Gaming has been quite popular among people of all ages worldwide, and its acclaimed proliferation is surprising to none. In recent years, gaming has been made accessible in different forms, such as a handheld gaming console.
Finding a handheld emulator that satisfies one’s needs and suits their personal preferences can be a daunting task at times.
However, a newly released, much more innovative, and with elevated portability, Steam Deck has become a center of attraction for gamers all across the world.
Though, as high profile as Steam Deck seems to be, with a hefty price tag, there are few demerits associated with the device, and hence, it is always a better idea to have a closer look and deeper understanding of the dynamics which determine its limitation in various areas.
Therefore, in this blog, I shall shed some light on the problems that Steam Deck has and the best alternatives for gamers to go for.
So, let’s get into it right away!
What Are Some of the Shortcomings of the Steam Deck?
It’s not surprising that anyone who has laid their eyes on an outstanding exterior styled and dashing look of the Steam Deck will have a tentative instinct to consider it a good purchase, as it will hardly have any issues in most areas.
Well, that is not true at all, as it is evident that the Steam Deck has been received with a wide spectrum of criticism as it lagged behind in some of the essential elements that elevate its demand in the gaming industry.
Before we get into the major concerns surrounding the issues with the device, it’s worthwhile to have a summarised data table, revealing its specifications and highlighting the germane hindrances which are responsible for the criticism and negative reviews of the customers.
|General Specifications||Major concerns|
|7-inch touchscreen |
(1280 x 800 resolution).
|Lacks vibrant color resolution and is difficult to hold for long gaming sessions.|
|Battery life up to a maximum of 8 hours.||Battery performance is unsatisfactory as it drains away way too quickly when playing games that require higher processing.|
|Availability of an extensive Steam Library with a compatible Steam OS software interface and Linux.||Coupled with software errors and incapability to run some games smoothly, without glitches.|
It’s very normal for customers to get tricked into buying something by just reading the specifications and not giving it much thought so that it can be purchased in a wiser manner.
Let’s explore these cons one by one!
OLED screen with a mediocre display resolution
The OLED screen technology that Steam Deck comes with is not as stupendous as it seems to be. It offers a display resolution of up to standard 720p, and it’s possible up to 1080p for a few games.
This suggests that it lacks the ability to exhibit much more explicit, vibrant, and pleasing colored textures on the screen, given the price tag is high, and that doesn’t fairly account for the feature it is comprised of, which is often regarded as a mere disappointment.
Furthermore, since it consists of a big 7-inch screen and the combination of the components to give the design of the Steam Deck, it is obvious that it is both large and bulky in size.
It’s unreasonable to hold it for long gaming sessions, such as playing multiplayer games and time-consuming ones, as this can contribute to RSI and make your hands incessantly numb.
This somehow conflicts with the convincing idea that it is much more portable on the go when it isn’t if the specified time period is expected to be longer on a routine day basis.
Poor battery performance
It has been supported by various reviews that the Steam deck has a profound battery life that can run up to a maximum of 6 to 8 hours a day.
While it’s true to some extent, it’s merely like living under the impression that no matter what game you play, the need to plug your device with a charge is eliminated.
Unfortunately, this isn’t what you expect from the legal claims by Valve itself when it comes to playing heavy and memory-consuming games, such as Apex Legends.
This puts unwanted pressure on the battery, and you might need to alter the brightness levels to prevent your battery from draining due to playing such games.
This is something that annoys gamers to a very noticeable level, as in this fast-paced world, we look for electronic devices that have a longer battery life, with enhanced performance levels, and that repetitive empty battery signal is out of the picture, eradicating the on and off charging.
Problematic gaming experience due to unresolved shortcomings of the software system
There’s absolutely no denying that the Steam Deck is equipped with an extensive game library, taking into account the personal preferences of gamers, and meeting their gaming needs, with the option to get extra internal and external storage.
This does open up a door for installing and accessing more games, given the hefty price, but only to be met with a number of complaint issues.
The Steam Deck has been reported to have failed to run all games, specifically AAA titles and heavy games, without any glitches or processing flaws, which gives a poor gaming experience.
Similarly, the Linux system does give access to other numbers of apps, but there are many PC games that cannot be played on it.
Therefore, it has shown a wide range of compatibility issues with Windows and PC games in general, which is yet another wave of disappointment for gamers.
What Are the Prominent Features of Some of the Good Alternatives of Steam Deck?
From what we have discussed so far, Steam Deck isn’t for every gamer out there, so now I will explore some of the best Steam Deck alternatives that are worth considering before making a purchase.
Some of them are:
- Logitech G Cloud
- AYANEO 2
- OneXPlayer Mini
- Nintendo Switch
Logitech G Cloud
This handheld emulator is probably the closest you can ever get to Steam Deck, with improved features and better response from the customers.
As the name suggests, it’s primarily used for cloud gaming but can also play Steam games too, without any software-compatible issues.
Priced at $300, it has an attractive exterior-styled design and manages to overcome shortcomings associated with the Steam Deck!
You can rightfully expect it to run for a maximum of 12 hours without any battery drain concerns, which Steam Deck has.
It has a portable structure, so it has a lighter weight as compared to Steam Deck, meaning that it’s much more suitable for longer gaming sessions as well as on the go, on a routine day basis, and therefore, serves as a good alternative, defeating Steam’s Deck major concerns.
AYANEO 2 is regarded as one of the most powerful gaming handheld emulators out there.
Though it is a little pricy, up to $1330, it does serve its purpose very well. The processor that it consists of, Ryzen™ 7 6800U, is much stronger than that found in the Steam Deck.
It offers vastly superior HD screen resolution, and the dynamic of the vibrant colored display screen is comparable to none, thus a significant improvement over the Steam Deck’s screen resolution.
Moreover, it has a higher level of responsiveness, exhibits quicker processing of games, and can even play a handful of AAA titles game for a session of 1 to 3 hours.
If you have a big budget to spend, then this is an excellent choice for buying a premium-quality handheld emulator.
This also stands as a good alternative to Steam Deck if you have a big budget, with a price tag of $1,259.
It’s equipped with an Intel CPU (Intel Core i7-1195G7) processor, which is also a very powerful processor.
It has some features similar to that of AYANEO 2, with highly integrated graphics, comfortable to hold for gaming sessions, and durable battery life performance.
Nintendo Switch is a good competitor to the Steam Deck, as it consists of an OLED model and a joy-con controller.
If you have a low budget, then Nintendo Switch has a price of $284.00 and has an extensive game library of its Nintendo Switch System.
There’s a wide range of retro games that you can easily play, giving a seamless gaming experience.
It takes into account the need for good ergonomics, compact size, and versatility and enhances flexibility, so it can be your best bet at a low price!
- Gaming has become a very popular socially cultured facet in modern-day society and is played in many forms, such as handheld emulators.
- Steam Deck is quite a center of attraction for a huge audience of gamers but comes up with many of its demerits.
- Steam Deck has a poorer battery performance, as it cannot last for a longer time during heavy game sessions. Its battery drains quickly, the screen resolution isn’t as up to the mark as was anticipated, and it’s bulky in size. This results in decreased portability and difficulty in handling long gaming sessions, along with compatibility and software bugs.
- There are many alternatives to Steam Deck that offer better features and overcome the shortcomings associated with Steam Deck; some of them are Logitech G Cloud, AYANEO 2, OneXPlayer Mini, and Nintendo Switch.