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Steam Deck (handheld from Valve)


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28 minutes ago, mushashi said:

The problem is the same as for consoles, what if you disagree with the person providing the tuned presets?

That has the easiest solution in the world: a developer includes a "Deck optimized" preset in the options just like you often have low/medium/high/ultra presets. And just like those presets the Deck preset is completely optional and customizable.

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1 hour ago, Mallet said:

I'm the opposite in that I like tweaking settings, for me life is too short to play games with bad framerates or poor visuals if I can spend a little time to tweak and improve things. 

 

I'm the opposite of that - if life is too short to play games with bad framerates or poor visuals, I'd never have started playing games at all. The ever-shifting window of what constitutes acceptable graphics means eventually everything becomes unacceptable to someone.

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21 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

That has the easiest solution in the world: a developer includes a "Deck optimized" preset in the options just like you often have low/medium/high/ultra presets. And just like those presets the Deck preset is completely optional and customizable.

You run into the same issue you have on the current consoles though. All 3 of the consoles should be able to play any ps4 or xbox one game at 60fps but most games will never receive the needed patch because the developers/puplisher don't see enough financial returns in doing so. 

 

If the Deck sells enough we may see profiles in new games but how many will go back and do it for games released 5 years ago? 

 

I don't think many will tbh

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25 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

That has the easiest solution in the world: a developer includes a "Deck optimized" preset in the options just like you often have low/medium/high/ultra presets. And just like those presets the Deck preset is completely optional and customizable.

 

To a certain extent that is correct, but as most games don't actually expose the full range of possible rendering options which the developers could possibly implement, like when they use rendering settings which are not available to end-users on the bespoke console versions, then even DIY tuning possibilities aren't anywhere near where they should be on a great percentage of games being released currently to allow the end-user to get the best bespoke experience they personally want.

 

Making shit run at way below official supported specs is an interesting challenge, which is quite pertinent to the Deck, as it shares similarities with a lot of other low spec PC systems and is when you discover how untuneable most games are in practice.

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56 minutes ago, Mallet said:

You run into the same issue you have on the current consoles though. All 3 of the consoles should be able to play any ps4 or xbox one game at 60fps but most games will never receive the needed patch because the developers/puplisher don't see enough financial returns in doing so. 

 

If the Deck sells enough we may see profiles in new games but how many will go back and do it for games released 5 years ago? 

 

I don't think many will tbh

Oh yes, of course. I agree. I was just saying that it would be a realistic and doable thing to include in theory. I think the best we can hope for is that IF the Deck is a sufficient success, that a lot of devs will include a Deck Preset going forwards. A handful will patch in retroactively maybe, but for the majority of existing games we're going to rely on the community serving up readymade settings that are pinned in the Steam page or forum overview of each game 

 

It will never be as newbie friendly as the Switch....but imho it does really need to be. The Switch serves the Switch audience. Being able to customise is part of the appeal of pc gaming, and it's okay if that doesn't appeal to everyone. Just like the Switch doesn't need to appeal to people who want PC-like customisation or PlayStation 5 level graphics. It's doing its own thing and does it well. The Deck also needs to fo its own thing.

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I think the idea of a Deck "preset" is a bit of a dead end. Developers should instead work to fix issues that specifically affect the Deck, but in a generic way, so that these improvements are also available to users of similar hardware. Valve actually recommend that developers check the capabilities of the device (e.g. what's the screen size, is a controller attached) instead of using isSteamRunningOnSteamDeck() (which is a real thing) because it's a PC, you can't neccessarily make assumptions that a user will want to run the game a certain way. So e.g. if you blow up the UI to be easy to read on the 7" screen, you'll get upset customers when they plug their Deck into an external monitor. Or if you assume a certain level of performance is available, that won't work for the guy who turned the TDP way down because his train was delayed and he wants to keep gaming.

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The conflict comes from some people who think of it as some sort of Super Switch or portable PS4, it sort of walks like a duck, sort of talks like a duck, yet is actually a cat in reality.

 

Customisation only really exists on PC because the hardware spec is all over the shop so developers have had no choice but to include some options to widen the potential market for their games on PC, but the trend is to dumb down the optionality on the PC version and enforce certain minimum floors on the rendering demands, like FromSoft and their PC ports which could be way more customisable and tuneable to be playable on a wider range of hardware. Older PC games really did let you get in there and tweak how they rendered, while most modern games are semi-locked down by comparison and the difference between the various presets doesn't really yield a massive range in performance.

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I'm very much a console gamer, I don't want to adjust settings, I literally pay someone to work out how it runs best, so my precious free time can actually be used for playing (In retirement, the idea of pissing about with a PC sounds grand - but not now). Hell yes, I wan the maker of the game, with their design vision to decide what the best settings for the steam deck are. I trust their opinion more than mine.

 

Also, super excited to realise that DSII, DSIII, Sekiro and Elden Ring are verified for Deck. Totally buying them all again.

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1 hour ago, Mallet said:

There is no chance that From Software, of all people, will go back to their older PC ports and create Steam Deck profiles though.

 

 

Well the great thing about Dark Souls 1 on PC is that there aren't any settings to adjust anyway - problem solved lolololol

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So has this been a bit of a letdown then? Sounds like it has gone from a must-have bit of kit to having a lot of caveats around performance tweaking and battery life.

 

I just want something that will give me a better chance of actually playing one of the 150+ games in my very rarely touched Steam library but I don't want serious faff. Should I be waiting for a better model down the line or is this still the best it is going to get for the foreseeable?

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It is what it was always promised to be, the tweaking, etc is for people who want to maximise things. If you play the latest and greatest console ports, then the battery life was always going to be low. If you primarily play Indies or pre-PS4 games, then it'll be comparable to any other portable gaming system and won't really require hardcore fiddling, unless you want to hypermile the battery.

 

Will there be something way better next year? probably not, as RDNA2 has existed since 2020 on desktop/console, yet it has taken to early 2022 for laptops to get it and the current AMD roadmap shows it will be used for a few years, in the same way Vega was used for several years before they replaced it. The CPU part might get a refresh to Zen 3 in 2023, as the replacement for Van Gogh is basically exactly the same from what I can tell:

 

V7sUXGot_o.jpg

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46 minutes ago, ChewMagma said:

So has this been a bit of a letdown then? Sounds like it has gone from a must-have bit of kit to having a lot of caveats around performance tweaking and battery life.

 

I just want something that will give me a better chance of actually playing one of the 150+ games in my very rarely touched Steam library but I don't want serious faff. Should I be waiting for a better model down the line or is this still the best it is going to get for the foreseeable?

Its exactly what it was always going to be. Most others expectations beyond that was the internet and people being stupid. Despite various sources including valve themselves saying over and over that it is a PC. It's basically a very powerful (for its size) handheld laptop with a controller attached and a custom OS frontend made by valve on top of linux. That's it. It is not a steam console. Anything beyond that is valve adding some testing to inform people what will work well with the device. Not making it idiot proof and console like. 

 

Although for any Q1 reserves, it is fucking SHIT. 

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It has exceeded expectations in my eyes. The performance is fantastic for a handheld, controls are great, it's really comfortable, doesn't get warm to hold and  has 1000s of compatible games. The only people who could be disappointed with the battery performance are people who had unrealistic expectations to begin with. I still have no idea what people where expecting with current battery technology. 

 

I'm really looking forward to having a handheld that will be comfortable to hold and not require me to buy a, sometimes expensive, third party grip. A handheld that has full size analogue sticks, unlike the horrible Switch and Vita sticks and has full sized buttons and triggers as well.

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2 hours ago, ChewMagma said:

So has this been a bit of a letdown then? Sounds like it has gone from a must-have bit of kit to having a lot of caveats around performance tweaking and battery life.

 

I just want something that will give me a better chance of actually playing one of the 150+ games in my very rarely touched Steam library but I don't want serious faff. Should I be waiting for a better model down the line or is this still the best it is going to get for the foreseeable?

Maybe for people who misunderstood what it is or who didn't look into it and just assumed "a more powerful Switch" based on looks alone. As a handheld PC running SteamOS it's exceeded my initial expectations - it's surprisingly powerful, it's ergonomical, it's versatile. All at a very reasonable price. A potential game changer for PC gaming - if not for a wider audience, certainly for my own PC gaming experience.

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Tbh I won't be using this to play the latest and greatest, it is going to be a bunch of older games that have been sitting in my library for years and indies that still haven't yet made their way to Switch so it sounds like this still could be for me.

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3 hours ago, ChewMagma said:

So has this been a bit of a letdown then? Sounds like it has gone from a must-have bit of kit to having a lot of caveats around performance tweaking and battery life.

 

Any report I've read on the battery life has always amounted to "yeah, it's low if you try to run demanding stuff at demanding settings", so unless you're the type of person for whom being unable to play 60 fps Elden Ring on the toilet for more than an hour is a dealbreaker, there's nothing to worry about.

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I think if anything we're more likely to see graphics presets available as a community feature baked into SteamOS, similar to the controller profiles available at the moment. Devs could always include their own this way if they wanted to.

 

The Deck is unusual in that it's a fixed spec PC, but it's not the first of its kind and there will obviously be newer models down the line. It's a moving target, and any settings optimised for this iteration are going to be pointless a few years down the line.

 

The Deck will provide some console like features that make it a little friendlier, with the suspend/resume function being a biggie, but it's still a PC and a Linux one at that. There's bound to be a Switch 2 at some point which should satisfy any handheld console needs.

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The only thing that bothers me about early reports is the volume, and especially the pitch, of the fan whine.
 

Even if they adjust the profiles, as they should, so it isn’t doing it all the time, it will still be present for more demanding games. I’ve read reports that it’s even audible above headphone audio. Which makes it a potential non-starter if the missus can hear it over whatever show she’s watching, playing it in the lounge is my main use case.

 

Any early recipients here have anything to say about the fan noise (apols if already covered)?

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19 minutes ago, jonamok said:


Well, fuck, that sounds like a road block for my main use case. Pretty gutting.


To save having to watch the whole thing, why?

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