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A 12 months 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 wish to do is be at a desk—however this new system supplied one thing completely different: the flexibility 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 accessible on Nintendo’s Swap. The Steam Deck supplied an interesting various, one which lets gamers port their video games from Steam onto a handheld and take them wherever.
So I ordered one. Or at the very least, 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 capable of reserve one, however once I lastly acquired the e-mail inviting me to buy the system (a 12 months later), I hesitated.
I’d learn the critiques. I’d accomplished the analysis. I knew what the system’s capabilities have been and what they weren’t. It’s not only a handheld console—it’s a PC that generally requires workarounds and tweaks for issues to perform correctly. It’s additionally a tool and not using a 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.)
Finally although, my hesitation wasn’t concerning the Steam Deck’s performance. It stemmed from a cost-benefit evaluation. There are some individuals choosing 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 reasonable system. I felt extremely responsible splurging on one thing I knew I’d solely use often. However then I spotted: I don’t have to make use of one thing on a regular basis for it to be useful to me.
Typically, the profit in my cost-benefit analyses is one among time. However that logic doesn’t really maintain up—I purchased Horizon Zero Daybreak on sale for $15 and I paid full value for Horizon Forbidden West. I 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 generally you will get as a lot enjoyment in two hours as you’ll be able to in 20. Positive, it’s good to get a great deal, however that’s not what issues in the long term.
After all I don’t wish 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 understand what? I’ve performed the Steam Deck each single day because it arrived. Generally it’s just for quarter-hour whereas I eat lunch, but it surely’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 turn out to be my go-to platform? No, that can all the time be a PlayStation. But it surely doesn’t have to turn out to be my one and solely. In case you’re on the fence about splurging on a Steam Deck for comparable causes, I’m supplying you with the permission you don’t wish to give your self. It doesn’t should be essential to be value it.