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What do you think is Valve's strategy with Steam Deck?

Kdad

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Sep 20, 2018
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Let's be real, if you are playing games on Windows you are very likely buying games on Steam.
....or EPIC or GAMEPASS, LUNA, STADIA and myriad other competitors on their way...the point being getting into hardware where you don't control the long term money flowing in from games isnt going to work out for them like a console...so what is the play? Other manufactures can and will undercut their hardware and give you a choice of OS. I guess that is why the thread exists...if you don't control the hardware or software to the end user...what is Valve's long term benefit here. "Creating a new category"...ok...why...you're not getting new users with this and you're not locking in your existing users since the OS is replaceable...
 
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SomeGit

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....or EPIC or GAMEPASS, LUNA, STADIA and myriad other competitors on their way...the point being getting into hardware where you don't control the long term money flowing in from games isnt going to work out for them like a console...so what is the play? Other manufactures can and will undercut their hardware and give you a choice of OS. I guess that is why the thread exists...if you don't control the hardware or software to the end user...what is Valve's long term benefit here. "Creating a new category"...ok...why...you're not getting new users with this and you're not locking in your existing users since the OS is replaceable...
It won't control 100% of the flow of money, but it will control a good portion of it. A lot will trickle down to Steam, much more than Epic, Luna, Stadia, etc.

Valve is probably glad that hardware manufactures will undercut their hardware, this is likely a halo device like the Pixel line to Google and the Surface line is to Microsoft and they don't seem too bothered with Lenovo, Asus, HP, etc undercutting them. Because in the end, money will still trickle down to Microsoft because of the Windows license. Sure, there is nothing saying that OEMs have to ship computers with Windows and some don't they ship OSless or with FreeDOS/Linux, but again let's be real they are going to ship with Windows.

And if you buy a handheld PC, you are going to install Steam and buy games there and Valve gets their money.
 
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Sean Mirrsen

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Does this machine allow other launchers/games/software to run things beside Steam?

If no is the answer then you have the answers of what Valve wants to achieve with this.
SteamOS is basically Arch Linux. Any store client with a Linux version can be installed, any standalone indie title or application with a Linux version will work. It's a PC, it's not a console.
Even for things that don't have Linux versions, there's Steam Play Proton (for games you add to Steam as 'non-Steam games'), and WINE (for everything else). Even EGS can be installed, with.. Lutris, I think? It's an open system. The only thing that's almost guaranteed not to work is Microsoft Store, as it's locked to Windows.

Oh I see. That is clever.

Something that 98% of people won't do
True. Thankfully most people won't need to, thanks to Proton and similar compatibility tools.
 

reksveks

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Jun 4, 2020
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It's to strengthen the steam storefront against the new windows store and also epic.

I don't think it's about Microsoft taking further 'control' over Windows but it could be about Microsoft using the power of default app taking away sales.
 
Mar 28, 2021
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Probably put it out, dump it shortly thereafter, say it was an experiment and they learned something, like they did with the Steam Controller, Steam Link, and Steam Machines.
so much this. if i get a steam deck it'll be after a long time to make sure valve arent gonna just abandon it after a while. their hardware history is awful. i hope steam deck is a success but i'll wait and see
 
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GymWolf

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They are not in a race with switch.

Hopefully this is gonna be more successuful than steam controller or steam consoles...
 

MayauMiao

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Probably put it out, dump it shortly thereafter, say it was an experiment and they learned something, like they did with the Steam Controller, Steam Link, and Steam Machines.
I forgot about Stream Machines. I was so hoping such thing would take off but instead Valve half assed the project. What a joke.
 

jaysius

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Oct 3, 2019
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$500 CND for the shit tier one which is the same price as the PS5, and it's more than the series S which is these 3 has longer legs? I'll give you a hint, it's not the valve product.
 

GuinGuin

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I think they want people to use the hardware so others will want to use it too. Enough people have one the majority will be using steam primarily.
 

Majukun

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Gabe Newell in an interview to IGN said that "Hitting Steam Deck Price Was 'Painful' but 'Critical'". That means they might be eating some of the costs to release their PC/console at 399, but at the same time, it's completely open and people can even install other stores on it.

Something seems wrong. If they're investing in a long term plan to increase the adoption of Steam, why would they make their platform open and allow people to replace the OS and install their competitor's stores?

Just for some context, in article Gabe also says “We’re doing this for the long haul. And there’s a lot of opportunity.”, so this is clearly a long term plan and they've been working on this for a long time.

What do you think is their master plan?
because most people are not gonna risk losing a 400/500 bucks device just to change the OS, no matter how easy the actual procedure is.

the plan like he said is to put a foot in the "console" market...they tried in the past with the steam machines but hilariously misinterpreting the market in the dumbest way ppossible...now they are hitting better notes, but if they think the thing is gonna just sell itself they are already wrong..they need a bombastic marketing campaign or this thing is never gonna take off
 

Hari Seldon

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This is clearly to get an effort to get users out of windows. Which is a good thing. There are no generations with this. It is also a way to get young kids into the eco system who maybe have an iPad but nothing else. This thing will play all of the flavor of the month big boy games that are all over twitch unlike an iPad or even a console.
 
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The switch isn't just a portable PC though, it's a dedicated portable machine with games made specifically for it. It has all of Nintendo's franchises on it. It has Pokemon, Mario, Zelda, etc.

This is a ultra low powered PC that can only play todays games at 720p on medium settings at a "reasonable" frame rate lol. It will look *terrible* when playing docked on a big 4K tv. This will not be able to emulate most PS3 + xbox games lol. No a chance. It'll struggle with Switch games. Do people really want to play Starfield in 720p on low settings on the bus at an unstable 30fps, if it can even play it at all?

With thinking like that you'd better start preparing for the sales numbers, cause they're not going to be good.


"Strong base spec"? 720p medium at best is "strong" is it?

This won't impress anyone curious about PC gaming. Pay USD$60 for a new release game, load it up..................low and medium settings for most things, with the other things turned off completely. That's not going to convince them that PC gaming is great.
This I feel like people have done zero research into the portable PC space you have the gpd win 3 and Ayn neo and some games like GTA5 or doom eternal run at 30 fps on low on a way better cou apu combo then the steam deck.
 
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SomeGit

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This I feel like people have done zero research into the portable PC space you have the gpd win 3 and Ayn neo and some games like GTA5 or doom eternal run at 30 fps on low on a way better cou apu combo then the steam deck.
Better? One is a Intel part with Xe graphics and the other is a Zen 2 CPU with a 6CU Vega GPU, both are way worse than the APU from the Steam Deck with is a Zen 3 CPU with 8 CU RDNA2 GPU.
That's not even accounting the memory bandwidth problem that both of those have with only LPDDR4x, while the Steam Deck is LPDDR5.
 
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vaibhavpisal

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It's a great portable machine. But unless you want to play it on your commute, an entry level gaming laptop with even a gtx1650 would offer better performance.
 
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Coolwhhip

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George Costanza Seinfeld GIF
 
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DonkeyPunchJr

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But if it's open and anyone can install whatever they want on it, what's the point of having a hardware platform? Other companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo make money because their platforms are closed and all the money from software goes to them, but with a open platform like Valve's they can't even be sure people will stick to their store.
So? 99% of the people buying this thing will not install a new OS or launcher on it. Most people can’t even be bothered to change their default web browser in Windows.
 

FStubbs

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Just look at Switch, it's quite popular some would say.

But with Steam Deck you have multiple times more powerful Switch + a portable Xbox Game Pass console + portable emulator console for all ps1, ps2, and most ps3 games + xbox and nintendo games. It's infinitely more attractive than nintendo's switch.
I don't think Switch emulation is all that good yet for a thing of this level of power to actually run Switch games better than an actual Switch. I don't even think PS3 emulation would do all that well on it.
 

onunnuno

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Apr 1, 2020
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This is a ultra low powered PC that can only play todays games at 720p on medium settings at a "reasonable" frame rate lol. It will look *terrible* when playing docked on a big 4K tv. This will not be able to emulate most PS3 + xbox games lol. No a chance. It'll struggle with Switch games. Do people really want to play Starfield in 720p on low settings on the bus at an unstable 30fps, if it can even play it at all?

Can we say the same thing about the switch?

"Switch is an ultra low-powered gaming console that can only play low-fidelity games at a "reasonable" frame rate, it will look *terrible* when playing in a big 4K tv"
 
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dorkimoe

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Get Microsoft and Sony (lol) on board with PC gaming and they can make the hardware while the big 2 make software
 

Twinguistics

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The switch isn't just a portable PC though, it's a dedicated portable machine with games made specifically for it. It has all of Nintendo's franchises on it. It has Pokemon, Mario, Zelda, etc.

This is a ultra low powered PC that can only play todays games at 720p on medium settings at a "reasonable" frame rate lol. It will look *terrible* when playing docked on a big 4K tv. This will not be able to emulate most PS3 + xbox games lol. No a chance. It'll struggle with Switch games. Do people really want to play Starfield in 720p on low settings on the bus at an unstable 30fps, if it can even play it at all?

With thinking like that you'd better start preparing for the sales numbers, cause they're not going to be good.


"Strong base spec"? 720p medium at best is "strong" is it?

This won't impress anyone curious about PC gaming. Pay USD$60 for a new release game, load it up..................low and medium settings for most things, with the other things turned off completely. That's not going to convince them that PC gaming is great.
It's not going to be low and medium settings for most things though. That's not what I've heard. I've been told it's more powerful then my laptop that can run games on high and often ultra at over 60fps.

I'm not saying this will sell loads but for people that play the majority of their games on PC, being able to carry on progress on whatever game when not at home is enough of an inventive at this price point.

I'll play an hour of 720p on my lunch break and then go back to higher specs when at home.

Plus, the library of games is immense, often cheap, and of great quality.

The only thing the Switch does better is play their franchises natively (but probably not better lol) and they have mostly been trash recently. They put out, what, maybe one fantastic game every 2 years maybe?
 

00_Zer0

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I believe this is a step to creating a standalone Index (Quest 2 competitor) that's also compatible with High End PC's. I would be on board with it as I have an Oculus Rift and will not upgrade to a Quest 2 or 3 if I can help it.
 
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Kumomeme

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dont think valve trying to aim about something here...just looks like they trying test the waters of how far handheld pc gaming pc can go.
 

FireFistAce

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I think this will sell poorly due to the price. It’s basically the same price as a current gen console. Too expensive.
 
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grfunkulus

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It won't control 100% of the flow of money, but it will control a good portion of it. A lot will trickle down to Steam, much more than Epic, Luna, Stadia, etc.

Valve is probably glad that hardware manufactures will undercut their hardware, this is likely a halo device like the Pixel line to Google and the Surface line is to Microsoft and they don't seem too bothered with Lenovo, Asus, HP, etc undercutting them. Because in the end, money will still trickle down to Microsoft because of the Windows license. Sure, there is nothing saying that OEMs have to ship computers with Windows and some don't they ship OSless or with FreeDOS/Linux, but again let's be real they are going to ship with Windows.

And if you buy a handheld PC, you are going to install Steam and buy games there and Valve gets their money.

How is it a halo line when it starts at $400? Not sure you've been observing the prices of similarly spec'd devices.
 

Sentenza

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Probably put it out, dump it shortly thereafter, say it was an experiment and they learned something, like they did with the Steam Controller, Steam Link, and Steam Machines.
It always cracks me up when I read this stuff.
People who bought a Steam Machine, a Steam link or a Steam controller got exactly what they paid for: a compact mini-PC, a device for in-house streaming and a controller with some peculiar characteristics.

"Bu-but Valve abandoned them".
Well, first things first: no, they didn't. All these projects were just expanded into something bigger. Steam Machines/Steam OS led to Proton (so no, valve never gave up on Linux and if anything their effort is stronger than ever), Steam link moved from being a dedicated device to a software-reliant tech usable by any phone, tablet or PC and the Steam controller led to the Index "knuckles" and the whole Steam input.

Just because Valve didn't manage to move multiple millions of pieces turning them in "runaway hits" it doesn't mean that people who invested in these ideas were left holding just their dicks in their hands.

The Steam Deck may or may not sell more than its predecessors, but what makes it a "safe bet" from a consumer viewpoint is that even if worse comes to worst and it gets ZERO extra support after launch (unlikely given Valve's track record) whoever buys one will still have in its hand a perfectly viable and aggressively priced handheld PC. Arguably the most powerful handheld currently on the consumer market.
 

Shmunter

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It’s good they are trying it. Valve is synonymous with pc gaming. If they can’t succeed, none will.
 
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To tie people into their ecosystem that MS doesn't control. They see MS exerting more control over hardware with Win 11, and want to get ahead of that more. I bet they will make a stronger push with SteamOS overall with the launch of Steam Deck.
I don't think so. Gabe Newell and the other Valve designers who worked on this portable have all said in interviews that you can bypass their SteamOS and install Windows if you wanted; use the device for anything you would use a normal PC for. They've actually made it a point to emphasize this aspect of the hardware so I don't think it has anything to do with shutting out Microsoft at all.
 

JCK75

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The ability to install other software has me pretty sold, give me steam and retroarch and I'm good.
Do hope I can also install battlenet but I have no interest in any other stores outside of that.
 
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It looks like the current market for mobile gamers is:

- Switch gamers
- Smartphone gamers
- Tablet gamers
- Anyone who does Stadia streaming, that GeForce streaming gadget
- Anyone still playing Vita, 3DS etc...

I guess Gabe is going for this. How big that market is who knows.

- Powerful handheld
- PC like
- Gamers who dont give a shit about Mario or Zelda
- Gamers who like games installed on an SSD
- Willing to pay for a pricey Steam Deck
 
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Apr 5, 2013
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Valve knows that they essentially have a monopoly in the PC space. They don't need to lock out other stores because people will still default to them.
 

PhaseJump

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It's going to be a tight race with Tommy Tallarico's Intellevision Amiico.


Tommy Tallarico is too distracted by all the child rape he keeps thinking and talking about whenever he sees a Nintendo Switch.
 

SomeGit

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How is it a halo line when it starts at $400? Not sure you've been observing the prices of similarly spec'd devices.
Halo line doesn't have to be premium, Nexus 7 was a budget tablet and it was 199$. Surface is priced accordingly to other ultrabooks/hybrid devices.
Pixels aren't the most expensive Android devices, etc etc.

It's just supposed to set the gold standard for a particular formfactor/product style. The are a couple of handheld PC at the moment, but none of them are mass market devices.
 
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Fbh

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I think a part is to push Steam OS, another is that they have seen the trend of portability becoming more attractive to people and they want to expand the PC gaming audience in that direction.
Yes there are gaming laptops but most aren't $400 and unless you are buying some of the more expensive ones they are usually bulky, with giant power bricks and severely cut down performance when not plugged in (unless you want to have 30 min of battery life).

Not restricting other OS and stores makes the product more attractive while probably not affecting them too much. People in this thread are pretending like Steam isn't the default gaming store on PC.

Will there be people that will get this and almost exclusively buy games from Epic, GOG or use it as a Gamepass machine? Maybe. But what percentage of owners will that be?

PC already is an open platform with multiple other stores available, and yet most games are sold on Steam.
Even Microsoft games sell really well on Steam despite being included in gamepass.

And yet here we have people going "oh no, they'll make no money with this because surely all new users will buy all their games on the Epic store!!!!!"
 

MrFunSocks

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Can we say the same thing about the switch?

"Switch is an ultra low-powered gaming console that can only play low-fidelity games at a "reasonable" frame rate, it will look *terrible* when playing in a big 4K tv"
You can, but the kicker is that it has games being made specifically for its low powered hardware, and has Nintendo making games for it from their beloved franchises, and they’re just churning out amazing games. It also opens up more power when played docked, allowing games to look and run better.

This device has literally zero developers making games specifically for it. Zero. It’s got to try and run games made for consoles with 5x the power.

Also I’ve seen people on here saying this is like the surface or pixel where it will be like a example for other OEMs to jump in and make other devices? Why do you think that? Who else in the world of PC gaming would want to eat a loss on hardware to then make $0 from that customer when all they do is buy games on steam and pirate games? What incentive is there? There is absolutely zero reason for any other company to make one of these devices - that’s why no one has done it so far lol. Valve didn’t just invent something here that was needed for a portable PC.

The fact is that Valve are the only ones that could in any way profit from a device like this. No other companies want to make a portable PC and sell it at a loss just to line Valves pockets even more.
 
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Ozzie666

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To continue to print money. The more I think about this thing, the more my mind is blown. This is a market disruption. The PC historic library even pre-steam, so many easy titles companies could re-release at low cost, for good profits. Valve just sits back and continues to be the best store front, like it or hate it. A lot of Japanese developers are doing some great games on PC now, heck this might be the new best way to play Monster Hunter or Persona 5.

I do wonder is it a console or PC, how does this affect 'Console' exclusivity, if you can use this as a loop hole.
 

RaySoft

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Gabe Newell in an interview to IGN said that "Hitting Steam Deck Price Was 'Painful' but 'Critical'". That means they might be eating some of the costs to release their PC/console at 399, but at the same time, it's completely open and people can even install other stores on it.

Something seems wrong. If they're investing in a long term plan to increase the adoption of Steam, why would they make their platform open and allow people to replace the OS and install their competitor's stores?

Just for some context, in article Gabe also says “We’re doing this for the long haul. And there’s a lot of opportunity.”, so this is clearly a long term plan and they've been working on this for a long time.

What do you think is their master plan?
Simple
More and more console games gets a PC port, MS has games pass and xcloud. This piece of hardware plays them all, even on the go. Even though it's open, wich is key, they'll still get more people to sign up for the Steam platform.
 

crozier

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Is there even a way to see which games in your Steam library are Linux compatible?

I really wish it ran Windows mostly because that’s where the software is at. Big Picture mode already runs with a controller. I guess I don’t get the push for Linux. Microsoft won with gamers eons ago and Valve isn’t going to make a dent in that alone.
 

BadBurger

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Get vaccinated
I won't pretend to know what's going on in Newel's genius mind, I just hope that they have a solid plan and long term commitment this time around. Valve has the resources to work wonders in this space, they just need to stick with it.

If I had to guess wildly, they're putting out feelers to see just how engaged the PC audience really will be with these kind of boutique items. Start small, try to turn it into something huge on its own.