Game enthusiasts are already familiar with the claim that the Nintendo Switch is the perfect portable game console because it offers dock and move modes, has a large library of indie games, and can only play games for Nintendo. With Valve’s recent announcement of the Steam Deck, a portable gaming console that supports both mobile and indie games, the ultimate benefit of a Nintendo-exclusive game is being put to the test again.
Steam Deck Vs. Who will win the battle on the Nintendo Switch? We will go into more detail shortly, but first let’s take a look at the main game library volume. And let’s see why Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch may not be real competitors.
Steam Deck Vs. Nintendo Switch: Games
The $ 399 steam deck and the $ 299 Nintendo Switch are two completely different gaming philosophies.
Like all recent Nintendo consoles, the Switch is aimed at Nintendo’s third-party flagship series, including Mario, Zelda, and Animal Crossing. It also relies heavily on indie games suitable for portable form factors. But if you are not interested in the internal exclusive of Nintendo, you will not find the Switch very attractive.
Valve’s Steam deck brings a wide range of PC games already on Steam in a new portable form factor. You can not take out your gaming laptop to play Hades while riding the bus, but you can pick up your Steam deck. A surprisingly powerful portable PC, the Steam deck should be able to run the latest games nicely on even the smallest screens, and Valve has demonstrated Control and Jedi: Fallen Order.
Whether Valve’s Proton compatibility layer (like multiplayer games that rely on anti-hacking software) can leave Windows games on Steam decks remains an important question. This is because the device is basically a Linux PC, and enthusiasts can even install Windows.
Users who enjoy retro emulation games will absolutely love Steam decks. Thanks to its internal hardware, with the right software installed, Steam decks support more retro Nintendo games than the Switch.
At this point, it is clear that the target audience for Steam covers and the Nintendo Switch is very different. The Nintendo Switch is for the masses, focused on new purchases of family-friendly games. Steam covers are designed for PC enthusiasts who already have a Steam library or prefer to customize their devices. What is a better option for someone who already has a gaming PC? When buying a Steam deck or a Nintendo Switch, keep in mind the purpose, not the hardware specifications.
Steam Deck Vs. Nintendo Switch: Hardware
Since the important criterion should be the game, most specifications are replaced by the following graph. But let’s talk a little bit about some major hardware differences between Steam covers and the Nintendo Switch.
Both handhelds are rectangular devices with all the expected buttons and joysticks, and the touchscreen specs are equal. The 6.2-inch Switch display rotates at 1280×720, and the 7-inch Steam deck has a slightly higher resolution at 1280×800. The new Nintendo Switch with a 7-inch OLED display will be released in October (with the same resolution).
One major difference is the inclusion of two small touchpads under the Steam deck joystick. After some learning, it’s a thumbnail version of the now defunct Steam controller large touchpad designed to control mouse-centric games. In addition, the Steam deck has a built-in microphone for voice communication. On the other hand, Nintendo’s removable Joy-Con controller and rear stand can be split with friends, depending on the situation to easily enjoy screen camps.
The Nintendo Switch certainly has an ergonomic advantage. The switch measures 9.5 x 4.0 x 0.6 inches and weighs 430 grams, and the Steam Deck measures 11.7 x 4.6 x 1.9 inches and weighs 670 grams. The Steam deck is a bit thicker and heavier than the Switch, and the Nintendo Switch can be used comfortably for hours, but we have to confirm that the Steam deck is the same. The Steam deck supports full Bluetooth connectivity, but the Switch can’t connect Bluetooth headsets or controllers (a decision I can’t quite understand).
Judging by the strong internal hardware specifications, Valve has probably designed the Steam Deck as a thick gaming device instead of a light and thin one. A custom AMD APU with 3rd Gen Ryzen CPU cores and advanced Radeon RDNA 2 GPU cores can easily run a variety of games at 60 frames per second, but you need to lower your graphics options a bit, especially in high-end games like Cyberpunk 2077. On the other hand, the Switch’s older ARM-based Nvidia Tegra processor only runs games at 30Hz in portable mode, and many games cannot keep up. Steam decks are likely to provide a smoother gaming experience, and AMD APUs can use Radeon’s FidelityFX Super Resolution acceleration as more games are supported. The Switch’s Tegra chip does not support Nvidia’s competing technology, DLSS.
The power of the Nintendo Switch is that both the $ 299 Switch and the $ 349 Switch OLED Edition can be easily connected to a TV to enjoy gaming. There’s also a $ 199 Switch Lite that does not dock. Valve will also release a dock for Steam decks, but it’s probably an additional purchase option. On the other hand, because the Steam deck is basically a Linux PC, you can connect it to a variety of devices, from TVs to monitors or other PCs, with a USB-C port and wireless options. Steam decks also support Steam Remote Play, so your streaming games can be played on powerful gaming desktops to enjoy even more powerful performance.
The Nintendo Switch has a smaller, slower eMMC flash storage built-in and can be expanded with a slower microSD card slot. The basic configuration of the Steam deck also includes a microSD card slot and an eMMC drive (64GB, twice the capacity of the Switch), but you can also purchase a faster PC-like version of the NVMe SSD for an additional compensation. The upgrade costs are high. A 256GB NVMe SSD will cost you $ 529, and the fastest SSD with 512GB will cost you $ 649. Personally, I choose the largest possible capacity.
final decision criteria
Don’t just focus on the specs. The game is key. If you want a traditional console that lets you enjoy only Nintendo games in a portable form factor, the Switch is the way to go. Games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are great. However, if you want to use the library of your Steam account that you fill out throughout the summer sales, choose the Steam Deck. The Stemdk can now be pre-ordered and will be shipped in December. [email protected]