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The switch is still better than Steam Deck as a portable gaming device

Fahdis

Member
First let me say that I love my steam deck and I actually love to play this thing... in my bed with the charger connected.

People keep saying the switch is underpowered (that's not the problem, the problem is the Switch is underclocked) and after the steam deck I'm actually more impressed with the switch/lite than I was before, because for the size/performance/cost/games is actually a fantastic portable machine.

If you just want a handheld gaming PC the steam deck is exactly that, so why this thread? I'm going to judge it as a portable device.

If the switch is underpowered, the deck is oversized and the fan is an actual vacuum cleaner, this thing is so loud that I thought it was defective at first, no wonder why Nintendo didn't make a more powerful console and underclocked the thing.

Now let's talk about the battery, with the kind of games the steam deck plays, you will get 1.5 hours at most so you will have to buy a battery bank or just play connected to the charger to not deal with low percentage of battery for longer gaming times.

Now let's talk about game optimization, if I want to play GTA V I gotta download the whole 107 gb, even if I play at the native resolution since this is a PC I gotta download the whole thing. An hypothetical GTA V on the switch wouldn't not need that because it would be optimized for the console and they wouldn't not need to add all the 4K textures, bells and whistles. So yeah the deck has more storage and you're a going to use it. There are a few more things but I think my point is clear.

I'm still impressed with the deck and the hardware is fantastic, but I'm not going to act like this is not a test/beta product for the better things in the future.

Probably one of the worst opinions I've seen in a while.

Season 6 What GIF by The Office
 

Ezquimacore

Banned
Probably one of the worst opinions I've seen in a while.

Season 6 What GIF by The Office
What opinion? It's a damn fact the battery life is trash, big as fuck and loud as fuck. I own it and I enjoy but I'm not a fanboy like the majority of people here.
 
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Thaedolus

Gold Member
Probably one of the worst opinions I've seen in a while.

Season 6 What GIF by The Office
I mean there’s a pretty valid point in there about full fat version of games needing 100GB when you could have a more optimized version…the Deck is awesome but not without some drawbacks. The same can be said of any device though. You want the best performing gaming machine out there? Be prepared to spend $2500+. You want something for a fifth the cost? Be prepared to compromise on performance and fidelity. Everything ends up being a balancing act, and whether or not the balance is right depends on individual priorities.
 

scydrex

Member
What opinion? It's a damn fact the battery life is trash, big as fuck and loud as fuck. I own it and I enjoy but I'm not a fanboy like the majority of people here.

Remember this 👇

Deck 1.6 teraflops
Switch 0.39 teraflops (docked)
Switch 0.24 terflops (handheld)
Xbox 360 0.24 teraflops
PS3 0.23 teraflops

You have the power of a PS4 in your hands. The Deck is 6.66x more powerful than the Switch in handheld mode. Sure the Deck battery is short and don´t last long but what would you want? To last the same as the Switch while being a lot much more powerful? To say the battery is good or excellent? You have to sacrifice something power or battery, can´t have both. Sure Valve could do a less powerful Deck and make the battery life longer but they choose to make it as powerful as possible.
 
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Knightime_X

Member
Kind of a vapid point. Balancing power and battery life is a factor in determining the portability of a device. Who cares how much power you get if you can't go more than an hour or two without charging?
The steam deck can get nearly just as much life out of the battery if you lower it to Switch's power.
I'm more concerned about not having access to a charge port for that period of time.
You're definitely not going to be on a train or aircraft that often. And even then..
 

Deerock71

Member
I think...literally everybody saw this coming. Nobody does portables like Nintendo. Steam Deck is a nice product for tinkerers and people with oodles of disposable income. It's battery life is pathetic.
 

Bragr

Member
I used the steam deck about 3 times and I think I'm just gonna sell it. It's great, but if you play on a normal PC, its value is considerably lower, why the hell would anyone play PC games on a handheld when you can play on a normal desktop. I look at the thing sitting there, trying to force myself to use it, but why the hell would I play Warhammer 3 or Divinity Original Sin 2 on that shit when I can use my keyboard and mouse with a proper monitor.
 

AmuroChan

Member
I think this just comes down to what games you want to play. It doesn't really matter which one is "better" if the game you want to play isn't on the better one.
 
The steam deck can get nearly just as much life out of the battery if you lower it to Switch's power.
I'm more concerned about not having access to a charge port for that period of time.
You're definitely not going to be on a train or aircraft that often. And even then..
As someone who travels internationally at least 4 times per year, maybe 2 out of 10 airplanes don't have a charge port right in front of your seats, and generally those are smaller planes for flights that are under 1-2 hours. It's really not that big of a deal unless you take your deck out camping or to the beach or something.
 
The strongest benefit I'd really give the Switch is one that's going to be important for a majority of players - ease of use right outta the box. For almost everthing else the Deck is just fantastic.
 

SomeGit

Member
Man, I much prefer the ergonomics of the Deck. I have big hands but it feels way more comfy to me.
Same, I understand the Switch being small a pro for some, but I find a lot of games almost unplayable on the crappy little analog sticks of the Joycons.
 
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CrustyBritches

Gold Member
Neither Switch nor Deck are what I would consider a pocket portable. 2DS XL is probably as big as you can go and still be able to just carry it around like a classic portable, mostly due to it's clamshell design compared to protruding analog sticks and triggers. So concerning form-factor, both Switch and Deck are carrying-case or backpack handhelds. Deck is hand-down more comfortable

For battery life, if you're doing an apples-to-apples comparison Deck is going to have better battery life than V1 and Switch Lite, but worse battery life than V2 and OLED.

Deck has faster loading times, better graphics, larger game library, and cheaper game prices. Deck has the option to upgrade internal fast storage. However, it's also more expensive. Deck has superior emulation capabilities without the need for modding, and also has practical use for general computing.

Switch is smaller, has OLED screen option, slightly better battery life, is easier to use, and it officially supports Nintendo 1st-party titles.

I think Switch is ideal for kids under 12, while Deck is a better option for teens and adults. If you're strictly looking for the Nintendo 1st-party gaming experience, Switch is a good choice. If you want to be able to play games like Spider-Man Remastered, God of War, Forza Horizon 5, or Elden Ring then Deck is a no-brainer. Personally, I prefer the combo of 2DS XL and Deck. My 2 favorite handhelds that give you the widest range of gaming experiences.
 
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He's playing a Nintendo game, hurry call Gaben!!

Yeah the switch is amazing, specially jailbroken (god bless the mp3 player and blue light filter), can't comment on the deck though, I'll wait a couple iterations more
 

Cyberpunkd

Gold Member
I think Switch is ideal for kids under 12, while Deck is a better option for teens and adults.
No child at the age of 12 should have a $300 gadget. My neighbour has a Zelda t-shirt, he is 40. He’s the target audience. 12 year olds play Fortnite on their phones and watch TikTok.
 

DonkeyPunchJr

World’s Biggest Weeb
I don’t understand the distinction between underpowered vs underclocked. If the performance is lacking, I don’t really give a shit whether the root cause is the clock speed or some other issue.
 

scydrex

Member
It's way more than 6.66x.

The Switch uses an ancient Maxwell architecture whereas the Deck uses RDNA2. The real difference in GPU gaming performance should be closer to 8x.

Well at least in raw power or TF # it's 6.66x but yeah it's RDNA2. Totally agree with you.
 

Ezquimacore

Banned
The steam deck battery lasts around 1.5 hours .. the oled switch lasts 5-6 hours.. sure graphics.. but yeah...
people keep understanding what they want but this is one of the reasons of why the switch is a better (portable) device, for me personally. I'm not saying the switch is better, I'm saying if I'm going to carry something around I definitely take the switch instead of the deck.
 
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scydrex

Member
people keep understanding what they want but this is one of the reasons of why the switch is a better (portable) device, for me personally. I'm not saying the switch is better, I'm saying if I'm going to carry something around I definitely take the switch instead of the deck.

If you are going to carry it around then don't play intensive games or limit the FPS to 30 and lower the settings to more or less like Switch settings.
 

ShinFuYux

Neo Member
Those are honestly poor reasons...

Besides, you can play every Nintendo game in the deck while Nintendo themselves dance around that topic when it comes to releasing old school games.
 

Ezquimacore

Banned
Those are honestly poor reasons...

Besides, you can play every Nintendo game in the deck while Nintendo themselves dance around that topic when it comes to releasing old school games.
you can do that on many other devices too, including better portable pcs with better hardware and better design. And while I like my deck, the design on this thing with the loud fan is just not that good.
 

LiquidMetal14

hide your water-based mammals
I sincerely do appreciate your points at the core but your goal post and arbitrary viewpoint doesn't invalidate the Decks superiority.

I have heavy investment in an OLED Switch with 40+ games physical/digital, 512gb SD card and all the protection for the unit. Yes, I'm validating my view by mentioning that I own and probably have more investment in the Switch HW than the base unit of the the Deck.

Performance, there's no mental gymnastics or explanation that will change the massive disparity in CPU/GPU performance. Underclocked or not, it's not even fair to compare but hey, I know Nintendo has many loyal fans but the facts are what they are and that's not my opinion.

I will agree that with the power comes a little audible noise. I put up with so many consoles and my own PC with 8 fans and I do not hyperbole nitpick the hell out of things when the upside is massively better than A) noise, and B)Heat. I never pay attention unless it's dead silent and there is no other noise or I out the damn exhaust into my ear. Switch needs no explanation as the HW design is very different for what it cannot do. The Deck does so much more that it's laughable to put them in the same discussion save the portability aspects. HW/SW are astronomically better on Steam Deck. I can play THOUSANDS of games from 1990-today.

Can't get around the 4k texture argument but keep this in mind. If devs were to optimize and do a little more work for a custom Deck port of an already existing PC SKU, your theory on GTA5 size would be countered immediately but facts are facts, GTA5 on Deck is a full no compromise version which you will never do on Switch unless some kind of cloud streaming into a hacked unit may do.

Much like the Switch, assuming Valve will want to release more ungraded units, we in the handheld realm are in for a treat.

To throw my own observations regarding the Deck (as it's a far less owned platform on here vs more people with Switch) I will say that getting the Deck has caused me to heavily consider selling and just buying Switch games and putting them on the Deck.

The near infinite legacy support on top of cloud gaming give this first iteration such a heads up.

Can we give Valve a small golf clap for their efforts with Proton and getting everything to run that I've wanted to play. There is no game that is "green checked" or yellow that has not worked exactly like I thought it would.

The advanced CPU/GPU has so many of the perks of modern console and PC HW which elevate it well above it's weight class.

Having FSR and VRS are such major pluses so I hope whatever Nintendo makes has support for all the modern SW/HW tricks.

Dynamic resolution scaling has already been a savior even if some Switch games run super low and downright ugly. More options are always going to be better when it comes to fine tuning games on PC. That advantage is massive and won't change.

Any questions I will gladly give honest impressions but as I said before, given way more people have a Switch, I'm more interested in sharing why the Deck is a masterpiece of 1st generation portable goodness. God bless you/he/she/it/their/Wu tang
 

Ezquimacore

Banned
I sincerely do appreciate your points at the core but your goal post and arbitrary viewpoint doesn't invalidate the Decks superiority.

I have heavy investment in an OLED Switch with 40+ games physical/digital, 512gb SD card and all the protection for the unit. Yes, I'm validating my view by mentioning that I own and probably have more investment in the Switch HW than the base unit of the the Deck.

Performance, there's no mental gymnastics or explanation that will change the massive disparity in CPU/GPU performance. Underclocked or not, it's not even fair to compare but hey, I know Nintendo has many loyal fans but the facts are what they are and that's not my opinion.

I will agree that with the power comes a little audible noise. I put up with so many consoles and my own PC with 8 fans and I do not hyperbole nitpick the hell out of things when the upside is massively better than A) noise, and B)Heat. I never pay attention unless it's dead silent and there is no other noise or I out the damn exhaust into my ear. Switch needs no explanation as the HW design is very different for what it cannot do. The Deck does so much more that it's laughable to put them in the same discussion save the portability aspects. HW/SW are astronomically better on Steam Deck. I can play THOUSANDS of games from 1990-today.

Can't get around the 4k texture argument but keep this in mind. If devs were to optimize and do a little more work for a custom Deck port of an already existing PC SKU, your theory on GTA5 size would be countered immediately but facts are facts, GTA5 on Deck is a full no compromise version which you will never do on Switch unless some kind of cloud streaming into a hacked unit may do.

Much like the Switch, assuming Valve will want to release more ungraded units, we in the handheld realm are in for a treat.

To throw my own observations regarding the Deck (as it's a far less owned platform on here vs more people with Switch) I will say that getting the Deck has caused me to heavily consider selling and just buying Switch games and putting them on the Deck.

The near infinite legacy support on top of cloud gaming give this first iteration such a heads up.

Can we give Valve a small golf clap for their efforts with Proton and getting everything to run that I've wanted to play. There is no game that is "green checked" or yellow that has not worked exactly like I thought it would.

The advanced CPU/GPU has so many of the perks of modern console and PC HW which elevate it well above it's weight class.

Having FSR and VRS are such major pluses so I hope whatever Nintendo makes has support for all the modern SW/HW tricks.

Dynamic resolution scaling has already been a savior even if some Switch games run super low and downright ugly. More options are always going to be better when it comes to fine tuning games on PC. That advantage is massive and won't change.

Any questions I will gladly give honest impressions but as I said before, given way more people have a Switch, I'm more interested in sharing why the Deck is a masterpiece of 1st generation portable goodness. God bless you/he/she/it/their/Wu tang
now this is a fanboy post
 

Trunx81

Member
Disclaimer: I have never played Steam Deck. Heck, I haven’t played a Pic game in like 20 years.

Now about Ops topic:
Are we really comparing a console from 2015 with a high end handheld PC from the future? Did we do the same when the PSP arrived? Are there topics “can the Game Boy compete with Sonys first handheld?”

But as they are both still on the market, let’s go for it: Switch is designed to pick up and play. Most of the people posting here are video game nerds (it’s a video games nerd board, duh!) who know about tech and how to configure it. But how many people are out there, who can’t even configure their smartphones correctly? For them, the switch is great: Plug in a card and play. No questions asked, it just works. One of the many reasons people like consoles. Would you buy your small kid the steam machine? I doubt it.

The deck is an amazing little piece of hardware and I would love to have one (even when I had to start at 0 with a steam collection). I would play the hell out of Albion from BlueByte as I loved it as a kid.

But not only the price is hindering me. It’s just that I’m not the target group. I love it to just pick up my switch, play a few rounds of a Nintendo game or some “impossible ports” (I’ve spent tons of hours with Witcher and doom and loved both, even with lesser graphical power, because gameplay used to be a thing) and then just toss it into the corner again. My little girl loves her Peppa Pig Game, especially playing it with just one joycon which fits perfectly into her little hands.
My friends all have a switch, so online multiplayer is a go with them. Most of them don’t play PC.

Long story short:
It just depends on you, your premise and what you expect out of a handheld gaming console (there, I called switch a handheld, as I’ve played around 5min in tv till now). Some people will love either switch, either steam deck. Some will love both. Just let everyone live how they want to.
 

BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
What opinion? It's a damn fact the battery life is trash, big as fuck and loud as fuck. I own it and I enjoy but I'm not a fanboy like the majority of people here.

Sounds like you got unlucky with one of the loud fans. I can barely hear mine after one of their updates around the time I got it. They also give you many options that are extremely easy to use to mitigate battery drain.
 

Ozzie666

Member
How do people feel about the controls, size and comfort of the deck? do the pads get used much? Which is the preferred placement of the sticks? One is clearly a gaming only device, the other is a mini pc and has more flexibility. It's difficult to compare the two.

General computer Tech is progressing faster than battery solutions, which is going to really hold back all hand-held platforms. The Steam deck seems like a dream retro arch device.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
How is it running? 30fps?
Depends on your settings but it’s a FROM game so don’t expect anything smooth. I haven’t checked with a counter but if I would guess I’d say 30-40fps, and there is no gsync/freesync/vrr tech so have that in mind if you’re easily annoyed at fps stutter.
That said, with such a small screen the stutter is less of a problem, it’s not like playing on the livingroom TV.
 
My problem with the Deck is that you can buy a laptop with better specs for a similar price and then you have a full computer... I *know* the appeal is having a handheld portable device but realistically I can't think of many scenarios where I would pull out a handheld... it's not like I'm really gonna be playing videogames on public transport. Plus the screen is a shitty LCD.
 

Deerock71

Member
I sincerely do appreciate your points at the core but your goal post and arbitrary viewpoint doesn't invalidate the Decks superiority.

I have heavy investment in an OLED Switch with 40+ games physical/digital, 512gb SD card and all the protection for the unit. Yes, I'm validating my view by mentioning that I own and probably have more investment in the Switch HW than the base unit of the the Deck.

Performance, there's no mental gymnastics or explanation that will change the massive disparity in CPU/GPU performance. Underclocked or not, it's not even fair to compare but hey, I know Nintendo has many loyal fans but the facts are what they are and that's not my opinion.

I will agree that with the power comes a little audible noise. I put up with so many consoles and my own PC with 8 fans and I do not hyperbole nitpick the hell out of things when the upside is massively better than A) noise, and B)Heat. I never pay attention unless it's dead silent and there is no other noise or I out the damn exhaust into my ear. Switch needs no explanation as the HW design is very different for what it cannot do. The Deck does so much more that it's laughable to put them in the same discussion save the portability aspects. HW/SW are astronomically better on Steam Deck. I can play THOUSANDS of games from 1990-today.

Can't get around the 4k texture argument but keep this in mind. If devs were to optimize and do a little more work for a custom Deck port of an already existing PC SKU, your theory on GTA5 size would be countered immediately but facts are facts, GTA5 on Deck is a full no compromise version which you will never do on Switch unless some kind of cloud streaming into a hacked unit may do.

Much like the Switch, assuming Valve will want to release more ungraded units, we in the handheld realm are in for a treat.

To throw my own observations regarding the Deck (as it's a far less owned platform on here vs more people with Switch) I will say that getting the Deck has caused me to heavily consider selling and just buying Switch games and putting them on the Deck.

The near infinite legacy support on top of cloud gaming give this first iteration such a heads up.

Can we give Valve a small golf clap for their efforts with Proton and getting everything to run that I've wanted to play. There is no game that is "green checked" or yellow that has not worked exactly like I thought it would.

The advanced CPU/GPU has so many of the perks of modern console and PC HW which elevate it well above it's weight class.

Having FSR and VRS are such major pluses so I hope whatever Nintendo makes has support for all the modern SW/HW tricks.

Dynamic resolution scaling has already been a savior even if some Switch games run super low and downright ugly. More options are always going to be better when it comes to fine tuning games on PC. That advantage is massive and won't change.

Any questions I will gladly give honest impressions but as I said before, given way more people have a Switch, I'm more interested in sharing why the Deck is a masterpiece of 1st generation portable goodness. God bless you/he/she/it/their/Wu tang
Like I said: it's for tinkerers and folks with a lot of disposable income. I'm just more succinct.
tv show 90s GIF
 

CrustyBritches

Gold Member
My problem with the Deck is that you can buy a laptop with better specs for a similar price and then you have a full computer... I *know* the appeal is having a handheld portable device but realistically I can't think of many scenarios where I would pull out a handheld... it's not like I'm really gonna be playing videogames on public transport. Plus the screen is a shitty LCD.
In reality a laptop will be used more like a desktop than a handheld.

Once you have a Deck it will start dominating your PC playing time because it allows you freedom and the UI and controls are amazing. You can chill out with family members and chat while they watch dumb shit on TV, hang out with your kids while you all play PC games together on your Decks, or play in any room or even outside if you want. Then there's truly portable situations like long drives with family, staying in hotels on trips, flights or train rides, or visiting people in the hospital.
 
Like I said: it's for tinkerers and folks with a lot of disposable income. I'm just more succinct.
tv show 90s GIF
Deck verified games just work without having to tinker anything. Ideal settings for the console are the default the moment you boot the game.

You can simply turn on the console, navigate the store front, buy a game, boot the game and play.
There's zero difference to a Switch for >5000 games.
 
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Switch is a fantastic piece of design. The size is perfect, the dock is brilliant.

But then there's the old PC vs console, open vs closed argument. Lots of people are running emulators on their Deck, meaning the library is...just about any game ever released over the last 40 years.
 

ljubomir

Member
Really? That’s extremely impressive.


That’s really good considering the form factor. My ex2520 is a fantastic LCD display and is only 350 nits (400 peak).

Skip to 1:43 - PS5 loads in 2 seconds, Deck in 7, and PS4 in over 30.

Sleep mode is near instantaneous, no matter if you're inside a game, a running emulator or whatever, it just resumes, it's great.

I found that sometimes it has troubles connecting to my BT headphones after exiting the sleep, and I have to cycle another suspend-resume cycle to make it detect them again, but it's like 4-5 seconds wasted and doesn't happen every time so I can tolerate it 😄
 

ljubomir

Member
Deck verified games just work without having to tinker anything. Ideal settings for the console are the default the moment you boot the game.

You can simply turn on the console, navigate the store front, buy a game, boot the game and play.
There's zero difference to a Switch for >5000 games.
In case of Stray default settings were way to high IMO, and the console sounded like a roaring jet engine. Bumping them down to medium and locking refresh rate do 30 fixed everything. But in most cases default graphics are great on verified games, and what's even more important to me is that controls work great and text is legible. Many "playable" games run just fine but are not fun due to unreadable font size or meh controls. That's why I prefer "verified".
 
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cireza

Member
There was a time when handhelds did not have active cooling, had good battery and games made specifically for a quality handheld experience. Neither Switch nor Steamdeck check these boxes.
 

Ezquimacore

Banned
Sounds like you got unlucky with one of the loud fans. I can barely hear mine after one of their updates around the time I got it. They also give you many options that are extremely easy to use to mitigate battery drain.
I modded my deck with an ifixit fan and new thermal paste, but the fact that I had to do that was enough for me to shit on the design. Still love to play PC games in that form factor without streaming but it was a bumpy road and I see a lot of people just selling theirs to not deal with some stuff.
 
Now let's talk about game optimization, if I want to play GTA V I gotta download the whole 107 gb, even if I play at the native resolution since this is a PC I gotta download the whole thing. An hypothetical GTA V on the switch wouldn't not need that because it would be optimized for the console and they wouldn't not need to add all the 4K textures, bells and whistles. So yeah the deck has more storage and you're a going to use it. There are a few more things but I think my point is clear.

I'm still impressed with the deck and the hardware is fantastic, but I'm not going to act like this is not a test/beta product for the better things in the future.

When the copium hits hard...

Cry Love GIF by Pudgy Penguins
 
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