Valve stole Nintendo’s thunder – people were already lukewarm on the minimal upgrades brought on by the Switch OLED, but then Valve’s own portable console arrived to offer people an alluring alternative.
Many complain about the lack of physical game media, which makes it easier to sell old games you no longer need. And that’s true, but Steam’s whole reason for being is to make buying, installing and playing a new game just a few clicks away and doing it online makes the whole process frictionless
Plus, it’s just a Linux PC in an unusual form factor, it should be possible to hook up an external DVD drive over USB if you really wanted. The Deck is a PC, alright, and all three models have 2230 m.2 slots. It will be possible to upgrade the storage, but Valve warns that the SSD is in a tough to reach spot and recommends that end users don’t fiddle with it. So, if you had plans of getting the cheapest option ($400 with 64GB eMMC storage) and swapping the storage yourself, you may want to reconsider.
Nintendo’s Game Cards do offer the advantages of physical media – including games not taking up space on the internal memory, no long install times, etc. And you can sell them too.
Speaking of games, the biggest deciding factor seems to be the game library. If you don’t care about Nintendo exclusives, the Switch OLED doesn’t have much to offer you that you can’t grab from Steam. But then Nintendo exclusives tend to be highly popular and are the killer app for the Switch.
If Nintendo ever releases a Switch Pro it might turn the tables on Valve. But for now the Steam Deck looks to be the better portable console, at least in the eyes of fans.
Naturally, some preferred the beefier desktop PCs and home consoles for gaming. That is the way to go if you want modern, high-quality graphics. However, surprisingly few voted that they use their phone to game – “surprisingly few”, considering the sheer number of gaming phones that get announced.