Finally, reservations are finally started in Japan. The GAME*Spark editorial department was able to touch the 512GB model of STEAM DECK a little earlier with the cooperation of the company, so what kind of mechanism this unit would move the Steam’s Windows title and how is it easy to use?, We will deliver impressions that are actually used for several weeks.
- First, check the body
- OS, Steamos installed in Steam Deck is amazing
- The beauty and drawbacks of Steam Deck that you can actually play the game
- Steam Deck was a gaming PC with infinite possibilities
We are also talking to Steam Deck’s development team at Valve headquarters in Verve, Washington, USA, so please take a look with this article.
[Steam Deck is a culmination for 10 years! We asked the Valve headquarters about development secret stories, future developments, and recommended settings to use comfortably]
First, check the body
Steam Deck is a portable game console-type gaming PC that revealed its existence in 2021 and was postponed in February 2022 in the West.
7 inches (1280 x 800px), two full-size analog sticks, D-PAD, and gyro functions on each button, and their appearance is similar to Nintendo Switch, but this unit enables mouse operation 2. A major feature is that it has four trackpads and four back buttons that can be configured. In addition, the HD haptics, which are also installed on the switch Joy-Con, not only enhances immersion during game play, but also contributes to the operation of trackpads using tactile feedback.
The feeling of size is quite large as a portable game console, and it is about the same as a Nintendo Switch organic EL model with a grip controller of Hori. There is only a gaming PC equipped with AMD ZEN2 APU, and a strong exhausted heating mechanism. It weighs 669g, about 400g, 1.5 times the weight of the Nintendo Switch. However, it seemed that the overall load balance was good, and when I first had it, I got the impression that it was lighter than I thought.
There are three types of memory: 16GB and storage: 64GB/ 256GB/ 512GB. Only 64GB model is EMMC, not SSD. The graphic performance is 1.6TFLOPS and has the same level of drawing power as the 1.84TFLOPS PS4. The OS is a Linux-based Steamos, which is tuned up for STEAM DECK, and is designed so that all functions you want as a portable game console can be accessed only by pad operation.
When I first saw the design of the main unit, I doubted the unique layout of the D-PAD and buttons, Is it really easy to use? I have been using the Steam controller developed by Valve for a long time, but the grip part was large and there were some parts that were not familiar to Japanese people.
In addition, the Chinese gaming UMPC I use is a good portability, but the position of the analog stick, the buttons, the grip feeling is not good, so I can use my fingers that are a little overdoing, so I can not hold it properly. In fact, there were many things that were not suitable for long-time gameplay, such as getting tired.
However, when you actually bring the Steam Deck, it is very familiar to your hand and is a feeling that does not require additional grip. As a writer who has touched past portable game consoles and various types of gaming UMPC, the hold feeling is better than any model. (I can play for a long time if I don’t have a Nintendo Switch or a Hori grip controller…) The analog stick is also full size, so the operation feeling is not the same as the general game pad.
When I asked the developer of Steam Deck on Valve about this wonderful hold, I made a lot of prototypes that can actually play game play, not just 3D print mocks, and asked many people inside and outside the company to actually touch it. It is the result of developing while receiving feedback.
Gaming UMPC users about the fever and exhaust of the body that the body is concerned about. STEAM DECK also plays the game for a while, and hot air comes out vigorously from the upper exhaust port. In the winter, it will be a little heating, but I think it’s a part that can’t be helped to play the game by turning the Zen2-adopted APU with a small housing. However, although the area near the exhaust mechanism is hot, the grip part where the hands are attached is designed so that the heat does not transmit at all, so there is no discomfort when playing. (If you put your body on your thighs to rest your hands, you will be surprised by the heat), even if you are exhausted, the sound of the fan is very quiet, and you do not care much even if you play it. 。
Many of the Chinese gaming UMPCs are unpleasant because of the strong sound of exhaust fans, and it was one of the factors that I did not want to play outside. Steam Deck feels that it is far more complete among the UMPCs that are currently on the market.
OS, Steamos installed in Steam Deck is amazing
The reason that Steam Deck is different from the general gaming UMPC is that the UI of Steamos designed to carry the game and play the game is compatible that can launch Windows applications as close as possible to native. Located in the layer Proton.
Proton is a Wine-based open source compatible layer released by Valve a few years ago. The emulator is generally launched on another OS, but the emulation itself has a lot of resources such as CPU and memory, so it is often not the original performance. PROTON launches the Windows app on Linux almost native, so you can expect the operation according to the specifications of the main unit.
As mentioned above, Steam Deck, which runs on Steamos, can generally launch many Steam games that do not display comfortably. Depending on the title, it may be inconvenient without a keyboard, or mouse operation of the boot launcher may be required, but even if such titles can be started stably with Steam Deck, the lineup of comfortably with deck is available. It is not entered.
Steam deck connected to the dedicated dock scheduled to be released in the future. If you connect to the monitor and set it to desktop mode, it can be used like a normal Linux PC. At that time, the screen of the main unit can also be set to the secondary monitor. In addition, if there is an adapter that can be converted from USB-C to HDMI without a dedicated dock, monitor output is possible at present.
Users who are used to Linux can edit the play videos recorded on Steam Deck with video editing software, upload them to YouTube, etc., or launch OBS to play distribution play. In addition, Window can be installed, but it is not recommended for general users because it requires some knowledge and is now not supported. SteamOS UI is very easy to use, so at least I don’t want to install Windows.
The beauty and drawbacks of Steam Deck that you can actually play the game
What I actually played with Steam Deck was STRAY, Eldenring, Death Stranding, Playable, which is comfortable, and Not yet. Monster Hunter Rise: Sun Break and Resident Evil Village.
The impression that all the titles are launched without any problems, and 30 fps to 60fps is out. At the moment, we have been able to play stably without crashing until the battery runs out. The battery is about 1 hour and 35 minutes when playing Monhan Rise: Sun Break, and the remaining 10%left. It is an impression that the higher games such as Elden Ring, the faster the heat generation of the body and the reduced battery will be slightly faster. In addition, only once, a hot alert sometimes appeared when I played Eldenring for a long time while powering it with an AC adapter.
The bad battery is also aware of the Valve side in the dialogue with the user community, and the performance item that improves the battery life from the quick access is added in the main unit update. This is to adjust items such as the restrictions of refresh rates to save power. In particular, the setting to limit the refresh rate and FPS to 40 was also recommended for the developers of Steam Deck. Compared to the Nintendo Switch, the use time is shorter, so the worrisome user needs to devise a mobile battery.
While playing the game, you can instantly pause and resume by pressing the power button like Nintendo Switch. This is a unique feature tuned for STEM DECK, one of the biggest advantages of this unit.
This feature is not possible to play the game lightly because the general gaming UMPC is the behavior of the Windows PC, so it is not possible to stop the game by pressing the power and restart the game. The function I have been waiting for. However, it is important to note that if you stop Steam Deck, the network will be cut off, so in the always online title such as Elden Ring, the network may be lost when resumed and return to the title screen.
Steam Deck was a gaming PC with infinite possibilities
What I felt when I touched Steam Deck this time was that the threshold of PC games was greatly reduced. If you purchase only the all-in-one package of this unit, you can easily access countless games scattered in the ocean, Steam. Not only that, but the liberation of the Linux function has also expanded to infinite expandability. It is possible to develop a game only with this unit.
Steam Deck also responds to repair by users and expansion of hardware. Valve may be presenting a new gaming PC in Steam Deck.