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The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School

The Wrangler

The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School

The Wrangler

Steam Deck: Is It Worth the Buy?

Milo Martinson
Popular gaming site Steam has its own console… but is it worth the price?

Any gamer is familiar with Steam, a popular platform for buying, selling, and advertising games. But only some know that Steam makes their own gaming console, the Steam Deck. Gamers and discord mods alike flock to bask in its glory, only to realize $400-$600 is a bit out of their price range. So, what is the Steam Deck? How is it different from its competitors? And most importantly, is it worth the insane price tag attached to it?

The Steam Deck is a handheld gaming computer developed by Valve and released on February 25, 2022. The device uses Valve’s Linux distribution SteamOS, incorporating the namesake Steam storefront. In layman’s terms, it’s a switch that runs software meant for computers. For gamers who prefer a more mobile option or use controllers more than keyboards, this is a gift from the heavens above. With the newly released OLED option, gamers can have the standard Deck or a Deck with ample storage and emphasis on graphics (adding a few hundred bucks to the original price). 

The difference between the Steam Deck and other handheld consoles is the quality and content. One major comparison is between the Deck and the Nintendo Switch. Being one of the first consoles to revolutionize handhelds, it makes sense why the Switch is often brought up when discussing the Deck. The main difference between the two is the differing platforms and content. For example, the Switch exclusively has Nintendo games, while the Deck has Steam games. As a gamer, I’m fully aware that anything can be overridden with the right amount of code, patience, and determination, but this refers to each console’s basic function/intended use. Another comparison is to off-brand handheld computers. While they may be cheaper, the quality difference is felt very strongly. The only thing I can say about that is… you get what you pay for!

I can honestly code my games to work however I want them to when it comes to using a keyboard, so I guess I don’t see the necessity of a handheld version.

— Ethan Verdugo (12)

Here comes the big question… is this console really worth the amount of money it’s being sold for? Simple answer: it depends. If you want a more immersive experience with certain games, it’s absolutely worth the dent in your wallet. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying playing my favorite games without the hand cramps that come with the complicated keyboard controls. My stepdad, who has been relishing in the beauty of the OLED since he gifted me his old Deck, would probably bet on my life that it’s worth the buy. The Steam Deck would probably be unnecessary for those who have no problem using their PC for their favorite games. “I never understood that,” shares Ethan Verdugo (12), avid gamer and master of all things modding, “I can honestly code my games to work however I want them to when it comes to using a keyboard, so I guess I don’t see the necessity of a handheld version. Although, I do admit it’s really cool looking.” Remember that not all games are programmed to be played on a handheld device, so you might get a better experience without one! 

When it comes down to it, any purchase is up to the buyer’s personal needs and interests. I know plenty of people who protect their Steam Deck as if it were their child, while others could care less as long as they have their PC. However, you can’t deny that having one is pretty cool.

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About the Contributor
Milo Martinson
Milo Martinson, Photojournalist
Milo Martinson is a senior at Yorba Linda High School and she’s so excited to continue her journey as a Wrangler staff member! As she begins her second year as a photojournalist, she has so many exciting ideas to share with the world. Some of Milo’s favorite things include fascinating books, silly cats, and indie films. When she isn’t writing for The Wrangler, you can find Milo spending time with her family, cuddling with her cats, volunteering at animal shelters, or working as a swim instructor! Milo is passionate about making the world a better place. She wants to pursue a career in child development so she can provide extra support to children who need it! Things that make Milo the happiest are her little sisters, the smell of rain, and writing new articles for The Wrangler!

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