A yr in the past, when Valve introduced the Steam Deck, I used to be completely riveted. I’m not a PC gamer—after eight to 10 hours of labor every day, the very last thing I need to do is be at a desk—however this new gadget supplied one thing completely different: the power to play PC video games on a handheld. Previous to its arrival, anybody who wished to play such video games on-the-go needed to hope they have been out there on Nintendo’s Change. The Steam Deck supplied an interesting various, one which lets gamers port their video games from Steam onto a handheld and take them anyplace.
So I ordered one. Or no less than, I tried to. Like so many others, I logged on to Valve’s web site when reservations opened in July 2021 and was promptly met by web site crashes. Ultimately I used to be in a position to reserve one, however once I lastly acquired the e-mail inviting me to buy the gadget (a yr later), I hesitated.
I’d learn the critiques. I’d carried out the analysis. I knew what the gadget’s capabilities have been and what they weren’t. It’s not only a handheld console—it’s a PC that typically requires workarounds and tweaks for issues to perform correctly. It’s additionally a tool with no mouse or keyboard that’s meant to play video games that require a mouse and keyboard. It’s acquired a brief battery life. (This final shortcoming was really a bonus for me. Brief battery life can perform as a built-in time-limiter.)
In the end although, my hesitation wasn’t concerning the Steam Deck’s performance. It stemmed from a cost-benefit evaluation. There are some individuals selecting up the Deck who’ve an enormous again catalog of Steam video games, who will purchase this factor and play it on a regular basis. That’s not me. I’m getting much less and fewer online game time as it’s, which is why I’m relying more and more on cellular gaming. In the meantime, it’s not a cheap gadget. I felt extremely responsible splurging on one thing I knew I’d solely use often. However then I noticed: I don’t have to make use of one thing on a regular basis for it to be beneficial to me.
Typically, the profit in my cost-benefit analyses is one in all time. However that logic doesn’t really maintain up—I purchased Horizon Zero Daybreak on sale for $15 and I paid full worth for Horizon Forbidden West. I really like each these video games equally. What issues to me is how a lot enjoyment I get out of one thing, not essentially how a lot it prices—and typically you will get as a lot enjoyment in two hours as you possibly can in 20. Certain, it’s good to get a superb deal, however that’s not what issues in the long term.
In fact I don’t need to pay some huge cash for one thing I do know I’ll by no means use. But it surely additionally doesn’t should be “must-have.” It’s all proper to splurge on a “can be good” each occasionally, so long as it’s inside what I’m lucky sufficient to have the ability to afford.
And you recognize what? I’ve performed the Steam Deck each single day because it arrived. Generally it’s just for quarter-hour whereas I eat lunch, however it’s so nice to have that choice. I didn’t notice how beautiful it might be to have Garrus Vakarian with me wherever I went. (Sure, Mass Impact: Legendary Version works splendidly for me on the Deck, and also you all understand how I really feel about replaying that recreation.)
Will the Steam Deck develop into my go-to platform? No, that can all the time be a PlayStation. But it surely doesn’t must develop into my one and solely. For those who’re on the fence about splurging on a Steam Deck for related causes, I’m supplying you with the permission you don’t need to give your self. It doesn’t should be essential to be value it.