YvoCaro Plays

YvoCaro Plays: Handheld Gaming on Steam Deck

Welcome to another YvoCaro Plays!

As always, these blurbs are mostly about the video games I’m currently playing. Unedited thoughts that spring up in my mind, mostly game related, sometimes not. Or a random train of thoughts starting with the game and ending somewhere completely different! This time I want to talk to you about Handheld Gaming and the Steam Deck!

If you like these bits of gaming thoughts you can find the previous ones here

Gaming on the Go

Ever since starting playing video games 16 years ago I have been playing them on handheld devices. At first, just on Nintendo’s DS or on my iPad. Later on, a PS Vita was added to my handheld collection. Why I play my games on a handheld device? Mostly because I enjoy gaming on the go. Nothing better than to whip out my game of choice while I’m in the train or bus. Or when someone else is driving the car and I’m a passenger, waiting for a doctor’s appointment, waiting for my friends to show up for a date in town. There’s always time to game. And I hardly ever play my current game for longer then one hour at a stretch, making gaming on the go perfect.

As some titles only appeared on the Wii, like Animal Crossing City Folk, I did give that a try too. But console gaming just isn’t for me. As a mother I don’t want to sit in a different room before a second tv while family life revolves around the main television set. And to claim that screen for myself just doesn’t feel right. So I abandoned that idea and never bought a PlayStation or XBox console, and my Switch dock hardly ever has tv cables attached to it. 

Steam games on Handheld

LadiesGamers has featured Steam reviews as well since last year, so I could have made the choice to play games on my laptop. But to be honest, it doesn’t appeal to me. Ever since the pandemic started I have been working all day at my computer screen at home, having many, many Teams meetings a day. In the evenings I work at my own MacBook on site business. I’m guessing my chiropractor wouldn’t be happy with me if I prolonged computer-work even longer! Nor would my husband, he complains at is that he’s looking at the back of the computer all the time anyway. 

I do realize I miss out. Just looking at the recent Steam Fest I saw many titles that look very interesting.  As it is now, Paula and the other writers cover them, while I stick to my Switch. With all this in mind, surely you realise the Steam Deck looks mightily interesting to me.

The Steam Deck

For those of you who haven’t followed the release of Valve’s pocket computer: the Steam Deck, is a handheld gaming PC that will play Steam games in true handheld fashion. As you can imagine, my interest is piqued. Would this be the device that will allow me to play that treasure trove of Steam games on the go as well?

LadiesGamers Steam Deck
Valve’s Steam Deck

For this gadget though you can’t just go to a store and get a feel for the device yourself. Only purchasable through Steam, straight from Valve. And only on pre-order, by paying € 4,00 reservation fee. They aren’t made by the pallet load yet, so everyone who makes a reservation will have to wait. Orders are fulfilled by a first come first serve method, talk about making an article special and scarce!

The Good and the Bad

I decided to check out what was being said around the internet and found a hands on review at The Verge. They gave it a 6,5 out of 10, with the title: “It’s Not Ready” with these pros and cons (read their review here):

Good Stuff

  • Powerful, high-quality hardware at an unheard-of price
  • Infinitely customizable controls make decades of games playable
  • Easily lets you balance performance and battery drain
  • Suspend and resume games
  • Doubles as a full Linux PC

Bad Stuff

  • Unfinished, buggy software
  • Noisy fan almost never stops whining
  • Some of the most popular games still don’t work
  • Two hours or less of battery life at highest fidelity

There’s a couple of things that make me doubt whether I should go for it or not: not all games work on it. Should be frustrating to have your hopes set on a game only to realise your Steam Deck won’t help you out. I’ve found that Valve is play-testing games to add an indication to it if it’s playable on the Steam Deck. But with over 60,000 games in the Steam library that’ll some time before every game is clear. And another thing, as I’ve never played games on PC before, the plus of infinitely customizable controls are only scaring me. So, enough to doubt about. 

Steamworld Quest deck of cards

So Verge’s review has left me weary, but in a way it made me decide to go for it as well. My reservation is late, all the real fans have gone before me, so my potential device will take months to even get to my door. And I’m hoping that during that time, they will make the indication of a game being playable available for more of its library. And that Valve will tweak to make the software less buggy. After all, that’s what Steam games are known for: giving us games in Early Access before they are actually complete, and working on them while the players test them at the same time. 

My reservation is done, I’m in line after Q2. I’ll keep you posted of the progress of YvoCaro in Steam land!

One comment

  1. I hope you enjoy it. I have high hopes. But let’s see. Of course I never sprung for a switch, but have wanted portable games when I’m traveling. So it might make more sense for me.

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