The Steam Deck has transformed PC gaming

The huge success of the Nintendo Switch would indicate that anything similar in look and price will have the same performance. But since its launch in 2017, nothing has garnered the same kind of attention as Nintendo’s hybrid console. Valve, makers of stellar hardware like the Valve Index as well as unsuccessful products like the Steam Controller and various Steam Machines (if you can even remember them), was a surprising new contender in the space when it announced the Steam Deck. A laptop that could take your Steam library anywhere and everywhere sounded too good to be true, but since its launch in February of this year, it’s been a machine that surprises time and time again.

There was a lot standing in the way of Steam Deck’s initial success. When it launched, Valve announced over 100 games that had been verified for Steam Deck compatibility, with only 60 having achieved the highest level of compatibility. It looks like a Linux-based OS and Proton — localization layer games would benefit — could ruin any Steam Deck chances before they really get going. But that didn’t stop the initial stock of pre-order from rolling out quicker than most people could react to, triggering the Steam Deck for a big, obvious launch.

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