Valve’s year-old Steam Deck is on sale for the first time

If you have the means, and it’s available in your region, and you like PC games (or would like to like them), then I would highly recommend it.

I’ve had mine for nearly a year, and I’ve been impressed with it in multiple ways:

  • It has a ridiculous number of control options:
    • Two analog sticks (with capacitive touch sensors)
    • A d-pad
    • Two capacitive touch pads with haptic feedback.
    • Four face buttons (A,B,X,Y) in their proper order.
    • Two shoulder buttons.
    • Two Analog triggers.
    • A menu and an overview button.
    • A Steam and an overflow button.
      • These are probably the biggest miss. They’re functional, but they’re very mushy.
    • Four paddle-style buttons on the back, similar to the Steam controller or an XBox Elite controller.
    • A touch screen.
    • Gyroscopic controls (usually activated by touching both analog sticks at the same time)
    • All of the controls are configurable per-game, with many pre-made schemes provided by the community.
  • It runs Linux, but you really don’t need to worry about it.
    • You can switch to a desktop mode, open a terminal, etc. if you want, though.
  • It mostly just works.
    • The vast majority of games I’ve tested work without tweaking anything.
    • There are a decent amount of built-in tools to adjust if you’d like, and even more flexibility if you install community add-ons.
  • It’s compatible with a ton of games.
    • Over 8,000 have been marked fully verified or playable.
    • This number will likely continue to increase.
  • There’s no vendor lock-in.
    • While it works best with Steam and that is the default, nothing stops you from installing games from Epic Games Store, GOG, Humble, etc.
  • There’s an active community of projects, for example:
    • Emudeck, a collection of tools for installing and managing emulators.
    • CryoUtilities, a collection a tools and tweaks to improve performance and reliability.
    • Decky, a plugin manager for various additional functions.
  • It’s a great companion to XBox Game Pass.
    • There are even instructions provided by Microsoft on how to set this up.
  • You can install Windows if you want.
    • I haven’t done it, and I’m not sure why you’d want to do it, but it’s an option
  • It’s surprisingly serviceable.

That’s probably enough praise for now. It’s a pretty cool device.