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Comparison – Steam Deck vs. Nintendo Switch

The gaming industry has evolved a great deal in a short period and that meant more games and more gaming platforms like the Steam Deck. Portability is something many prefer either because of the smaller space it takes or to have it on you on the go. 

Now the whole idea with such a rich gaming industry is that more competition has arisen. Even the Steam Deck has come sometime later after the Nintendo switch. If you have not gotten in the loop as these two devices were launched, you might be thinking what is the difference? 

Aesthetic and design

Both these two portable consoles look very similar. A screen in the middle, joysticks to the right and left and all the necessary buttons. This button placement pretty much resembles your typical Xbox or Playstation controller. 

One noticeable difference between these two is that the console from steam has two touch pads. This feature is one that you will find very useful when navigating using a cursor. The Steam Deck is also larger, mainly because of its screen which is somewhat bigger than what the Switch has. 

A larger screen, and thus a larger console, translates to a chunky device. The Switch is a far skinnier device and this is a plus for many gamers. The size of the console can be a concern because you want to be able to hold it comfortably. 

The switch is very comfortable as per its smaller frame which is undeniable. Even with the chunkier Steam Deck, it’s not that hard to hold in your hands, although your hands might get tired quicker. What is more, the switch can have its two controller pieces removed and united into a separate controller.

Functionality and practicality 

When it comes to how practical one or the other is we can safely say that both seem quite practical. They are both portable, highly well-designed and popular for their quality. There was this ongoing joke that the storage card for the Switch tasted horrible and many people tested this out by licking it. It might not damage it but still, maybe refrain from licking your storage card. 

On the spec part of the spectrum, things differ quite a lot between the two. The Steam Deck boasts a 2.4-3.5GHz Zen CPU and a 1.0-1.6GHz 8 RDNA GPU. Meanwhile, the Switch simply states it has an NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor.

The screen size for the Switch will depend on each style of this device you plan on purchasing. It comes with either a 6.2 or 5.5-inch screen for a Nintendo Switch Lite or Nintendo Switch. 

Storage availability is where the Switch is ahead of the Steam Deck. The console from Steam comes with some versatility as it has 64GB, 256GB, or 512GB internal storage availability. By contrast, the Nintendo Switch has 32GB, 64GB, or a separately sold 2TB storage unit. 

Both have wifi and Bluetooth connection systems, battery life is around 8 to 9 hours, and touch screen. The operating system is, of course, different as the Steam Deck runs on SteamOS which is a Linux-based system. There is not much information about the Nintendo Switch’s Operating system, but we know it works. 

Pricing and budget

Your budget will also be a great indicator of which of these two consoles you will be more inclined to purchase. A Nintendo Switch can cost between £190 and £259 for the Nintendo Switch lite and the regular console. 

Meanwhile, the Steam Deck pricing varies according to its storage space more or less. For a 64BG the price is £349, 256GB is £459, and 512GB is £569. This difference is quite impressive and it might clear the picture for newcomers. 

Choosing either one of these consoles will most likely come down to preference and in some cases, loyalty. This also includes the games available for each which in turn adds to the price overall. Some games available for the PlayStation could also be available for the Switch so you could have an archive of games already. 

But with the Steam console, you might already have a huge collection of games that will all work on this new device. Budget-wise, if you already have games in your steam collection you might need to fidget with the setting or get a docking station. 

What games can you play?

Steam is known to have an enormous amount of games available for purchase, many of which can be played on the Steam Deck. Now the issue that you may encounter is that not all games will be playable with the commands available from the console. In many cases, you may need to get a dock so that you can connect it to an external display. 

With a docking station, you can thus play far more games as you will have a mouse and keyboard to interact with each game. Now this suggests that you can basically play every game available, and it’s true with a few exceptions of newer or older games that might have certain glitches. 

In any case games like Witcher 3 play extraordinarily well, without a mouse and keyboard. Older games like Elder Scroll’s Morrowind and Oblivion run very well, but you might need a mouse and keyboard to be able to play them. The most notable example is Baldur’s Gate 3 which surprisingly runs very well. Even though it’s early access and Larian has not made modules for the Steam Deck, it works great without needing a docking station. 

On the other side, the Switch launched and came with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild. This game is only playable on the switch and the Wii U. Other than that, the Switch comes with some familiar names like Pokemon, Super Mario and many more. 

In conclusion 

Both options are very powerful and you get your money’s worth with either console. It will depend on what games you want to play, how much storage you need and your budget. It’s not a question of a better console as both are great in their way. It will ultimately come down to preference. 

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