We’ve come a long way from the days of 8-bit games and screens with no backlight, as the Steam Deck reinvents everything you know about handheld gaming. It’s not the first of its kind, nor is it the most powerful portable gaming PC out there, but Valve’s software-first approach and staggeringly low starting price puts it in a class of its own.
There’s nothing quite like the Steam Deck on the market. It carries the same hybrid magic as the Nintendo Switch while marrying it with the versatility of an entry-level gaming PC. Backed by the overwhelming size of the Steam catalogue, no device has ever launched with such a wide array of games to choose from. Valve’s even sifting through them all to ensure they’re compatible with the device, and you shouldn’t be afraid to dive into unverified titles – most I tried worked with the combination of trackpads and intuitive controller customisation.
But you shouldn’t get sucked into the vortex of potential and promises. The Steam Deck is not yet a finished product, and it’ll take more polish for it to join the ranks of historical hall of famers like the Game Boy.