It seems like an age ago I wrote about loving Stadia. It has its issues, is always a few days away from being killed, but it brought me back into gaming because of the ease of access. I had my iPad, adopted my son's Playstation controller, and I was away. Sure, I always think about building a gaming PC, but I probably never will, so enter the Steam Deck – level 2 of casual gaming.
To understand where this fits in and why the Steam Deck has made a difference to my gaming and life, the context is important. Despite playing numerous games at a young age, I stopped for so many years that I forget how many. I felt as if playing games was a waste of time, and I didn’t have many spare hours to spend gaming anyway.
Since playing on Stadia, I purchased an Xbox One Series X and despite it being a great device, playing in-front of a TV doesn’t suit my life all the time. It scratched my itch, but I didn’t have the time between everything else I had to do, a handheld device I can pick up and put down would be a much better fit. Thankfully, Vale’s hard to get Steam Deck provided cutting-edge gaming on the go.
Don’t expect this to be some kind of review, more of an overview of how much I have fallen in love with this device. Since picking on up from a friend of a friend for a reasonable price, I’ve been able to play great PC games on the go, as well as install emulators for an all-around experience.
I don’t use my Steam Deck for even half of what it can do. I don’t hack it or tweak it or do anything that ‘real gamers’ might do. However, I do play it to death, so much so I am worried about the longevity of the battery as I have to charge it up so often. A point that is exaggerated by the fact the battery is not the best, about 2 hours of gaming is all it can handle whilst playing anything graphically intense.
It isn’t all good news. If you’re a casual gamer like me, knowing what to play is a pain. The Steam library seems to talk in some know of second language and recommend games that I have to google to find out what the gameplay is like. So, YouTube is my best friend for the games I do buy, which is far too many of them.
All these words are to say that the Steam Deck is a great device. Not the best gaming set up in the world, but just what a casual gamer needs to be able to play more and enjoy a woder selection of games.