In the past month, Nintendo have revealed their new Switch OLED while Valve have announced details of its new handheld PC device, the Steam Deck. Despite the comparisons, some of the Valve team have explained how different the two consoles are.
Yes, the two consoles look very similar but Valve designer Greg Coomer explains that it was just a coincidence. “We’ve ended up with a device that cosmetically shares some traits with a Switch, but it’s kind of an artifact of how we’ve proceeded down the design direction,” he said in an interview with IGN.
Instead of trying to do battle with the Switch (in his words, a “great device”), the Steam Deck was created to satisfy their existing playerbase.
“We tried to make all the decisions in Steam Deck that targeted that audience and that served the customers that were already having a good time interacting with the games that are already on our platform. That really was how we were making our decisions,” he explains.
Introducing Steam Deck: powerful, portable PC gaming starting at $399. Designed by Valve, powered by Steam. Shipping December 2021.
— Steam (@Steam) July 15, 2021
Elsewhere, Programmer Pierre-Loup Griffais admits that “Nintendo does a great job targeting the audience they do, with the content that they have” before explaining how the Steam Deck is “going to be different.”
“When you pick this up, it feels much more like the ergonomics for somebody who’s used to playing with an expensive game controller, because it’s bigger and it’s bulkier than a Switch. And if we’re right, that’s the right trade-off to be making for the audience that we’re going after.”
Or, as Valve co-founder Gabe Newell puts it, “If you’re a gamer, and you pick up a Switch, and you pick up one of these, you’re going to know which one is right for you, right? And you’re going to know it within 10 seconds.”
Valve’s Steam Deck releases December 2021.
In other news, eBay has removed every listing of Steam Deck reservations from its site, in a bid to combat touts.