Valve is making it's way into the ring as the first big contender to challenge Nintendo as the king of handheld game systems. Having just announced that reservations are open for their new console called the Steam Deck, Valve has proved that they're bringing tech to the table that will very well be even better than the Switch. 

10) No more tangling yourself up in headphone wires

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It’s amazing that the Nintendo Switch doesn’t have the option to use bluetooth audio. Absolutely everything is wireless these days, so Steam Deck getting with the times and accomodating the use of wireless headphones is a big advantage. Making headphones that I have to untangle everytime I want to game obsolete is the best thing I could ask for.  

9) Chat capabilities

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Social butterflies will love the built in Steam Chat feature that accompanies the Steam application. The Switch doesn't compare in this regard, given the only options you have for communication there is voice chat that you can only use on some games. The Steam Deck will have voice chat capabilities as well as a built in chat system to keep in touch with friends and plan group ups. 

8) The Big Screen 

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What can I say? Bigger is better. It’s less than an inch larger than the Nintendo Switch's screen, but it makes all the difference. With greater visibility, it grants more accessibility for players that have a difficult time seeing on a smaller screen. When looking at resolution, the difference isn't that great, with the Steam deck at 1280 x 800px and the Switch at 1280 x 720, but it is still an improvement. 

7) More Buttons, More Options

With the Nintendo Switch you get the standard layout with buttons, including the d-pad, ABXY buttons, and the R and L buttons. The steam deck has those, while also featuring four grip buttons on the back of the device that can be bound to different games as needed! It can't be denied that these are useful, especially in games that were intended for the PC that will be able to run on the Steam Deck. 

6) Online Gameplay

In a time where online games are king, having innate connectivity for whatever games you’d like to play is a plus. Nintendo tends to avoid allowing online integration in many of their games, so it’ll be refreshing to have a device where there are no such limits. Some of the best video game experiences certainly come from being grouped up with friends, messing around and just having a good time. Being able to do so on the go is something you don't often think is possible outside of shooting pool or playing chess on your phone. 

5) Handheld Gaming PC

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To say the least, using a Steam Deck as a gaming PC is extremely affordable when you think of how much even the cheapest pre-made gaming PC will cost you. Being a portable computer itself is phenomenal, but also having the means to download PC software, hook it up to a monitor, and use it in the same way is a phenomenal function of the Steam Deck that the Switch can’t match.

4) Storage

The Nintendo Switch only comes with 32GB of built in storage, while the smallest option for the Steam Deck's storage comes with twice that at 64GB (along with options at 256GB and 512GB). While the minimum is still not much when you consider the size of the games you’ll have the capacity to play, it’s definitely better than the switch, and you can always add on some additional storage using SSD when needed

3) Trackpads

This one is a game changer for handheld gameplay. It'll provide accuracy almost unheard of for handhelds/consoles, and allows access to a lot more FPS games than the Switch ever could have even remotely considered. With as popular as the FPS market is, this is bound to bring in a larger audience than even Nintendo was able to pull in for the switch. 

2) Having Access to your Steam Library EVERYWHERE

The Steam Store provides a lot more variety than the games you can get in the Nintendo Store. Steam has over 54,000 titles available, in comparison to the 7,900 at hand in the Nintendo store. Some may say quality over quantity, but I’m all about having options. Understandably, the Steam Deck is bound to have some limitations, and it's likely that not all 54,000 titles will be compatible, but you're still bound to have a much larger selection.

1) Versatile UI

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The interface that's been established for the Steam Deck seems that it will be extremely easy to use and made with the player's needs in mind. You'll have everything you need at your fingertips including your library, the store, chat, and a universal search function that filters through each of these as needed. With the quick access function, you'll also be able to look at notifications, messages, and the time without having to exit out of whatever game you're playing.