Has the Steam Deck been a success?

When it was first announced, Steam Deck shocked the gaming community. Steam has long been one of the most popular players in the industry, giving fans access to a massive variety of games alongside a thriving community, all within one concise platform. Steam Deck was the platform’s answer to mobile gaming, looking surprisingly similar to a Nintendo Switch and promising a new experience that allowed a connection between desktop and mobile gaming. Rather than being a console in its own right, Steam Deck claimed to be more of a pocket-sized gaming PC. Whether you want a Steam Deck for playing the biggest new games, or even just using it as a computer to check emails, social media, and browse for PayPal casinos you’ll be glad to know they do it all!

Initially, the reveal of Steam Deck seemed to have fans conflicted – some called it a blatant rip-off of Nintendo, others called it ingenious and no one could seem to entirely make their mind up. Now that Steam Deck has been available for a few months, have opinions changed?

What Are The Reviews Saying?

On launch, Steam Deck received some promising early reviews, but it just didn’t seem to stand the test of time. The handheld gaming PC (NOT console, Steam are keen to point out) spent just 5 weeks at the top of Valve’s best-seller list before dropping like a stone down the rankings, and the mixed reviews were potentially a big reason for this.

The Verge tasked one of their writers with reviewing Steam Deck. The first thing that they mentioned in the review was that they were having huge amounts of fun getting to know the device before quickly changing their tone. The reviewer called Steam Deck a mess, saying that it felt rushed, unfinished, unstable and full of bugs. They complained that the fan was noisy and never stopped running, the battery life was only a few hours at best, and some of the platform’s most popular games simply didn’t work on the Deck. The Verge wasn’t alone in their complaints either. CNet called the device frustrating, pointing to multiple fiddly workarounds for problems that should’ve been easy to solve. One thing that CNet did touch on, however, is that it’s an impossible console to review because it is so rapidly evolving.

Are Things on the Up for Steam Deck?

Fast forward a few months, and the reviews are now swinging much more towards the positive. Even The Verge published articles saying that Steam Deck “was not a flop” and they updated the original review a month later to say that it wasn’t as bad as it used to be.

In all honesty, Steam Deck wasn’t a flop, but it can’t be called a success either. With an average review of 3.5 stars across multiple websites and various Reddit threads discussing the pros and cons, the internet seems to be indifferent towards it. Steam Deck isn’t as bad as it once was but also still isn’t impressive. The one thing that the internet can agree on is that it’s changed the face of PC gaming in a big way, and has hopefully paved the way for better consoles to come along in the future.

So, What Does the Future of Gaming Look Like?

Some of Steam Deck’s biggest rivals – GPD, Aya and OneXPlayer – have announced that they’re building handheld PCs to rival the Steam Deck. The new console will be based around AMD’s Ryzen 6000U chip with integrated Radeon 680M graphics, which will result in a much more powerful console than what Steam Deck’s internals can offer.

Mobile gaming has been getting increasingly more powerful for years now. Gone are the days of low-quality graphics with limited gameplay. It’s entirely possible to expect graphics that are as stunning as console games, and that’s likely to continue. Consoles like the Nintendo Switch have revolutionised what we expect of mobile gaming, delivering stunning and immersive gameplay on the go.

What about Virtual Reality?

New technologies are likely to continue to improve this – VR and AR are becoming increasingly popular, and AR has already proven to work incredibly well on mobile gaming, with the likes of Pokemon Go and the Harry Potter version garnering a massive fan base. With Metaverse being talked about everywhere and gamers wanting a much more immersive experience, the truth is that things like VR and Steam Deck aren’t likely to go anywhere anytime soon. That isn’t to say they won’t change and adapt with technology, but that is the way the gaming industry has always worked. Gamers tend to be people that are ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and therefore gaming developers need to make sure they do what they can to ensure their games offer this. That is where some games fall short when they don’t meet the expectations of the hard-core gaming community.

What we’re likely to see in the future of gaming is much more interactive and immersive technology when it comes to the games that are on offer. Gamers want to feel like they are doing more than just sitting behind a screen to play their games; which is why multiplayer gaming is so popular! However, soon they’ll want more which is where the likes of Steam Deck and Metaverse would work well together – bringing a much more lifelike feel to the games that are already popular within the gaming community. It remains to be seen what will catch on trend-wise and what the gaming industry will be able to develop however what we do know is that they’ll be keen to keep up with the needs and wants of gamers – a community that has no problem in being vocal about what they want but equally as vocal about the gaming releases that they’re unhappy with.

Ultimately, Steam Deck wasn’t a fail. It wasn’t a pass either, but it’s paved the way for exciting new technology that will revolutionise how we game.

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