The Steam Deck Has Made Me Play More Games, and I’m Lovin It

In Short
  • As I sat inside my hotel room playing games on the Steam Deck, I realized I've used it more often than my actual gaming PC.
  • There are plenty of reasons for it. However, the biggest one has to be the absolute comfiness the handheld brings to the table.
  • Furthermore, the Deck's PC architecture helped me install games from the PS2 era and relive my childhood all over again.

Two weeks ago, I was ready to go on a long-awaited vacation. As someone with a short attention span, I always dread the downtime between journeys. Can I look out the window and enjoy the view? Yes, but since I’m a gamer, that’s not possible. Fortunately, I also own the Steam Deck, Valve’s perfect offering for gamers on the go.

Like any bored gamer, I booted up the Steam Deck and started checking my Steam library, which is chock full of 800+ games. However, as I sat in the train scrolling through titles I hadn’t touched, I realized I had started playing more games on my Steam Deck than on my gaming PC. As a chronic gamer, this seemed odd and interesting at once. But when did this change occur, and why? Bear with me as I talk about that.

Comfy Handheld Gaming? Steam Deck Understands

a picture of Sampad sitting and playing the game Metal Gear Solid on his Steam Deck

While the realization of using the Steam Deck more hit just now, this isn’t my first run-in with handheld gaming. I have always been a portable gamer. Even back when it was a novelty, I owned three PSPs over the years. And do you remember the Nintendo DS Lite? I had that, too.

Being a bored kid, I used to pull out handhelds and get lost in the worlds of Pokemon or Monster Hunter. Besides the fun I had, I always appreciated the comfiness handhelds brought as they let me enjoy my favorite hobby whenever I wanted. Well, it has been more than a decade since then, and thankfully, nothing has changed. Well, almost nothing, anyway. Sure, the Steam Deck packs a whole lot more power than a PSP, but it still retains the exact level of comfiness.

This carried over to my latest vacation. Whether I was sitting bored on a six-hour train journey or in a hotel room I refused to leave, the Steam Deck was always with me and helped me pass the time. Complimenting all that, of course, was my vast library, which I played a lot of for once.

The Steam Deck also brings the same level of convenience to my personal life. My work and primary gaming system are the same. As such, after nine hours of being stuck on the same screen, I just can’t be bothered to game on it, too. So what do I do?

I lie down on my bed and boot up the Steam Deck. Even though the console cannot run everything at maximum settings, I take that as a plus and experiment with games instead. Just being on the Steam Deck has helped me discover games I never played before.

The Steam Deck’s Biggest Trump Card Is the System Itself

Steam deck on backgroun

Handhelds like the PSP were amazing for their time. However, like the PS5, they had a closed ecosystem that locked me in. The Steam Deck has the advantage of being a PC on wheels. Being a solid, full-fledged Linux system, it can practically run most of the available emulators. This includes emulators that can run PS2, Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo DS, and many more.

However, the Steam Deck has the advantage of being a PC on wheels.

Naturally, emulators essentially double the number of games available on the Deck. And that’s exactly what happened to me. Tons of titles from the PS2 era, like Natsuyasumi, Onimusha, and many more, were on offer. Since the Steam Deck can run these well without any problems, I went out of my way to set them up and start emulating them.

Because of Steam Deck’s versatility and options, I’ve sought out more games I could never play as a kid. Pairing it with a handheld system, on which I frequently play, naturally meant more gaming on my end.

Ultimately, I think we will agree that the handheld PC market has grown affordable and versatile over the years. Besides the Steam Deck, a plethora of options, such as the Asus ROG Ally (review), Lenovo Legion GO, and even the AyaNeos, exist, which widen the market even more.

However, after spending a lot of time smashing the hell out of my enemies on the Steam Deck, I can confidently say it has helped me play more games. So, if nothing else, my Steam game library finally has more uses than sitting dormant for once.

Any fellow Steam Deck users out there? What are your favorite games to play on it? Let us know in the comments below.

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