When Valve first announced the Steam Deck, many were delighted that they'd have a quality handheld PC. However, while most opinions compared it to a less powerful PC, there were a few that compared it to a more powerful Nintendo Switch. The Switch is unquestionably the most popular handheld gaming console in the market, so maybe it's not too farfetched to assume that some people could treat the Steam Deck as the Switch Pro they never got.
According to a recent tweet by the Steam Deck's official Twitter handle, that seems to be just the case (thanks PC Gamer). The tweet revealed the most played games on the Steam Deck in August, and 50 percent of them feature on the Nintendo Switch – namely Cult of the Lamb, Stardew Valley, Hades, Skyrim: Special Edition, and Monster Hunter Rise. These games were listed based on the number of hours played, so we know it's behavioural, and not based on sales.
What's perhaps stranger than that is the game that's on the number one spot, Vampire Survivors – which looks like it could run on a potato. Maybe it's due to the launch dates, but the fact that fairly small indie titles like Vampire Survivors and Cult of the Lamb take the first two spots could mean that people don't want to play sprawling triple-A games on the go.
If, according to you, this isn't the correct way to use the Steam Deck, people have been doing way more with it than just playing indie games. One tech wizard turned their Deck into the bottom screen for the Nintendo DS. GameXData rigged a monitor to the Deck, which acted as the primary screen, while the handheld's screen acted as the bottom screen, full with touch-screen capability. They did the same thing for the Nintendo Wii U, essentially turning the Steam Deck into a next-gen controller for the console.
Eventually, however, you'll be able to play your eight-bit indies on an even more powerful handheld. According to a Steam Deck introductory booklet in Asia, a new Steam Deck is coming "in the future" that will feature "improvements and iterations to hardware and software".
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