Steam Deck Review – From a Casual Gamer

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About three months ago I received the 256GB model of the Steam Deck.  I have spent a lot of time (for me that is) playing games on the device.  Even though there are a ton of reviews on this device, I wanted to provide a review from someone how likes to game casually.  I am in no way a hard time gamer. 

Be sure to stay till the end as I go over the major flaws, I experienced with the Steam Deck.

What is the Steam Deck?

Basically, the creators of the Steam Deck want this device to be the go-to portable gaming device for gamers.  The device is based on the Linux operating system.  Linux is an open-source operating system that is great for gaming. This gaming device is like having a gaming machine in your pocket.  It is far more capable than how I currently use it.

Who Should Get a Steam Deck?

I must be honest and say that this system is great for serious gamers that are not afraid of tinkering with the system to enjoy both new and old games.  With that said, it does have some flaws, and is not for someone looking for a true plug and play experience that is offered by a gaming console. 

Why I Got the Steam Deck?

I got the Steam Deck because I wanted a portable gaming device that I could take on vacations, or when I don’t want to be tied to my office.  My kids all have Steam games, and we like to play together occasionally.  I originally considered getting a Nintendo Switch, but I liked the idea that I could play games that I have already purchased.  Besides the fact that I tried my Granddaughter’s Nintendo Switch and did not like it.  I really cannot tell you why, it just felt like a toy to me. 

Getting Started

Most gaming consoles store their games on discs whereas Steam Deck is fully digital.  Which means that you can only play games downloaded through their Steam App.  Using your Steam library, you will select and install the game that you want to play.  I do appreciate the fact that the library will tell you which of your games is Steam Deck compatible.  Now I have just under 30 Steam games in my library and only six of them loaded on my Steam Deck.  I have had to delete some games from my Steam Deck in order to play other games.  This is not an ideal solution. 

My First Complaint

And this is where my first major grip comes into play with the Steam Deck.  It needs to come with larger storage. Yes, I know that I can just delete the game and restore it, but it is a pain to have to do that.  Besides the fact that 256 GB is not a lot of storage considering the average game takes up 30 to 50 GB.  Some of the newer games assume a lot more space. 

Other gamers have gotten around this issue by purchasing multiple SD cards and having them set up for AAA, anime, and other games. But I have gotten off track, let’s go back to getting started.

Additional Storage

One of the first things that I did was to purchase a 1TB storage card.  If you know anything at all about games is that they take up a ton of storage space.  256GB of storage will not allow you to download your Steam library.  In fact, not even the 1TB SD card that I added to the Steam Deck will allow me to download a lot of games.

Install Emulators

Do you want to run older games?  Well, you can on the Steam Deck by installing emulation software which are apps that can run digital copies of games for older consoles.  How about playing games on your Xbox Game Pass?  Yup, you can do that too by downloading some files to set up the Steam Deck to work with Xbox Game Pass.

I will be honest with you and tell you that I have not tried to install any emulators on the Steam Deck. I have heard that emulator process can take over an hour to do.  Also, if I want to play a game that I have on my PS5, I just go to that device to play.  I do not think about using the Steam Deck for that.  As I said before, I am a casual gamer.  I only play games a few hours a week.  Although I do tend to game more in the winter than the summer.

Should You Buy It?

If you are a serious gamer, then go ahead and buy the Steam Deck.  However if you are a casual gamer like me then wait a while before making the purchase.  Value has been continually updating and enhancing the software since the steam deck.

Flaws With the Steam Deck

Another major flaw is the battery life. The battery life varies depending on the game that you are playing.  For instance I spend about 5 hours of game time playing YouTubers Life but less time with other games before the battery dies.

Also, the Steam Deck needs more storage. You should not have to delete games to install another one.  Likely my game place and achievements are stored in the cloud so I can pick back up on the pc.

Another problem that I have experienced that no one else has discussed is how heavy the device is.  I tried to hold it in my arms for a few minutes and ended up resting the device in my lap.  It is plain heavy. It can get uncomfortable using for more than 90 minutes at a time.

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