When it comes to purchasing a new video game system, I feel like I’m not the best person to be in the market for one. As a PC gamer, I get a lot out of my hardware and games. Many of the games that I enjoy are released on PC. When I want a break from PC, I have a Nintendo Switch, Nintendo WiiU, PlayStation 4 Pro, and an Xbox 360 that can provide further gaming experiences. The games that I tend to focus on with the other systems are many times exclusive to the platform such as Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Switch), Ghost of Tsushima (PS4), and the first Crackdown (Xbox 360). Many of Xbox’s exclusives are also available on PC so that’s how I keep up with the Microsoft exclusive brands such as Halo, Forza Horizon, Gears of War, Ori, State of Decay, and Sunset Overdrive.
One of the big factors in buying a new system tends to be related to the upgrade in graphics. I will admit that the graphics for the latest PlayStation and Xbox look spectacular. Visually, they are impressively gorgeous. For that reason alone, I can see why many people would want to get their hands on those systems. It’s different for me. I’m satisfied with the graphics of the games I play on PC and the other systems I currently own. PlayStation 4 Pro graphics are still impressive to me. Both the Switch and Xbox 360 get the job done. My video game console journey began with the Atari 2600 so I’m pretty flexible in the graphics department.
What I am considering is the new Steam Deck. My biggest library of games is on that platform. The idea of playing those games anywhere is an interesting proposition. Historically, I haven’t been much into handheld gaming systems. But I’ve come to appreciate them more than ever before through owning a Switch. What makes the Steam Deck different from the Switch (other than the screen size being noticeably bigger) is Valve’s latest creation being essentially a portable PC using the SteamOS operating system. I’m curious to see how this works and how the platform will handle mods. Will Steam Workshop work just as well on the Steam Deck as it does through the Steam client on a PC? Does the Steam Deck have mod support apart from Steam Workshop? One cool feature that I have learned is that users are able to put the Epic Games Store on the Steam Deck.
One aspect that I’m paying attention to with the Steam Deck is the quality of the parts. The lifespan of this portable system will depend heavily on this. The buttons, analog sticks, touchpads, d-pad, and displays are hopefully built to be able to endure years of gaming. Because everything is in one unit, this is very important. With a regular console or PC, one could just swap out a controller once the current one stops working. So I truly hope that Valve has taken this into account and has utilized the best parts it can while still making the product not too expensive.
As I usually do with newer systems, I will wait to see what this year brings for the Steam Deck. I will comb through the user reviews and see what other gamers think. Its official release was last month and more units will be made available a bit later this year. If everything is looking good, I could see myself making a Black Friday purchase for the new handheld system. But I definitely want to give it some time just in case there are some major kinks that need to work out.
Will I ever buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X? It’s very likely but I’m not in a hurry for anything new. Perhaps by the time I get around to them, not only will the systems be less expensive but also the games as well. Knowing me, Playstation 6 may be out by then. Right now, there is just so much that gaming has to offer, both current and past. So many systems, so many games. And I’m in no hurry. Well, maybe for a Steam Deck at some point.