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The Steam Deck hit me over the head with feelings of nostalgia

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Something happened to me recently while playing the Steam Deck that I felt the need to share with you.

The Steam Deck may be a modern device but it's been giving me a very heavy dose of nostalgia recently. No, it's not because it's a great machine for emulation, which I've done very little of so far because so many amazing modern games work but for something totally different.

Here's something it reminds me of: I grew up with the likes of the Game Boy. In fact, I originally had the Game Boy Pocket, the one you could see through the case and get a look at the insides. I used to stay up far too late playing Pokémon Yellow, with one of those terrible bulky light and magnifier attachments which had quite a bit of weight to it with the batteries inside. To me, the Steam Deck is bringing back memories of that. As weird as it might be to say from a modern device, the injection of nostalgia I've been getting has been quite wonderful.

Another favourite of mine was the Sega Mega Drive, also known as the Genesis. Another I stayed up late with playing through various versions of Sonic, Gunstar Heroes, Altered Beast and a great many more. Ah, the days of grabbing a box that contained more than one game on the cartridge — what an exciting time that was to be alive.

In my recent two month video (and touched on with the long chat between myself and YouTubers Jason, Gardiner and Nick), I mentioned how the Steam Deck freed me from my desk and how I enjoyed taking the Steam Deck to my sofa to chill-out with but it's a lot more than that.

The suspend feature, and how smooth it is, has become a true life saver. Slightly hyperbolic of course, this isn't life or death, but a fantastic bit of convenience. Being able to get a quick 20 or 30 minutes here and there between things, to just tap the power button and come back to the exact same spot later with hardly any battery drain is pure joy.

All these feelings of nostalgia just suddenly came rushing in recently, as I sat in bed tucked up with my Steam Deck one night playing games, I truly realised how far we've come with the tech and it's simply incredible. What Valve has done here is give us a device we can play our favourites from early console generations to some of the latest AAA games.

It's such a nerdy device but even so, I really hope it gains mass appeal for how versatile it is.

A brilliant comment I saw on one of my previous videos said to the effect of: it's my glass slipper that fits. That felt like a pretty fun comparison and I love it.

If you wish to hear me talk about this on video with the soothing visuals of the classic Gunstar Heroes played on a Steam Deck with RetroArch, check it below:

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Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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18 comments
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dubigrasu 5 Apr
I don't really need such device and I've been stubbornly refuse to give in to FOMO and get one, but lately I feel that I may lose and just do it.
I expected and hoped to see the Deck well received, but the public response was out of this world, is like is magic. Is maybe the most buggy device released in the recent years, and yet, people are out of their minds about it.
I must get one and find out what's going on.
const 5 Apr
Quoting: dubigrasuI don't really need such device and I've been stubbornly refuse to give in to FOMO and get one, but lately I feel that I may lose and just do it.
I expected and hoped to see the Deck well received, but the public response was out of this world, is like is magic. Is maybe the most buggy device released in the recent years, and yet, people are out of their minds about it.
I must get one and find out what's going on.

Bugs are mostly in SteamUI and that's mostly in the background. 99.9% of the time you use your deck, it's pure epic gaming. No second window distracting you, no hassles. Select a game, maybe adjust fps, play. Stop gaming for any reason and it goes out of your way. You don't fiddle with saving or closing the game. You just hit one button and that's damn reliable.
There's one kind of people who shouldn't get a deck yet and that's those that can't get over something not working right now. If that occurrs, you should just switch to another game and forget it. The deck actually makes that super easy.
As Liam said, you basically have 5 decades of gaming available to you. Anytime, anywhere.
jordicoma 5 Apr
Quoting: constAs Liam said, you basically have 5 decades of gaming available to you. Anytime, anywhere.
5 Decades of gaming? How about dos games? Or games with heavy use of keyboard?
I supose you have a virtual keyboard, but I don't think it's ideal.
It seems that the keys get mapped. Controller->keyboard, and then you can configure per game, but it seems limiting for some games.


Last edited by jordicoma on 5 April 2022 at 3:22 pm UTC
chowder 5 Apr
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Most people forget how far technology has come including me. A lot of hours have gone into each little piece of tech we use from the little motor in your phone for vibration, to the digitizers over your touchscreen, and especially software. People expect so much anymore and don't stop to remember what it takes to deliver such products. Value has done a wonderful job especially for the price point.
Liam Dawe 5 Apr
Quoting: jordicoma
Quoting: constAs Liam said, you basically have 5 decades of gaming available to you. Anytime, anywhere.
5 Decades of gaming? How about dos games? Or games with heavy use of keyboard?
I supose you have a virtual keyboard, but I don't think it's ideal.
It seems that the keys get mapped. Controller->keyboard, and then you can configure per game, but it seems limiting for some games.
Just like some PC games, not everything can translate well with a controller. However, it IS a PC as well, with the ability to plug in a keyboard and then there's the desktop mode too. Part of my point on how versatile it is, while still being primarily a handheld.
const 5 Apr
Quoting: jordicoma
Quoting: constAs Liam said, you basically have 5 decades of gaming available to you. Anytime, anywhere.
5 Decades of gaming? How about dos games? Or games with heavy use of keyboard?
I supose you have a virtual keyboard, but I don't think it's ideal.
It seems that the keys get mapped. Controller->keyboard, and then you can configure per game, but it seems limiting for some games.

There are games from all decades that translate well and those that don't. Decks controls are very versatile and you can reach a lot with action layers, yet it's your time and your decision what you want to do with it.
I really think there will be a lot of community effort into making more games enjoyable with super ambitious controller profiles and guides, but that will take some time. When you hold this thing in your hands and have all these games available, you don't really want to stop gaming to tinker. You want to enjoy games that run well.
There are so many deck related projects I want to tackle, but not now. :D

The scope has already broadened a lot with the trackpad keyboard. There are things that could still improve it - like function keys, a transparent or even blind typing mode (I really think that's feasible with a little overlay that shows the currently hovered keys), yet this is already the best touch keyboard I have ever used.


Last edited by const on 5 April 2022 at 4:33 pm UTC
toor 5 Apr
Very nice to read that it brings you joy Liam. I'm sure it will for me too x) *can't wait* I'm Q2 and excited about Mondays now, it's not just the end of the weekend anymore x)


Last edited by toor on 5 April 2022 at 4:46 pm UTC
kokoko3k 5 Apr
Keep up the fun!
Vishar 5 Apr
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: jordicoma
Quoting: constAs Liam said, you basically have 5 decades of gaming available to you. Anytime, anywhere.
5 Decades of gaming? How about dos games? Or games with heavy use of keyboard?
I supose you have a virtual keyboard, but I don't think it's ideal.
It seems that the keys get mapped. Controller->keyboard, and then you can configure per game, but it seems limiting for some games.
Just like some PC games, not everything can translate well with a controller. However, it IS a PC as well, with the ability to plug in a keyboard and then there's the desktop mode too. Part of my point on how versatile it is, while still being primarily a handheld.

Liam did you try connect your deck to keyboard and 1080 display and try some game in desktop mode at 'big' screen?
what are deck performance when gaming when switching from 7' display to 22' or 30' (or similar)


Last edited by Vishar on 5 April 2022 at 6:48 pm UTC
popsulfr 5 Apr
I've been fiddling a looooot with my Steam Deck since I got it. The whole reservation thing and launch of the Steam Deck felt a lot like the launch of the original Raspberry Pi for me. I felt the same excitement and giddiness all over again.

From all the previews, technical overviews and having followed Valve's linux gaming adventures, I knew what I was getting into and still... even then I was blown away when I got it in my hands.

This device is a huge deal for gaming and pushing openness in software and hardware.
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