Valve Steam Deck

When the Steam Deck originally came out, it was met with pretty positive reviews. A number of folks marveled at how well it worked and how great it was to finally be able to play far more games on the go than was offered via the Nintendo Switch at a mostly comparable price point. I say mostly, because compared to other handheld PC gaming devices, the Steam Deck was coming in far closer to the Switch than to products like the Aya Neo, a popular handheld gaming PC that costs a whopping $1,015.

Now, I’m not tech guy. I couldn’t tell you the difference between an EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 XC and an AMD Radeon RX 6600. Hell, I basically just picked two random cards that popped up in a google search for “graphics cards for pc,” to show you just how ignorant I am of these sorts of things. So perhaps the cost of the Aya Neo is justified when compared to that of the cheaper Steam Deck. Who am I to say? But at roughly $550 for the mid-tier model, that price point is just right for the richness of my blood.

But I digress. Even though I secured my pre-order for a Steam Deck the day it came out, landing a Q1 2022 slot for the base model, I later switched my order to the 256GB model, which pushed my pre-order back a few months to Q3. As it’s sitting now, I am slated to get my offer to buy mine any day now.

Even though I would have loved to have been playing my Steam library on the comfort of my sofa or bed all these months, I fear I would’ve actually moved on by now. At least, that’s the impression I get when I read about how unfinished the product felt at launch.

But since the Steam Deck launched, Valve has been busy making updates. It sounds like the device is far more user-friendly and performs much better now than it did at launch, which has bolstered my excitement for and anticipation of acquiring my own Deck. Some additions, like alternate fan settings to reduce the high-pitched whir some had mentioned and lamented, come with a tradeoff (does reducing the fan speed also reduce the life of the console?) But there are a ton of quality-of-life upgrades that have been implemented so far, like a screen lock, better interaction with monitors, and more docks for the Deck to play well with.

Valve Steam Deck

But don’t take my word for it, here is a recent update from Valve on some of the newer features current and future owners can look forward to.

It sounds like the Steam Deck has really come into its own at this point, and it might even stand a chance of securing the coveted number two console spot in my hardware lineup. Although this doesn’t bode well for my gaming laptop’s perspectives of seeing more game time as opposed to riding the bench.

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