I am a friend of Plato, but a friend of the truth. This quote, normally attributed to Aristotle, today he has a new reading for me: no matter how much love he has for my Nintendo Switch and all those good times he has given me, that they are outrageous, it is undeniable that there are aspects that the recently presented Steam Deck of Valve that have left in complete evidence to the Nintendo console. And that can change.
Sony has left behind the laptops. The PlayStation seal redouble your positions on PS5 while landing shyly on PC. For its part, with Xbox Cloud Gaming Microsoft itself no longer needs a system to play with on the go. With that scenario, it seemed that Switch would dominate without complications the always juicy market for handheld consoles. And not only that: the new Nintendo Switch OLED would be the key impetus to exceed the goal of the 100 million consoles sold.
Now, that the long-awaited new Nintendo Switch model was more of an edition with a better OLED screen and updated design, but with the same hardware, was a decision that, for a change, caused a grimace among those who reasonably expected the arrival of news, improvements or incentives to get hold of it.
Coincidence or not, hours before the reservations of the new Nintendo Switch Valve model open threw the bomb: Steam Deck would be its own two-in-one system (portable and desktop), and the most striking thing of all is that it is possible to find almost all the demands and improvements we expected to find on the new Nintendo console: better hardware, more autonomy, an internal chat system … What’s going on here?
Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch OLED model, an inevitable comparison
They say the comparisons are hateful, but it’s hard to understand the gaming experience it offers Steam Deck through your design without referring to what we have already internalized
The biggest advantage of Steam Deck is that you won’t have to pay again for the games you bought ten years ago. In case you buy them on Steam, of course. Once you turn on the console you will have access to your Steam library. Since Skyrim and the DOOM classic a DOOM Eternal, going through essential indies like DID, Hades O LIMBO. Games that, by the way, are also played on Switch.
The second biggest advantage, and this is already a direct hit against the Nintendo console, is its way of implementing Steam’s greatest asset: community. You just have to take a brief look at its interface in motion to realize everything that, in an unjustified way, not offered on Switch. Or it is offered with many limitations.
We refer to a dynamic text chat, an efficient cloud save system or a store that, to date, remains the best model to emulate. Not only because of Valve’s accumulated experience in the field of digital games, but also because of the presence and importance of the gaming community itself in the showcase from the brutal Steam gaming platform.
Although, both systems offer seven-inch touchscreens (with just a little more resolution in the case of Steam Deck and better color and contrast in the case of the OLED model Switch), their philosophies are very different:
- The bet for a Linux system optimized for Valve’s portable gaming exponentially multiplies the possibilities for anyone who wants to investigate with the system. What’s more, Valve seems to have little qualms about using the Steam Deck hardware as if it were a computer.
- While the Nintendo Switch web browser is not even enabled. It appears in case we need to make an external consultation of a game such as, for example, the online manuals of SEGA classics. And that, in addition to being an absurd task, prevents the entry of services such as Netflix or the Xbox Game Pass.
With that said, and in the absence of putting the glove on Valve’s console, the Nintendo Switch voice chat system It is made of fireworks. So what there are solutions. Especially when bestsellers of astronomical quantities like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, games like Fortnite Y Overwatch or the future Splatoon 3 They should make it a top priority. Titles that, by the way, they will be absent from the Steam console.
Beyond their similarities (starting with the charging stations) and the notable differences in hardware and philosophies, there are specific aspects that make them unique as consoles:
- The Steam Deck design innovates with a double control fan in which our two thumbs will have access to a button cross, a stick and a trackpad
- While Nintendo renews with the OLED model its commitment to the Joy Cons. Although these will be the same as the previous models. Which is both good and bad, and the Big N is fully aware of it.
Mini-controls full of magic and possibilities that, unfortunately, they are not being sufficiently taken advantage of.
Once again, Nintendo’s promising future lies not in its hardware, but in its games.
To say that Nintendo does not measure itself against the other greats is a half truth. Definitely, the Big N has its own way of approaching the video game industry and He has been sitting in the chair for decades on how to do things right. But that does not mean that it has also had to adapt to the times. Sometimes at absurdly forced marches.
In many cases, it can be said that it has taken too long and not always in the best way. The Switch is Nintendo’s first console without a regional lock, and in fairness, Nintendo’s online service has ample room for improvement.
On the other hand, that the Nintendo Switch eShop did not include entertainment apps como Netflix (although it is possible watch YouTube) has served to establish its character and identity as a console and gives all the prominence to its greatest appeal: their games. Because the Mario saga, The Legend of Zelda or the incombustible Pokémon phenomenon are some of the great pillars on which the success of the Nintendo console is sustained. An overwhelming success.
That there is no Twitch app on Nintendo Switch or a way simple of sharing our games on the internet in the middle of 2021, and with the brutal force of content dedicated to video games, it has not been an obstacle to outrageous figures.
That said, with a Switch already very well established and that, of course, you have to measure your hardware and software (but not your games) with the Steam Deck, a golden opportunity opens up: consider what is not being offered to your users
- We refer to give more prominence and use to some Joy Cons that, since the launch of Nintendo Switch Lite, have lost a notable role. Games like Super Mario Party, Ring Fit Adventure O Just Dance they are examples to follow. And we keep dreaming of a new Wii Sports.
- The return of the exclusive sagas, led by la secuela de Breath of the Wild Y Metroid Prime 4 or the referral Splatoon 3. The overwhelming sellers of Nintendo consoles.
- New opportunities for the great classics. Titles, like Skyward Sword HD, they deserve a new chance to shine. But also the outstanding catalog of Wii U and classic consoles. The new treatment of Link’s Awakening It’s a blast and Deluxe New releases Super Mario Bros. IN, Captain Toad O Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze obligatory appointments.
- New and experimental ideas with which to continue unleashing the player’s creativity. From the sets of Nintendo Lab a Video Game Studio, passing by Mario Kart Live. Among others.
- Last but not least, the guarantee of offering an extra confidence to the general public. Not through a Nintendo Seal of Quality that does not make much sense today, but through a brand that is fully recognizable for entire generations of gamers around the world.
Of course, custom conversions for Nintendo Switch of absolutely must-have games like The Witcher III, the trilogy of Bioshock, Dragon Ball FighterZ O DOOM Eternal They should be measured in quality and performance with those of a Steam Deck that will not only have a hardware advantage, but also well wrapped in online functions, advantages of the Steam platform and even mods.
Steam Deck has its own advantagesOf course, to which we must add the incentive of being able to transfer our games and PC progress by saving in the cloud and the very aggressive -and irresistible- way of positioning the Steam sales.
That is, if I bought GTA V On a whim and at a ridiculous price on PC and I have played hundreds of hours, is it worth waiting for a possible custom version of Switch? Even if it doesn’t come at a novelty price? Valve’s console, perhaps, is the most appropriate answer and solution.
Will we see how Nintendo takes note of everything and adapts Switch and its future models to the new scenario that Steam Deck leaves us? Well, the reality is that no matter how impossible it may seem to see something as essential as a good voice and text chat system on Nintendo Switch, there are still more options for that to be a reality than to see a Half-Life 3. At least this year.