Nintendo has currently got handheld gaming on lockdown. In fact, it’s fair to say that the Japanese games company has had handheld gaming on lockdown ever since the first Game Boy was debuted, which was way back in 1989. Since then, they have released several other models of the Game Boy, including the Colour and Advance, and then later they released their DS line of handheld games consoles. In that time, they have managed to sell a staggering 429.9 million handhelds.
When they released their latest console, in 2017, it completely revolutionised the handheld gaming world. The Nintendo Switch is an integrated home console with powerful features, that also amazingly doubles as a handheld that can be used on the move. This completely blew open everyone’s idea of what a games console could be, and it has become hugely popular, with Nintendo selling 84.59 million of the machine so far. It seems that now, however, Nintendo is finally going to have some more competition, as a mammoth games company, Valve, have just announced their plans to release a new console that follow in the footsteps of the Switch.
Steam on the Go
Valve is famous for releasing seminal games such as Half-Life 1+2, and Portal 1 + 2, plus for owning the video game digital distribution service called Steam, which was first launched in 2003, and has gone on to totally transform PC gaming. It allows users to download thousands of games without having to buy a physical copy, and also allows independent developers to have a platform to sell their products. It has long been rumoured that they were going to make the move into producing a games console, and that has now been confirmed with their release of details of The Steam Deck.
The console will be released in December 2021 for the US, Canada, EU, and the UK, whilst other regions will get it just after, in 2022. The retail price is set at $399, so it is pricey for a handheld, but they obviously feel that they have enough to offer the consumer to go for one so high. The reaction to the announcement has been, overall, positive, so they could just be right about that. However, some harsh critics have bashed The Steam Deck as the Switch without the magic. The machine will run a modified version of Valve’s SteamOS, featuring a console-like graphics’ interface and will have a 7-inch LCD screen that has touch usage. It will also be able to be docked, and output to a TV or monitor by its USB Type-C port, which will enable the owner to use the console, both as a handheld, and as a basically fully functioning desktop PC.
Something for the Grown-Ups
Valve’s foray into handheld gaming will be great for people who prefer a more grown-up ideal to their games, as the Nintendo output, whilst obviously being hugely acclaimed and loved, can feel a little bit more geared to kids. There are already some choices for adults, as mobile gaming has become much more popular, as smartphones have surged in usage throughout the last decade, and there are a few games on that platform that are designed with adults in mind. They tend to be mobile phone ports of console games, such as Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and This War of Mine.
Another current market in handheld gaming is the betting apps, and the ability to use online-based mobile casinos. Websites such as Casinos.co.za have cornered the market at bringing their users a comprehensive list of the best mobile casino offers for South African based players. They also have all the greatest free-spins deals and sign-up bonuses, so lovers of gambling can play their favourite casino games wherever, and know that their money is going that bit further.
Yet, it’s clear that The Steam Deck will revolutionise handheld consoles for a whole new crowd and allow gamers that want darker toned and grown-up games to enjoy gaming on the go. It will be interesting to see if Valve can truly challenge Nintendo for the handheld crown, or if they will crash and burn and fall to the wayside like so many competitors have done taking on Mario’s owners.