I reserved my 512 GB Steam Deck last July, 25 minutes or so after the reservations opened. After many months of waiting and many weeks of checking r/SteamDeck for reservation queue times I finally got the email to order on May 19th. It took a few days to ship and arrived on May 25th. So far it’s everything I was expecting and maybe even a little bit better than I was expecting.
I’ve always love handhelds and I saw a device that would allow me to spend less time at my desk while I game. I work from home at the same desk where my gaming PC is I thought it would be nice to go downstairs every now and then.Plus, I wouldn’t need to re-buy games I already own. That’s the main reason why my Switch sits mostly in docked mode. Also, the tech geek in me is intrigued by a full Linux PC in a handheld console form factor.
Now, I went in knowing I was an early adopter buying the first iteration of a new device. I had heard that some models were coming with whinny fans. I’m not sure if this was exaggerated or if I was lucky and got a quite one because mine runs quietly even with some more demanding games. The battery reports it will last a little over 3 hours with a few 2D games I’ve booted up less heavy 3D games the battery reports a little over 2 hours of power. That’s without messing with frame rates or tinkering with any additional settings. I’m happy with those times personally.
I think I’ve spent more time downloading games and opening them to see if they’ll run more than playing so far. It’s nice that the library can be sorted by Verified, Playable, Untested, and Unsupported. Verified is the “This works as soon as you start it up with controls already mapped and ready to go” tag. Playable seems to be the “This will run, you’ll have to adjust some setting and maybe tweak the controls a bit” tag.
For the Untested and Unsupported tags I’ve been heading over to ProtonDB to check if anyone has tested it out over there. This is a great site where users leave some steps for getting games to run or leaving a comment when they don’t run. A lot of the fixes are to run the game with either an older version of Proton or a version of Proton GE. I followed a tutorial here to get Proton GE installed. A few of the Untested games I’ve tried seem playable but were missing audio until Forcing them to run with Proton GE.
In the process of installing Proton GE I got to check out Desktop mode. You can navigate it with just the steam deck inputs but it’s not the best experience. Just going to the Discover app store and searching there took longer than it should. That’s because the search bar would clear out what I was trying to type it I didn’t type fast enough on the on screen keyboard. A USB-C hub is for sure going to be a must have when I decide I want to start messing around with Desktop mode.
Overall, I’m very happy with my purchase and think it was well worth the wait. I will probably be sticking to Verified and Playable games for now until I really feel like tinkering around with more work-arounds or run out of games I want to play in that category. Now the only question is…what to play first?