Steam Deck Remains the Near Perfect Portable PC Gaming Companion

By Todd Russell Apr19,2024

The Steam Deck gaming experience can be summarized in one word:

Convenience.

Steam Deck is an exciting story in gaming, one of the most positive hardware gaming stories of 2022 and 2023. As of this writing, I play games more on Steam Deck than any of the modern console game systems: PS5, Xbox Series X and Nintendo Switch.

The latter remains a surprise to me, because Nintendo came out with some noteworthy games in 2023 that I wanted to play – cough Launching October 20, 2023: Super Mario Bros. Wonder

Throughout most of 2023, I was playing more on Xbox Series X with Game Pass up until a couple months ago, when the Steam Deck convenience took over. Our console game systems are hooked up to our TV in the bedroom, and if we’re watching TV, then playing either the PS5 or Xbox Series X wouldn’t be possible, so enter the Steam Deck.

Curiously, our experience might be a usage case study for the PlayStation Portal to play more on PS5 going forward — and there has been talk in the PGM Discord about this — which counters a previous article here: Sony’s New PlayStation Portal $200 Is Sounding Worse The More Learned About It

Convenience is so important in gaming when you’re limited on how much time you have to play games. Take for example, you can play an hour or two after dinner, but competing for that time are watching TV, reading, surfing the web while still hanging out with your significant other. I keep thinking, if we have some kind of game my wife would enjoy, she’d go into our gameroom and play, which leaves a pinball machine as an option, but I can play on my Steam Deck while my wife plays games on her laptop and we have the TV streaming a movie or TV show. I could play the Nintendo Switch, also, and used to do so, but since getting my Steam Deck, it gets the gaming, most of the time.

It cannot be understated, and Nintendo was smart to make their system hybrid: console and portable. The Steam Deck hits that same balance.

While other PC manufacturers have offered up Windows-based alternatives by way of the ROG Ally and Legion Go, the Deck has focused on providing a gaming experience with a malleable operating system and a dedicated UI that makes launching and playing games a breeze—it’s not content to be a Windows machine wrapped in a gamepad-esque shell. Valve has continued to improve the software experience to deliver direct and reliable performance on modern titles with an open door to decades worth of gaming via the virtually endless Steam Library.

The Steam Deck Crushed It In 2023 (kotaku.com)

When news of the Steam Deck OLED shipping broke, we covered here: Steam Deck OLED Shipping November 16, 2023 starting at $549 – spoiler: I didn’t buy one, but if I was going to replace mine or buy an additional Steam Deck, the OLED version would be the one I’d buy as of this writing. There will be a newer version of Steam Deck that pumps up the power eventually, and that’s the one I’ll most likely jump into.

POWER TIP: Use the site ProtonDB (https://www.protondb.com/) to check for Steam Deck game compatibility and alternate protondb versions you can run that will make default unplayable/incompatible games on the Steam Deck run.

Doom (1993), for example, is listed as “incompatible” but the Bethesda (default) version runs just fine. To get the DOS version running, there are tips on the Doom (1993) ProtonDB page.

Are you interested in buying a Steam Deck? Already own one? If so, how will/does the Steam Deck fit into your gaming time? The comments area is open.

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4 thoughts on “Steam Deck Remains the Near Perfect Portable PC Gaming Companion”
  1. Most games I play are on console but I have been getting more into PC gaming since playing with PGM members. Currently, I’m unable to play games that require a lot of system and graphical processes. With the system being hybrid (handheld / TV) it has been an attractive option I’ve considered at its price point considering the cost of a gaming pc.

    1. I play all my steam games on my steamdeck except for pinball. If they don’t run on the steamdeck, they don’t get played.

  2. Do you guys think we will get a new version of Steam Deck in 2024? I would be cool at some point to play all my Steam on my TV.

    1. Don’t think we’ll see the next Steam Deck until 2025 or 2026. Valve is doing fine with the existing Steam Deck and they want people that buy the next one to feel like they will get 3-5+ years for that one. Too many newer versions too quickly and you risk people holding off. Consoles, I think the cycle is like 8-10 years. Portables, you could argue half that time is reasonable.

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