Earlier this month, Valve opened pre-orders for its new Steam Deck, a handheld gaming PC built on AMD’s Zen 2APU. This handheld PC runs a Linux-based operating system called Steam OS (v. 3.0). The Steam Deck allows users to play ‘many’ of their Steam game library portably. Tech Radardescribed the Steam Deck as “one of the most eagerly anticipated product launches in recent times, with Valve trying its hand at making a handheld console.”
But the Steam Deck is more than a gaming device. It’s a new PC form factor – what I call the ‘mobile desktop’ – and showcases recent advancements in mobile computing.
The launch of a new console generation is so very exciting. It’s one of the few things that genuinely makes me feel like I’m a kid again. Even if you’re not a gamer, new console generations are important milestones in the computer industry because they often bring cutting-edge and innovative technology to a larger number of people. This upcoming generation is no different from all the amazing new CPUs and GPUs provided by AMD, solid-state storage (SSD), faster memory, and (hopefully) faster load times. Graphics certainly get better with each generation, but does the increased graphical fidelity and realism matter as much in this generation? I hypothesize that it doesn’t. I believe we’re reaching a plateau of “maximum fun” (or fun saturation). What I mean is that more detailed graphics and higher resolution textures won’t necessarily lead to better gameplay at least for the time being. Rather, game fluidity as a result of higher frames-per-second (FPS) and good game mechanics are better indicators of a game’s replay-ability over time.
Every time I visit my parents, I play a little bit of Knights of the Old Republic II on my original Xbox console. I picked up the game used many years ago and it sat idle after I went to university.
After 53 hours and 23 minutes of gameplay I finally beat it this Christmas holiday.
A few thoughts. While it’s very much like the first game, the level design isn’t as good. This could have been called Star Wars Backtrack. Lots of dead ends and empty rooms. The end of the game is also very tedious as it forces you to save every two minutes. I wouldn’t want to do it twice. Also the game just… ends. After defeating the final enemy (a Dark/Fallen Jedi) you take off in your ship – which got miraculously fixed after a devastating crash landing – just as the planet you were on explodes in the background. Overall the story was well done, if not piggybacking off the original.
No major revelations here. Just excited to have beaten it after all these years. In the game archive it goes…