|OT| Valve's Steam Deck - Our decks are going places

Vash63

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Mivey

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As a Linux user, the idea of "many millions" of new Linux users in the next year or so is pretty incredible for what it could do to the market. Exciting times.
Especially if Proton works near perfectly, I think it will it will make it fairly unlikely that we wil see many more Linux ports. Much simpler to just get one decent Windows port out, and make sure that port still looks visually good when played on the Deck (in terms of things like readability, usability, etc.), then supporting Linux too.
 
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Vanta Aurelius

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For those who are planning on using the Steam Deck partially for retro gaming, are you planning to primarily stick with the Steam Version of Retroarch? Is anyone planning on loading Batocera on an Sdcard and playing retro games that way?

Anyway, I've been too anxious for the Deck. I'm currently in the Q2 queue. I'm more excited to play games in my back catalogue on the Deck than recent AAA games.
 

Mivey

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For those who are planning on using the Steam Deck partially for retro gaming, are you planning to primarily stick with the Steam Version of Retroarch? Is anyone planning on loading Batocera on an Sdcard and playing retro games that way?

Anyway, I've been too anxious for the Deck. I'm currently in the Q2 queue. I'm more excited to play games in my back catalogue on the Deck than recent AAA games.
I plan to use it on SteamOS with the version of RetroArch that's on Steam. It's getting more and more cores officially supported and distributed as DLCs on Steam. And even if a certain core isn't there, you can easily download it from the retroarch website and just copy it in a folder where RetroArch is installed to use it anyway.
My understanding is that the Linux version is otherwise functionally complete compared with the Windows one, so no reason to dual boot or anything for that.

This batocera things seem interesting, and I might check out how it runs when booted from an SD card.
 

LEANIJA

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Especially if Proton works near perfectly, I think it will it will make it fairly unlikely that we wil see many more Linux ports. Much simpler to just get one decent Windows port out, and make sure that port still looks visually good when played on the Deck (in terms of things like readability, usability, etc.), then supporting Linux too.
You could be right, or it could lead to more people using linux and linux ports becoming more common. I guess it could go either way. Ive seen discussions on this before, opinions are torn. I don't know, i guess we'll see. But so far proton has been excellent and im looking forward to more games getting support.
 

Mor

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More footage from Alex Koshelkov from Crytivo's dev kit.
 
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Vash63

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My biggest concern/disappointment so far with the Steam deck is that they really don't seem to be making the most out of docked mode. The cooler and power delivery really should be built to scale up to "too hot/loud for a handheld" when docked like the Switch so that it could drive higher resolutions in such cases.

This isn't a huge issue for me as I plan to use it primarily for handheld use, but it does kill my hype a bit for docking it to my TV.
 

Minsc

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As a Linux user, the idea of "many millions" of new Linux users in the next year or so is pretty incredible for what it could do to the market. Exciting times.
If it really takes off, 5+ ye
My biggest concern/disappointment so far with the Steam deck is that they really don't seem to be making the most out of docked mode. The cooler and power delivery really should be built to scale up to "too hot/loud for a handheld" when docked like the Switch so that it could drive higher resolutions in such cases.

This isn't a huge issue for me as I plan to use it primarily for handheld use, but it does kill my hype a bit for docking it to my TV.
But the Steam Deck does up it's resolution docked - it's only 720p handheld (or 800p either way), docked it can output 8k I believe (or at least 4k). You can simulate faster performance by lowering handheld performance settings! You get more battery life that way - then docked boost resolution and graphic quality / framerate because you don't have to worry about battery life.
 
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Mivey

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My biggest concern/disappointment so far with the Steam deck is that they really don't seem to be making the most out of docked mode. The cooler and power delivery really should be built to scale up to "too hot/loud for a handheld" when docked like the Switch so that it could drive higher resolutions in such cases.

This isn't a huge issue for me as I plan to use it primarily for handheld use, but it does kill my hype a bit for docking it to my TV.
My understanding is that rather Valve isn't throttling the Dock when it's in handheld mode, so the device will always give you 100% of its power. Due to its larger construction, heat is less of an issue and I think people already reported the fan can get fairly loud under load.

If you wish, you can limit a game to 30 FPS when the Deck isn't docked, to go easy on the battery, and then have it unlocked when you connect to a TV.
 

Mivey

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Hold me, guys. I just cancelled my Steam Deck preorder. I have to buy a laptop for work and I will try to get one that will be decent at gaming so I can't justify a second portable device. I'M SO SORRY GABEN

I'll only forgive you if you had ordered the 500 GB model and were living in Europe.
 

Knurek

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Hold me, guys. I just cancelled my Steam Deck preorder. I have to buy a laptop for work and I will try to get one that will be decent at gaming so I can't justify a second portable device. I'M SO SORRY GABEN

If your work pays you for hardware, try to push for an OLED one.
 
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C-Dub

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I’ve considered cancelling my Deck pre-order for a gaming laptop, but only because I want a more portable gaming system right this moment. Remote Play is a shitshow on PC in so many ways due to the way Windows handles EDID, so I’ve pretty much given up on it.
 

Alexandros

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If your work pays you for hardware, try to push for an OLED one.
Unfortunately not as I am self-employed (lawyer). I am just trying to kill three birds with one stone and save money, I am hoping that the laptop will get me through the next 3-4 years while the GPU market goes back to normal or Gabe releases Steam Deck 2.
 

Le Pertti

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Unfortunately not as I am self-employed (lawyer). I am just trying to kill three birds with one stone and save money, I am hoping that the laptop will get me through the next 3-4 years while the GPU market goes back to normal or Gabe releases Steam Deck 2.
I'm doing a Mac for work, Xbox Series S and Steam Deck combo until I can finally build my dream PC. I should manage for a few years still with that.
 

Alexandros

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I'm doing a Mac for work, Xbox Series S and Steam Deck combo until I can finally build my dream PC. I should manage for a few years still with that.
Sounds like a good plan. In my case I have a strong dislike for Macs and consoles so PC was really the only way to go. I also considered the solution of getting a thin & light laptop for work plus a Steam Deck, however that would probably cut me out from newer games very soon as my current desktop really needs an upgrade.
 

LEANIJA

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I actually recently got a gaming laptop – but I still want my Steam Deck!
I think the use cases are a bit different, for me at least: I divide my time between two cities. I got my PC at home, the laptop for the second home, and the Deck for whenever I wanna game but not sit at a desk.

I dunno if I stated this before, but the Deck is something I wanted for years. So often I wanted to be able to lay down on the couch, in bed, with a PC-based handheld device.
Ages ago, when the Nvidia Shield was released, I was stoked for it and got it, but the usage was limited – simply because that device was ARM-based, running on Android and couldn't do Linux or Windows and obviously, as a result, none of the games designed for those x86-based systems. would run natively.
There was Geforce Now in beta back then already: it would stream games from a gaming PC, like Steam Link now, but that didnt work very well (and Geforce Now still doesnt work so well for me even now).
When I first heard of the GPD Win handhelds, I wanted one of those, but they were too expensive, but the Steam Deck is just perfect in every regard.
 

Durante

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Regarding battery llfe, I've got some new observations. I downloaded and installed CrossCode (that's very much a "perfect for Deck" game by the way), and played it for 3:45 until the 10% battery warning showed up (and this was with a sleep period of ~9 hours in between, though I don't think that matters all that much). For a game like our Ys 9 port at settings that hit 60 FPS at ~90% usage it's closer to 2 hours -- with the same screen brightness setting -- so as expected there's a pretty broad range of potential battery life that can be expected purely based on APU load. Unless something significant changes with final hard-/software I feel like anything significantly below 2 hours or above 5 will be very uncommon (which makes perfect sense given the APU power rating).
 

MomoVideo

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Sounds about the same as the launch Switch. 2 hours in more demanding games is good enough for me, because Switch got me used to it. Durante Did you test the battery drainage in the sleep mode? Should we expect something akin to Switch, where it can last for about 2 weeks before the battery dies out, or maybe 3DS where it could handle 2-3 days maximum?
 

Durante

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I generally connect it to my docking station when I don't use it (because I want it to be ready, and so that it can e.g. download updates with the wired gigabit ethernet connection), so I don't have any data on that.

I can say that I didn't see any notable difference in charge level after ~8 hours in sleep mode, but that's just visual observation based on a single sample :p
 

Knurek

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Regarding battery llfe, I've got some new observations. I downloaded and installed CrossCode (that's very much a "perfect for Deck" game by the way), and played it for 3:45 until the 10% battery warning showed up (and this was with a sleep period of ~9 hours in between, though I don't think that matters all that much). For a game like our Ys 9 port at settings that hit 60 FPS at ~90% usage it's closer to 2 hours -- with the same screen brightness setting -- so as expected there's a pretty broad range of potential battery life that can be expected purely based on APU load. Unless something significant changes with final hard-/software I feel like anything significantly below 2 hours or above 5 will be very uncommon (which makes perfect sense given the APU power rating).
That's kind of underwhelming to be perfectly honest.
Back when my GPD Win 2 worked, I was routinely getting 7+ hours of game time out of it per charge (playing VNs, but still).
 

Durante

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I mean, a VN is basically doing nothing while you're reading, so I could actually imagine those being one of the cases of going beyond 5 hours. Probably not >7 though.

Durante Have you used the deck as a desktop PC when you dock it? How usable is it?
I've used it in desktop mode with mouse/kb and it's just a Linux desktop. Did some light browsing and filesystem inspection, and it was perfectly usable for that. I connected it to my 4k projector too.
 

Knurek

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I've used it in desktop mode with mouse/kb and it's just a Linux desktop. Did some light browsing and filesystem inspection, and it was perfectly usable for that. I connected it to my 4k projector too.
How easy would be to apply patches for Windows games under deck? Stuff like 07th mod or that FF9 background AI rescale?
 

Li Kao

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I wouldn't even go that far, but FOR FUCK'S SAKE, it's 2022, update us :anguished-face:
 
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C-Dub

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In tangentially related news, AyaNeo have a new system to talk about this week.


I am curious to see what they do. The elephant in the room of any device like this is the Steam Deck at this point, so I’m interested in how these guys react to a disruptor.

One Notebooks have decided to do a OneXPlayer Mini, that looks underwhelming. I expect GPD will pivot to Android devices.

Will AyaNeo go for a price conscientious device, or will they justify a higher price compared to Steam Deck through performance?

Valve wants to create a new category of devices here, so I’m hoping other manufacturers can make compelling devices that fit into the space Steam Deck is opening up.
 

MomoVideo

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If the attached image shows the shape of the real unit, then it looks like they are dropping the looks of the Switch to go for more Steam Deck-like looking device with handles. I'm curious if they will still use Vega chips or will they switch to RDNA2.

One Notebooks have decided to do a OneXPlayer Mini, that looks underwhelming. I expect GPD will pivot to Android devices.

Will AyaNeo go for a price conscientious device, or will they justify a higher price compared to Steam Deck through performance?

Valve wants to create a new category of devices here, so I’m hoping other manufacturers can make compelling devices that fit into the space Steam Deck is opening up.
I think GPD will continue making Windows-based handhelds, but they will continue to do their own thing, which is small, pocketable devices.
When it comes to price, AyaNeo doesn't have any other choice but to price it much higher than Steam Deck, because they have to earn money somehow. Steam Deck is most probably losing money on each device, so they can't compete with Valve when it comes to price. While it's true that Valve wants to create a new category of devices, almost no other company is in a position to create such a compelling device. Other companies might have to offer something different, something that Deck does not offer to justify a higher price tag.
 

C-Dub

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Do we know 100% that Valve is eating shit on the Steam Deck’s price?

I always thought that getting it down to $399 was “painful”, but I don’t think we’ve ever had confirmation they’re losing money on them.

And while it has a lot of cool tech inside, the Steam Deck is also a system of compromises too. The storage options are mediocre and the fact that they’re using a small form factor m.2 means upgrading will be expensive. Linux is in a better place now than it ever was for games, but it’s not Windows and I think that’s going to be a point of contention for a lot of people (i.e. a “hidden cost” of buying a Windows license to get it to do what you want). I think most of these issues will be better addressed in time, either by software updates or hardware revisions. User upgradable storage is going to be something Valve needs to address for Steam Deck 2.

I agree that AyaNeo will probably try to compete with the Deck on the high end (uncompromised storage, better graphics and processing) while maintaining a high price. If their new system has better performance I may be tempted to opt for it rather than the Deck, then maybe consider a Deck 2 in the future once Valve have improved on the original.
 

MomoVideo

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It was never confirmed, but given how competition price their handhelds and Deck is even more powerful than those, then it's not hard to make those assumptions. They might earn a bit on the most expensive model, but the 64 GB version? They are losing money on those for sure. Storage options are good enough I think. Remember that they are working with very limited space, so 2230 m.2 SSD was a natural choice. And people can expand storage with microSD, so I don't see issues here ¯\(ツ)
 

C-Dub

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The 2230 m.2 drives are expensive to replace as hardly anyone uses them. Would’ve been nice if they found a way to get 2280 m.2 drives in, and I think they should’ve been easily user replaceable. I don’t think SD cards will cut it for newer games but might be okay for games that run fine on a mechanical drive which, admittedly, is most right now.

As I said, I think the Deck has made a lot of compromises. That’s no bad thing, as they clearly need to hit that excellent price point. But there are things I wish were better.

At any rate, I am curious as to what AyaNeo do next. If they can make a no compromises Steam Deck competitor at a not ridiculous price (I know it will be expensive, but if you get your money’s worth then that’s fine) I’ll get one of those and free up a space in the Steam Deck queue.
 
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Phawx

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I generally connect it to my docking station when I don't use it (because I want it to be ready, and so that it can e.g. download updates with the wired gigabit ethernet connection), so I don't have any data on that.

I can say that I didn't see any notable difference in charge level after ~8 hours in sleep mode, but that's just visual observation based on a single sample :p
2-5 hours of battery life? Sounds familiar :p
 
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Alexandros

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As I said, I think the Deck has made a lot of compromises. That’s no bad thing, as they clearly need to hit that excellent price point. But there are things I wish were better.
Personally I disagree. Steam Deck is great precisely because it has so few compromises.
 

C-Dub

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Personally I disagree. Steam Deck is great precisely because it has so few compromises.
I would consider the size of the system itself, storage capacity, reliance on SD cards for more due to the difficulty in changing the more obscure SSD to be big compromises.

I wish the SSD stored more or could be easily replaced by off the shelf parts, but that’s obviously a compromise Valve had to make to get its price down.

And that’s just a reflection of my priorities in what I want out of a handheld PC. There are also areas where it is exceptional and is clearly not a compromise system, such as the custom AMD chips and really fast RAM compared to its more expensive peers.

In an ideal world, an OLED display would be nice. But no one except Nintendo is doing those… yet.
 

Durante

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I agree with some of those (especially OLED!), but I don't really think the size is necessarily a compromise. I think it's close to the smallest possible size to get all the controls it has on it and still make something you can hold and play on for hours. The ergonomics wouldn't work if it was smaller.

Of course, from that perspective you could argue that putting this many different controls on it is in itself a compromise, though I'd classify it more as a design decision which is a result of the primary goal of making as many existing PC games playable on it as possible.
 

Alexandros

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I would consider the size of the system itself, storage capacity, reliance on SD cards for more due to the difficulty in changing the more obscure SSD to be big compromises.

I wish the SSD stored more or could be easily replaced by off the shelf parts, but that’s obviously a compromise Valve had to make to get its price down.

And that’s just a reflection of my priorities in what I want out of a handheld PC. There are also areas where it is exceptional and is clearly not a compromise system, such as the custom AMD chips and really fast RAM compared to its more expensive peers.

In an ideal world, an OLED display would be nice. But no one except Nintendo is doing those… yet.
I don't see these as compromises because they are closely related to what the device is supposed to be, a budget gaming PC in a portable form factor. The device is as it is because that's the best combination for an uncompromised experience. For example, making the device smaller but more uncomfortable or removing input options would have been a compromise. Having a much higher price to accommodate more storage or a better screen would compromise its status as an affordable option.
 
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