Portable gaming

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#1
In the past portable gaming were largely about people playing on their phone or people using their nintendo switch. Both of these options are pretty bad.

Lately PC portables have improved very significantly with the steam deck being a being a good option relative to the price (compared to the current competition).



 

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#2
The case against portable gaming
Being able to spend a lot of time playing videogames is kinda a luxery. Most people have to focus on more important stuff than videogames.

And when you finally have time to play some game why not get a good experience by using a proper desktop computer?

The PC handhelds are all limited to just 60hz which will not provide a particularly great experience.

Most handhends lack input required for precise aiming, only the steam deck has a gyro (in addition to the trackpads). It's unfortunate that the steam deck has limited storage options and poor screen resolution.
 

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#3
The nintendo switch sucks
It has poor performance and poor quality in general. The hardware was weak in 2017 and that's 5 years ago now, this isn't aging well.


You can just emulate the exclusives on PC and generally get a better experience.

u/YeetLemur wrote:

The Switch sucks. I'm selling the Switch and getting a PS5.

The Switch sucks. The online sucks, because the connection is always laggy with its P2P connection. Portable play doesn't matter anymore since now you can stream AAA games to your phone. The Wii U had a better virtual console library than the Switch's online service games. Literally almost everything I play is either a ports or a indie games.

The only thing the Switch has going for it is their exclusives. And guess what? Mario isn't unqiue, their are a bunch of studios making platformers just like it. Metroid on the Switch is non-existent on the Switch until Prime 4 releases, and there's literally a whole genre of indie games that are just like Metroid that I can play on all console and PC instead of getting Prime 4. Pokemon sucks, r/pokemon can explain why. Mario Kart is the same as pretty much any other kart games. And tons of other games have a better competitive scenes than Smash Bros and Splatoon. A ton of good IPs are getting ignored such as F-Zero, Star Fox, and Golden Sun. The only unique exclusive they have is Zelda.

As a dude that buys consoles for the games, the PS5 and PS4 have way better games. The PS5 is getting Demon Souls, Horizon Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7, Spider Man Miles, Rachet and Clank, Stray, and more with all the amazing PS4 exclusives that I missed out on. They have a good online that just works with games that actually have a good competitive scene. They also have third parties that actually support it! Just the PS5 and PS4 exclusives make it worth buying though.

So once Zelda BotW2 releases and I finish playing it, I'll sell my Switch to finally try some PS5 and PS4 exclusives. I hope this post doesn't get removed as I know the mods don't like certain types of criticism when talking about the Switch.

An added note: I've owned all Nintendo consoles since the Nintendo DS/Wii. I've even played and loved some of the older games too, especially from the SNES era. I've never owned a Playstation in my life, but I really want to try some of the PS4 and PS5 games.
 

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#4
The battery-life issue
Unfortunately even today batteries are very limited. The steam deck is draw just 15w as standard and still the battery-life isn't great.

As comparison the 3080 draws around 320W which is over 20 times more than the steam deck.

Having less than 5% of the power available to desktop computers will make it very difficult to get any great performance. This is why the steam deck resolution is just 800*1280 at 60hz, the GPU is simply too weak for anything higher in many titles.

Onexplayer2: 65.5 Wh
Onexplayer: 59 Wh
GPD win max 2021: 57Wh
Ayaneo: 47 Wh
Ayaneo next: 47 Wh
GPD Win 3: 47 Wh
One Gx1 Pro: 47 Wh
Onexplayer mini: 40.25Wh
Steam deck: 40Wh

 

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#5
Why you probably shouldn't pre-order a steam-deck
The big issue with ordering a product to buy in the future is that while you are waiting for your product the competition will improve and when you finally got what you paid for it might no longer be particularly great relative to the competition. the AOKZOE is just one example of competing product being delivered that may offer a superior gaming experience.

The handheld PC concept isn't something new. The issue now as in the past is that the current technology is too limited to make it into a great experience (which is why most serious manufacturers didn't even try).

The steam deck only offers a resolution of at 1280*800 and the screen goes no higher than 60hz, that's not a particularly great gaming experience. I personally avoid playing games where i cannot get at least 100fps. Already there is competition in the handheld PC space offering superior resolutions (up to 2560*1600).

No steam deck model offers any more than 512 GB of internal fast storage which isn't even close to good enough and no the option to upgrade by buying a slow SD-card is not a great option either. Here the competition is already ahead with 1TB and 2TB models.

Edit: you might be able to buy the cheapest model and then upgrade the storage yourself.

Then there is the general battery life issue, if you are going to preserve battery then you end up having to drop performance even lower (15W is already limited enough).

Then there is the issue of some games not working properly (some not even starting due to using linux).


I do expect PC handhelds and linux for gaming to improve over time, it's very likely that 120hz handhelds will come in the future which will be a huge improvements in terms of how the game flows. Don't listen to steamdeck fanboys trying to claim that 60hz is just fine, it's not, it's really bad.

While valve like to paint themselves as pro-consumers the reality is a bit different from that.

videogameschronicle.com/news/valve-and-5-steam-publishers-have-been-fined-e7-8-million-for-anti-consumer-practices/

Vavle refused to provide refunds until they lost in court. In-addition most of the games they sell feature intrusive DRM (such as terrible always online drm for single-player games) to the point where you are better off just pirating the game.
 

Creamer

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#6
the switch is very fun, much more than PC games, awesome games and a dedicated device
play anywhere, and with friends

much cheaper than freemium mobile games.

with PCs it's too much hustle : find games, download heavy files, check for viruses, sort the windows, change the settings
install, uninstall, switch between programs, get friends to join online

the joy cons, hori arcade joycon are very comfy no need for gaming keyboard, mouse and special joysticks

by the way @Admin describe your gaming set up
 

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#7
by the way @Admin describe your gaming set up
Currently i have a 1060 3GB, ryzen 5 3600, acer 271hu 165hz monitor (ips).

I might get a better GPU (probably 3090) now when prices has dropped.

Samsung 980 pro 2TB SSD (windows).
Samsung 860 evo 2TB SSD (linux).
32 GB ram.
 

Creamer

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#8
Currently i have a 1060 3GB, ryzen 5 3600, acer 271hu 165hz monitor (ips).

I might get a better GPU (probably 3090) now when prices has dropped.

Samsung 980 pro 2TB SSD (windows).
Samsung 860 evo 2TB SSD (linux).
32 GB ram.
that's a lot of power ngl
 

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#9
Onexplayer 2
Better battery and 4x the resolution of the steam deck. Unfortunately the screen is still limited to 60hz and doesn't support variable refresh rate. The standard controls also doesn't seem very good.

The detachable controllers cannot be used alone, they need to be attached to something to be usable.


 

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#10
Ayaneo 2
It has a 1920*1200 screen which should be ok for gaming. It seems to have much better build-in controllers than the onexplayer.

Unfortunately the screen is limited to 60hz and the battery is just 50.25 Wh.

It's also very pricey at over 1000$ which is a bit much given its mediocre specs.

https://droix.net/product/ayaneo-2/
 

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#11
The ROG ally might be the first good handheld
This was shown april 1 so a lot of people assumed it was some april fools prank done by asus. There was however no real indication that it wouldn't become a real product. It makes perfekt sense for asus to try to beat the steam deck so it wouldn't be surprising to see to release something much better than the steam deck this year.

Finally we might be able to get a handheld with a 120hz screen. We have been waiting for it.


1080p is a decent compromise for portable gaming, sure 1440p is better if your GPU can handle it but since portable handhelds like these have weak GPUs you cannot actually take good utlization of a 1440p screen currently when gaming.

Main issues i see with the rog ally is only having 16GiB of ram and the limited 40Wh battery.
 

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#12
it seems you consistently don't factor in the actual games a console brings with it and put all importance on performance and specs.

the PS5 for example compared to the nintendo switch sucks ass because all it's games are movies or grind.
With PC gaming specs are the main difference since a PC should be able to play most games regardless of brand.

You can currently emulate all nintendo consoles, sony consoles up to PS3 & vita, microsoft consoles up to xbox 360, etc.

Better hardware does allow for better emulation with PS3 emulation in particular being hardware dependent.

Exclusives is one way to push people towards buying sub-par hardware but luckily in the case of switch emulation for better performance than the original console is already available so you don't have to put up with the shit hardware offered by nintendo.

The situation is different with PS5 sine then due to the restrictive OS you are limited in how you can use the hardware you paid for so your experience will be worse than if you had got a PC with the same specs.
 

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#13
Why the steam-deck should count as a console
The last traditional console where the game actually had full access to the hardware was the wii, when you ran a wii game it could use all the ram the system had, all the CPU power, all the GPU power.

This helped the wii against the much more powerful competing consoles, not enough to eliminate the gap obviously but if the wii also had to run an operating system while running games the situation would have been a lot worse.

Modern consoles instead have rather wasteful operating system that does eat up resources while games are played. The steam deck is probably a lot better than PS4, PS5, xbox one, xbox series X, etc in that regard in that it doesn't eat up nearly as much ram and doesn't reserve any cores specifically for the operating system.

Modern consoles are basically locked down PCs with operating systems optimized specifically for gaming. With the steam deck you at least have the option to install some other operating system if you want.

btw: sony originally allowed people to install linux on PS3 only to later update their system to block that.

Of course consoles should also have standardized hardware so it's easy for developers to specifically support said hardware and the steam deck does satisfy that since the different versions of the steam deck only differ in terms of storage and the screen.

While developers tend to not do much if anything to optimize games specifically for the steam deck one advantage you still get is precompiled shaders allowing you to more seamlessly install games to the hardware. Sharing pre-compiled shaders has been a feature of the Linux Steam client for ages. The Deck just benefits from all those users having the same hardware, so the hardware overlap is much greater than you'd expect from random user machines, and it's hardware that Valve definitely have access to.

The steam deck does try (and partly succeed) in delivering the good aspects of console gaming without the bad).

If console stops meaning (device with a super-restrictive OS preventing you from freely installing programs or installing a new OS that would be a step in the right direction.

btw: xbox consoles actually have a developer mode giving more freedoms but it's still rather restrictive and unpractical to use.

If this development continues we might see consoles evolving yet again

Type0: no operating system and allowing anyone to make a game for it.
Type1: No operating system but games needing approval of the console maker
Type2: Having an operating system run only when no game is played. Games needing to be approved by the console maker.
Type3: The console constantly runs a highly restrictive operating system but it also lets the user install some other operating system.
Type4: The console constantly runs a restrictive operating system and does not allow the installment of some other operating system
Type5: The console runs an operating system giving people freedoms in addition to allowing people to install some other operating system.
Type6: The console runs a semi-free operating system and does allow any other operating system to be installed.

What's common is that consoles are made specifically for gaming and have hardware and user-interface to facilitate that.
 

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#14
Rog ally: good screen but disappointing performance
There has been a lot of hype behind the AMD 7840u but when we finally saw the actual performance of the rog ally it wasn't that great.


Their software also weren't that great.
 

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#15
ElAnalistaDeBits: ROG ally destroys the steam deck
Their comparison showed the rog ally to utterly demolish the steam deck usually delivering higher FPS at 1080p than what steam deck delivers at 1280*800

 

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#16
The new steamdeck OLED is a big improvement
The more expensive steamdecks were basically scams before since it was cheaper and much better to just buy extra storage yourself but now when you pay more you at least get a decent screen. Still resolution and framerate is bad but you do get 25% better battery in addition to better colors and a larger screen.

The 512GB model might now be the go-to option.

1699823717553.png


Unfortunately the new higher prices puts it a lot closer to the ROG ally so even though the more expensive options are now better it's still a bit questionable.

Even better it turns out that the max refresh-rate was updated to 90hz which is a massive improvement over 60 when you actually reach that.
 
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