Valve’s Steam Deck has garnered a lot of attention since it was announced. A portable PC that plays Windows games is just what many have been asking for. While its list of features seem impressive, there is one thing that worried some people; it doesn’t look all that easy to hold.
The d-pad and face buttons are tucked a bit deep into the top corners, with the thumbsticks placed a bit toward the interior and at the same height. While looking at images of the console and judging is one thing, one YouTuber decided to get an actual feel of it.
YouTube channel Handheld Obsession decided to take the Steam Deck’s ergonomics to the test by 3D printing the console’s shell. While the host did not seem to have too much trouble with the locations of the thumbsticks and the d-pad, the B button was the primary pain point. The button is a bit too far to the right and pressing it could be impaired due to the right shoulder button.
The other problem that the host points out is the locations of the trackpads. They seem to be a bit too low, making them slightly difficult to use while also using the shoulder buttons. You’d have to bend your thumb in an unnatural way, or readjust your grip to use it properly.
Lastly, they also mention that the built-in grip on the Steam Deck makes it easier to hold than the Nintendo Switch, but holding it too tight may be an issue due to the buttons on the back. It must be noted that you might face different issues depending on the size of your palm, but the comparison the video makes to the Switch puts into perspective how much bigger the Steam Deck really is.
Call it a portable PC or a console, Valve’s device certainly has some interesting features. One of the most intriguing ones we recently learnt about was that the device’s SD card acts as a portable Steam library if you take it out. As of now, you need to load games to the SD card via the Deck, but Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais talked about how this could change in the future with preloaded SD cards.
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