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Many Windows Central readers aren't sold on Valve's Steam Deck

Steam Deck
Steam Deck (Image credit: Valve)

What you need to know

  • We ran a poll asking if readers will pre-order Valve's Steam Deck.
  • As of this post, nearly 45% of respondents voted that they're not pre-ordering it.
  • Over 25% voted to say they're waiting for more info on the product before deciding.

On Saturday, we ran our weekly poll to check in with the mood of Windows Central readers on the latest news. This time around, the hot topic was Valve's Steam Deck, otherwise known as the handheld system that's soon to bring major AAA Windows-powered games to the world of portable devices. DOOM Eternal, Ghostrunner, and more can be yours wherever you are thanks to the Steam Deck — but many Windows Central readers aren't interested enough in the device to pre-order it.

As of the morning of July 19, 2021, the poll results show 44.69% of readers voted that they won't be pre-ordering the Steam Deck, 29.89% either already have pre-ordered it or plan to pre-order it, and 25.42% want more information on the gadget and aren't ready to make a decision yet. These percentages were derived from 358 total votes. For comparison, our poll discussing the mere look of Windows 11 garnered nearly 7,000 votes.

The comments on the poll highlight why many people aren't interested in the device. "It's too expensive and heavy," reader Scovious2 said, bringing attention to the fact that not everyone is keen on lugging a screen-endowed brick around as a portable gaming device. Others commented that AAA gaming doesn't naturally lend itself to such a small display.

The natural response to that argument is that the Nintendo Switch has proven successful, despite displaying AAA games on small screens. In our other coverage of the Steam Deck, which has garnered even more passionate, lengthy responses from readers, one particular reader clapped back at that idea with the claim that "Nintendo games are one step above mobile quality and designed for that screen size from the get-go," positing that Switch games are built for the handheld experience from the outset, rather than forced onto it, hence why they do so well critically and commercially.

That same post saw gigantic back-and-forths outlining where the Deck would slot into the market, why it's not fit to be compared to the Switch, and loads more in-depth discussions. Give Windows Central readers' comments a look, and keep giving us your thoughts on the Steam Deck.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

17 Comments
  • I'm getting one day 1. If I don't like it for some reason I can always sell it to someone who is waiting to get a steam deck.
  • I'm getting it so I can play my games without having to buy them a second time, or buying a second collection of games to add to my collection of games I never or hardly play.
  • Hoping to replace my living room gaming PC and have the freedom to take it to any room or even outside the home. I was already looking building an APU system and for $399 this ain't bad.
  • I pre-ordered it, but I may cancel if this thing can't do Xbox Game Pass in SteamOS. I know it can install Windows which would definitely work but I don't want the extra overhead. I might be amiable to a dual-boot option, but 99% of my games library is through Game Pass and I don't intend on migrating to a Steam library, which is what I think Valve is hoping for. I've read that other stores are possible, but that has only mentioned Epic, EA and Origin. No Microsoft in sight... You'd think it would work and if it's possible it should happen eventually, but until I hear more my order is tenuous.
  • Because, regardless of Xbox having better specs, etc, some people are afraid that the Steam Deck is a more compelling purchase than an Xbox console, due to its portability and openness. You could use it to cloud stream Game Pass games and buy Xbox games for it, via Steam, all in a console-like form factor, with a compelling price, rendering buying an Xbox kinda pointless.
  • Many of the arguments against the Steam Deck found in the comments of the other WC Steam Deck coverage are a lot more compelling than that. You do them a disservice with this "people are afraid of Xbox being irrelevant" position. Not to mention, I don't think many people would argue Xbox is all that relevant, even here. It has virtually no exclusives thanks to Microsoft's PC initiative, meaning anyone who buys an Xbox just wants to play PC games on weaker hardware (for the most part). It's simply a streamlined gaming PC Microsoft puts out to give consumers something easy to chew on; it's not a competitor to Steam/the PC sector.
  • I think the main draw for Xbox (at least for me) is that you are effectively getting a fairly decent "PC" for significantly less than the cost of an equivalent PC. Hell the Series X is half the price of the GPU necessary to get equivalent visuals and framerates, that's not including all the other components needed if you are building a computer.
  • The main draw of the consoles is price/performance ratio if only thing you are doing is gaming.
  • Yeah fair, although I also don't like to mix work with play, so my tablet PC is pretty much dedicated for work, and I can't justify spending a separate 2k plus on a gaming machine when I've already spent 2.2k for the work machine.
  • Xbox is very relevant. Majority of devs focus on Console development first PC 2nd. Nowadays it's the PC gamer that is crying to get console games on PC. One should wonder if PC is all that relevant since majority like the ease of a console and price above PC gaming. Also This argument of Xbox not having exclusives because games are on PC is old. Xbox is Xbox no matter the platform. If a game is Xbox exclusive, it's Xbox Exclusive, how hard is it to understand that. Xbox ecosystem is Console + PC and any other platform Xbox is on.
  • It's mainly sports games that prioritise console over PC. Everything else nowadays is prioritised for PlayStation and PC, or Switch and PC, even major Japanese games, like Nioh and Monster Hunter Rise. But the point is that you don't need to buy an Xbox console anymore to play Xbox games; the Deck is a much more compelling purchase, due to its price and features. And if anything, Deck is only going to strengthen the PC gaming market as a whole and bring millions of new people to Steam and PC gaming; people who would never have played a PC game before will buy a Deck and it will further make PC gaming much bigger than Xbox console gaming.
  • Preordered one. My steam collection anywhere I want! Going to have my emulator stuff on it as well. Can’t wait.
  • Yeah I would order a SteamDeck, but by the time I get the funds for one Valve will get bored and remove it like they did with SteamMachines, Steam Controllers and the SteamLink...and they'll expect me to build one myself instead.
  • 2 major potential issues... 1. PC game UI on a 7" screen gives me nightmares.
    2. This thing has the power of last gen consoles. 7 Years from now PS/Xbox games will run on current hardware... Cyberpunk 2077, Halo infinite, Battlefield 2042 & Farcry 6 might not run well on steam deck's release day.
  • I'm just worried that GPU performance won't be enough in a couple of years, need to see how Metro Exodus (RT only version) runs on this. Probably the ideal thing to do is wait for the next version with Zen4 and RDNA3 in 5nm.
  • I preordered one.
    Beauty of this device is that it is a full on PC so if Steam screws up I can do whatever I want with it. Also just because everyone is not buying one day one does not mean they wont get one period.
  • I have a Switch but use it mostly in docked mode... Don't want to play PC games on a 7" screen... Switch games are optimised for small screen play but many PC games won't be... I would rather get a gaming laptop and use Steam that way...