I’ve been a gamer for a very long time, and I remember playing games on computers when I was very young. Being born in 1984 I’ve seen quite a few big movements and played on a lot of systems. The Commodore 64, Atari Lynx, Nintendo Gameboy, NES, SNES, Playstation, every Xbox, except for the Series S and X. But the platform I always get back to is the PC, enter the Steam Deck.
When Valve announced the Steam Deck last week it made me happy for quite a few reasons. announced the Steam Deck. People call it a Nintendo alternative and I really do not see it like that. It’s much more than a Nintendo machine ever was or could be. While there is nothing wrong with that it is not something I want in my life anymore, and I’ll explain why.
Single purpose machines are wasteful!
Consoles are fun, simple machines to work with. But honestly, they’re way too simple in every way. This means their usefulness is very limited. The Steam Deck on the other hand can have a second life right when you are done with gaming or when it cannot game anymore.
Since the Steam Deck is a serious PC at nearly pocket size and seeing how long PCs can fulfill a lot of tasks even when they are 10 to 15 years old, it’s insane.
Yes, a console generation will last about 7 years. But after that. The machine is definitely nearly useless. New games won’t get made for it and it cannot do anything else. The Steam Deck is a modern PC that when combined with a USB-C dock can work perfectly playing, by that time, older games, play high definition content, and provide a work platform for simple tasks like E-mail, image, and text editing. You can even learn to program on it.
Your Xbox, Nintendo, and Playstation system are doomed to be e-waste and in the best case be recycled. Whereas the Steam Deck can be re-used.
The world dumbed down enough
I know people that cannot troubleshoot a hammer if their life depended on it, sadly I am not even being hyperbolic.
They are used to things being so dumbed down that they hardly think anymore. Being able to troubleshoot is a very valuable skill. And I know, I’m going to have to troubleshoot this machine at least a few times. Especially later in its lifespan.
I think I made this point and I want to bring it back to the wastefulness point in the tangent below.
Not too long ago I bought Mac(Books) from the early ’10’s to fix, upgrade and flip them for a profit as a hobby. Apple users are great for this because they don’t know how to troubleshoot anything. Their Mac will have a small defect, they’ll go to the Apple store and they’ll say it’s broken and not worth it to repair it. The standard answer for anything Apple that isn’t perfect.
The broken item will go to Apple, they’ll say they will give a discount if you leave it with them and they’ll flip it so refurbishment companies at a huge profit.
Smart people will do it themselves and get about three times as much for their “broken machines”, and I’ll buy their old broken Mac. Put in a new, cheap-ass SSD, reinstall the OS, and flip it for three times as much.
SSD, €50,- max.
An hour of my time, while I’m working for my clients.
Apple didn’t like that and since 2013 they started to put in SSD’s with a proprietary connector. Which wasn’t much more than a larger than standard and remapped NVMe. Seriously, F*** you Apple.
And to bring it back to the Steam Deck. Valve didn’t pull that shit! They are putting a standard eMMC or NVMe SSD in the Steam Deck. This means it’ll be repairable on the storage side. It’ll even be upgradable on the storage side.
Due to size constraints, they sadly couldn’t do it with the APU and RAM. So the device definitely isn’t perfect. But at least there is something.
And yes, this means issues might arise. But it also means it might be fixable. Like by pulling out the storage, fixing it on a normal PC, and putting it back in the Steam Deck.
The Steam Deck runs Linux and thus it’ll compete with Windows
I am no much of a Linux user, but I do like alternatives to Microsoft’s steaming pile of garbage. macOS is no alternative as the hardware (and soon software) is about as open as a prison-yard, you can make calls, play simple games with the other inmates and be creative. So it’ll do the job but you are behind bars and there is no mistake about it.
Linux on the other hand might give you too many options. So many that you will have to think and like I said before I think that is a good thing.
What it will also do is pull the gaming card out of Microsoft Windows’ hands. It has been there way too long and it cripples development. Because Windows, although I think it’s the best option right now (with MacOS being a prison and all) that will probably change when Windows changes leadership.
Life has been in lockdown long enough, but soft- and hardware is being clamped down on by the big guys. Google, Apple, Microsoft and Apple aren’t the good guys. They aren’t here to make your life better. They try to capture your life and through there your data.
Make no mistake, Valve does too. But at least they aren’t as big as those other monsters but they are strong enough to crack the prison wall a little bit.
Anyway, this blog post has been ranty and long enough. Hopefully, you get why I’m going to get the Steam Deck.