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Developers Receive Steam Deck Dev Kits and Share Impressions

First impressions of the Steam Deck are good.
Steam Deck impressions cover

With the release of the Steam Deck fast approaching, a few developers have been lucky enough to receive Steam Deck dev kits, and some have decided to share their impressions. Fortunately, most are positive. Revealed on the 15th of July 2021, the Steam Deck is an upcoming portable gaming computer created by Valve. It is set to release in December 2021.

There is much excitement surrounding the Steam Deck, as it promises to bring AAA gaming to the palm of your hands in a sleek-looking gadget. The device will ship with SteamOS, but you will be able to change the operating system if you wish. At launch, there will be three models of the Steam Deck available. The lowest-priced model will pack 64GB of eMMC storage, the mid-range model will have 256GB of NVMe SSD storage, and the high-end model will have 512GB of NVMe SSD storage in addition to special anti-glare glass.

Developers who have managed to receive Steam Deck dev kits have begun to share their impressions on Twitter. This is the case for Cliff Harris, the founder of Positech Games which is responsible for the government simulation game series Democracy. He claims Democracy 4 runs adequately on the Steam Deck, and the “framerate is perfect”. Harris also complimented how well Democracy 4 plays with the device’s trackpads which you can use in lieu of the analog sticks. Mike Rose is a developer who founded No More Robots Ltd. He tested some of the games published by No More Robots Ltd and was thoroughly impressed. He claims Descenders “works flawlessly!” and is able to run at 50-60FPS with ultra graphics on. Likewise, Yes, Your Grace “runs flawlessly”.

Outside of testing their own games, Harris and Rose commented on the Steam Deck’s overall performance. Harris was taken in by the device’s audio quality, stating that “the sound is REALLY good“. Similarly, Rose showered the Steam Deck with praise. When comparing it to the Nintendo Switch which currently dominates the portable gaming market, he claimed that the Steam Deck might make his “Switch a bit redundant“.

Comments from developers indicate that much of the Steam library will be easily ported to the Steam Deck without any hiccups. This will be good news for both gamers, as well as developers who will not have to do too much tinkering to ensure their games work as intended on the Steam Deck. First impressions also suggest that Nintendo’s comfortable monopolization of the handheld gaming market may be coming to an end, and Valve’s new toy may pose some serious competition.

The Steam Deck will begin shipping in December 2021 and it can be reserved on the Steam Store.

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