Yeah I know, there’s a new piece of tech and techies are skeptical about the new piece of tech – what’s new, right? But I can’t help but compare the Steam Deck with the Nintendo Switch. They both share a lot of similarities.
And I have a few questions that arose after I looked at this Steam Deck. Firstly, this is technically a Nintendo Switch that plays PC games, plus a few differences like the rear triggers.
And yet, if we’re talking about PC games, then loading times matter and I don’t think eMMC storage is good enough for PC gaming at all. The last version of eMMC that I’ve used was eMMC 5.0, which was commonly found in smartphones about 3 years ago. Since then, every single smartphone has switched over to UFS 2.1 and beyond now.
Also, 64GB for the base $349 model? Seriously? I can’t even install GTA V on this thing. This limitation not only affects the ability to store large games but also impacts players who use platforms like Steam to access their extensive game libraries, including titles like GTA V. For gamers who frequently play GTA V, managing a GTA modded accounts with potentially large updates and additional downloadable content becomes a challenge on devices with limited storage. The Steam Deck’s expandable storage options, such as microSD cards, offer a partial solution, but the speed and performance implications for accessing large game files and accounts, remain a concern.
If microSD cards are introduced – then the speed is also significantly lower than eMMC. Remember – the Steam Deck only supports up to UHS-I SD cards and UHS-I speeds are limited to about 100MB/s only.
I’m not sure if there’s an option to stream games from another PC to the Steam Deck – I guess it’s only logical that Steam includes this feature. And I think being locked down to only 802.11ac maximum is a bit of a letdown. We’re seeing WiFi-6 being adopted by most new smartphones now – and there’s no reason not to support it.
And another thing – if I want to play it docked, then I need to buy the dock separately and also buy another wireless controller to play those games because the controllers are hardwired to the unit itself. Oof.
Still, I think that the Steam Deck overall is just… expensive. Sure, there’s a novelty in playing PC games on a handheld but you’re definitely paying a premium for that.
I truly hope that the Steam Deck works just as seamlessly as the Nintendo Switch – going in and out of the dock without a hitch and also able to suspend the game and go to sleep and wake from sleep at any time.