Why Steam Deck Is a New Kind of PC Gaming - VRGyani News and Media

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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Why Steam Deck Is a New Kind of PC Gaming

For years, PC players have beaten the same drum, as they try to spread the word of the advantages that the platform has to offer. There’s always been an inherent obstacle in getting new players into PC gaming, especially as home consoles have only increased in popularity. Having a console in a home now seems almost as normal as having a television. With the Steam Deck, Valve, the leader in the PC gaming space for nearly two decades, has decided to throw its hat in the ring. In the simplest terms, the Steam Deck is essentially a Nintendo Switch-like device for PC games. It’s a portable system that will allow you to take your digital Steam library on the go. Like the Switch, you’ll also have the ability to dock it. Valve is offering it at three separate pricing tiers: $399, $529, and $649, all with differing features and storage capacity.

There’s something to be said about console gaming and its ease of access. It’s incredibly simple and satisfying to just sit down on your couch, launch a game, and have it start without problems. Most of the time you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues and making sure your game runs correctly. The same definitely can’t be said for PC gaming. While you’ll hear horror stories about trying to get games older than 15 years to run on your modern PC, the fact still remains that even modern ports of games often struggle to run correctly.

Valve tried to alleviate this problem with their Steam Machines back in 2015, but the Steam Deck appears to be the better way of approaching non-PC gamers. Having the system run natively through SteamOS allows for a simple start-and-play approach that PCs don’t have. Valve knows their audience, and because of that, they aren’t locking players into the SteamOS. For those new to the PC space and who are feeling more adventurous, Valve is also allowing more tech-savvy consumers the ability to install Windows or other operating systems on the device.

RELATED: Valve Announces Steam Deck Handheld for Portable PC Gaming

With the Steam Deck, there are a number of factors that could drive otherwise non-PC gamers into buying one. Oftentimes you’ll hear how expensive building and getting into PC gaming is from those who are looking to build one. That fact is true, and it’s something that makes the Steam Deck extremely enticing. Rather than spending $400+ on a new video card, that entire budget you might have set aside just for that one component could instead be used towards the entire system. Of course, you won’t be running games at the same higher graphics settings that you might otherwise have, but the Steam Deck could also act as a type of “training wheels” for those getting into PC gaming.

There’s no doubt that the entry fee into PC gaming is higher than any other console on the market. However, once you’re in the ecosystem, you’ll quickly come to realize that the cost is incredibly frontloaded when you’re first building your PC. Once you actually have everything set up, the costs drastically decrease. This is most likely the problem that Valve is looking to alleviate. The Steam Deck will allow for a reasonable cost of entry, with the added benefits of cheaper deals once you actually have the system itself, essentially saving you money in the long run.

While fans of physical media will hate to hear it, it’s a fact that consoles are moving towards a digital future. With digital-only systems now on the market, the truth is that owners of those consoles will be at the mercy of both Sony and Microsoft. What that means is that gamers will have to rely solely on sales on the Xbox and PlayStation stores. Quite possibly the best part of playing games on a PC is the vast amount of sales that are going on at any given point across various storefronts. This isn’t even taking into consideration the sheer amount of free games that are given out.

For years, on a weekly basis, Epic has been giving out excellent games for free like Control or Grand Theft Auto V, among a wide variety of others. As the Steam Deck will allow you to install Windows, these free games through Epic should also be easily accessible. It’s important to note that games being played on the Steam Deck aren’t going to be confined to titles you only bought through Steam itself. Steam games are sold across various storefronts, many of whom are authorized key resellers. Because of this, you’ll almost always find sales running for a game you might want to buy.

Pre-order discounts are also common occurrences, so you should never find yourself paying full price for games that have just been released. If you aren’t ready to jump into the deeper end of the pool as far as sales go, Steam has multiple sales per year that they put on. You can guarantee that these will be advertised on your Steam Deck when the time comes.

It’s interesting to think about what exactly the Steam Deck is competing against. One would think that the obvious choice would be the Nintendo Switch, as it shares a similar form factor. Because of that, there’s no denying that Valve is also probably looking to capture some of those potential customers. Valve isn’t going to sway the Nintendo fans who are just there for Zelda, Mario, and Animal Crossing, but instead the gamers who might otherwise be frustrated with the way many third-party titles consistently perform badly on the console.

Since its release, one of the big selling points of the Switch has been how good of a system it is for indies. If there’s any platform that outclasses Nintendo in that regard, it’s definitely PC. Because indie games are almost exclusively made on PC, that’s where they end up launching first as well. If they go multiplatform it’s almost always to other consoles, and not the other way around with them coming to PC later. Tied into the “sales” aspect that PC gaming exceeds in, those same sites also often have game bundles. Whether it’s Humble Bundle, Fanatical, or IndieGala, these authorized key sellers almost always have solid bundles being sold that often incorporate indie titles.

PC as a platform has a lot of positives, and the Steam Deck looks to be highlighting many of those. However, there’s the question of whether it’s going to be just another enthusiast’s device. It’s a problem that Valve no doubt had to look at, and is one that they seem to be handling well simply by virtue of the platform’s ease of use. If you’re someone who isn’t a PC gamer but is looking at a Steam Deck, there really is seemingly limitless potential on the platform. With the system essentially being a mini-PC, many of those positives appear to be carrying over to this device. Trying to capture players in a handheld market that Nintendo dominates is going to be difficult, but Valve seems to have created what is a worthy competitor.

KEEP READING: ‘Evil Genius 2: World Domination’ Now Gives PC Gamers the Chance to Take Over the World



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