There’s little doubt that Valve Software’s Steam Deck is a revolutionary device. Sure, we’ve had several handheld portal PCs out there, but they’re also mighty expensive. This is where the Steam Deck comes in. It’s affordable (depending on which model you get) and does a great job running games.
I’ve gotten so attached to mine that I take my Steam Deck with me anytime I leave my home. In doing so, I tend to draw some attraction, as people are curious about what I hold. If Valve advertised the Steam Deck, I would likely not be bothered (not that I mind) as much as I do.
Granted, you likely know about it, and so does everyone who frequents this site (Thanks for stopping by) or other gaming sites. However, when it comes to those who don’t check out gaming websites, Reddit, or even YouTube, the Steam Deck might as well be a Nintendo Switch. In many situations, I have had people walk up to me and ask me why my “Nintendo Switch looks different.” At first, I got annoyed at how many people approached me, but after a while, I realized it wasn’t the person who asked me fault. It was Valve’s fault.
My most recent “Steam Deck experience” was when I was hanging out at the local Barnes and Noble. I wanted to chill while waiting for my chiropractic appointment, so I browsed a few books, checked out the LEGOS, and then sat down for some gaming. I busted out my Steam Deck, and after a while, I noticed this person sitting a few tables from me, watching me. It wasn’t just like every so often. No, the person was trying to figure out what exactly I was holding in my hand. So, instead of having them stare at me, I paused my game of TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, hoisted the Steam Deck above my head and said, “It’s a Steam Deck!” Then, I asked them if they wanted to try it out for themselves.
I’m pretty sure everyone within earshot of me saying that also heard me.
Curious, the young man approached me, and I handed him the Steam Deck. His eyes widened as he mentioned he’d never heard of a Steam Deck and asked what exactly he was holding. I introduced myself and explained what the Steam Deck was. He told me he owned a Nintendo Switch and an Xbox Series X but never bothered with PC gaming. I asked him why, and he ended up telling me because it’s expensive, and he heard all sorts of bad stuff about it. I did my best to keep my composure, as I love PC gaming.
I then asked him what some of his favorite Xbox games were, to which he blurted out a few, including Gears of War 3, Forza Horizon 5, Elden Ring, and a few others. So, I fired up the Xbox Cloud Gaming app that I added to the Steam Deck.
I handed it back to him and told him to pick any game he wanted. The first game he played was Forza Horizon 5. I asked him what other racing games he played and why Forza Horizon was one of his favorites. While speaking with him, I could see he was really getting into the game and enjoying himself, and he even turned the device like it was a steering wheel at times.
After a bit, he swapped over to Elden Ring and remarked he didn’t get far in his game but enjoyed what he played. He also noticed my character was wearing Maleina’s armor and asked how long it took to beat her. I replied that she was a massive pain in my rear. I continued to watch him, complete with cries of frustration of dying more than he wanted to.
Finally, I let him play LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, as I also wanted him to see that game in action. It was also a good comparison of how it performed on the Steam Deck compared to the Switch. I think this game was what really made the idea of portable PC gaming pop, as he didn’t want to stop playing. However, all good things must come to an end.
After about 30 minutes, I had to pack up and prepare to leave. I tossed him my business card and told him to contact me with any questions. He asked right then and there, where could he get one? I told him it was a long wait and that he needed to have a Steam account. I could see his face changing as if I was telling him the secret of life, so I just said to email me. It was an interesting experience, as I saw how it was for someone who didn’t follow gaming outside of the mainstream. For a person who doesn’t know what the Steam Deck is, getting their hands on one is an eye-opening experience.
Why don’t more people know about the Steam Deck?
You have to wonder about this all. If Valve had done a better job advertising what the Steam Deck is and what it’s capable of, perhaps more people would know of the portable PC that can. If you aren’t familiar with PC gaming, then you likely have no idea what the Steam Deck is, and perhaps Valve is ok with that. Or at least for now. As the company is still working on producing and delivering the pre-ordered units, maybe that’s for the best. Yet, once the orders are fulfilled, I’d imagine they’d want to get the word out to everyone who enjoys gaming, not just the PC gaming crowd.
Toss some commercials on TV, YouTube, or Twitch. Maybe start selling the Steam Deck in other locations, such as Best Buy or Amazon. Places that average consumers frequently. The word needs to get out that the Steam Deck is easily one of the best ways to get someone who wants to jump into PC gaming but is afraid of gaming the jump due to the high cost or the unexpected. Until then, I suppose I’ll keep spreading the word about PC gaming and the Steam Deck on my own.