 10 seconds."

For more than a few gamers, the answer could very well be "both." We'll see for ourselves when the Steam Deck begins rolling out in December. In the meantime, check out our full Steam Deck hands-on preview as well as all the rest of IGN's exclusive coverage of Valve's new handheld.

Read full article at IGN

Steam Deck Listings (Briefly) Disappeared from eBay

Tom's Hardware 23 July, 2021 - 08:56am

Valve officially announced the Steam Deck on July 15 and started to accept reservations for the device on July 16. Those reservations give their owners the ability to purchase a Steam Deck for themselves within a specific delivery window.

Scalpers were quick to sell their reservations on eBay. Listings for the base model Steam Deck, which has an MSRP of $399, reached as high as $800 just a few days after reservations opened. The high-end model was going for as much as $5,000.

Now those listings have been removed from eBay. But scalpers have been using the platform to sell graphics cards, next-gen consoles, and other electronics with similar markups for months without obstruction. So what makes the Steam Deck different?

"To comply with eBay's presale policy, listings must clearly indicate that they are 'presale' items and must guarantee postage within 30 days of purchase," eBay said. "As the Steam Deck is not expected to ship until next year, these listings are in violation of our presale policy, we are working to remove all listings of the product."

Once the Steam Deck's release window is closer, well, scalpers will be able to list the device for whatever price they want once again. Not that eBay's system is foolproof; we already found a listing for the high-end Steam Deck with a $2,200 asking price. 

For anyone who doesn't want to spend that much on a handheld gaming device, Valve is continuing to offer Steam Deck reservations. Just be warned that current pre-orders won't offer that sweet, sweet 720p gaming goodness until late 2022. 

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