Steam Deck review: it’s a chunky marvel, brimming with potential… when it works right

“Jesus Christ, that’s massive,” my partner exclaims. She’s walked in the room and is eyeing the unwieldy, heavy thing I’m gripping with both hands. And she’s right. The thing in question is the Steam Deck – and it is massive. Enormous. After using this, going back to a Nintnedo Switch feels like holding a tiny, dainty baby bird. It’s bonkers.

My extremely patient, long-suffering partner sees a lot of gaming hardware come through the doors of this house, but she’s never commented on the sheer size of a device before; not when I first unboxed the could-bludgeon-a-man sized new-generation consoles and not even as I rolled a 150kg arcade machine into the dining room unannounced. So her saying this does leave an impression: the Steam Deck is huge. And yet, it also feels small – because the amount of power it packs in still feels very, very impressive for the size of the machine.

Valve’s Steam Deck, a handheld gaming PC that’s basically a mid-tier gaming laptop in an outsized version of the Nintendo Switch form factor, is a technical marvel. It’s difficult to believe that it works – and it doesn’t always – but when it does, it’s truly incredible.

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