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Gamasutra: Simon Carless’s Blog-Let’s talk about SteamDeck.

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The ideas and opinions expressed are those of the writer, not Gamasutra or its parent company.


[The GameDiscoverCo game discovery newsletter is written by ‘how people find your game’ expert & GameDiscoverCo founder Simon Carless, and is a regular look at how people discover and buy video games in the 2020s.]

Motivational speeches here at Game Discover Co are not my specialty. But look-it’s a whole new day, there are players ready to be fascinated by your game, the world is your lobster, Steam just announced a new handheld “console” …

… Wait, what did they do? I think that is the lead story of this newsletter.

[Reminder: we just launched our paid sub-exclusive ‘Complete Game Discovery Toolkit’ eBook, and subscribers also get Discord, an exclusive weekly newsletter, Hype data access, and more. So sign up & help us out if you feel like it!]

Steam Deck-It’s real and spectacular!

OK, so it was announced just a few hours ago. But most of you, though very rumored to be Valve, have already heard of SteamDeck, the handheld device that has finally come true.

For those who aren’t completely up to date: a 7-inch controller and touchscreen-based standalone that runs SteamOS (Steam’s Linux-based operating system) and can use the Steam library for Windows games using Valve’s Proton compatibility The layer that Handheld will debut in December.

Prices range from $ 399 (64GB of storage) to $ 649 (512GB of storage), with higher-end models with faster storage. And there’s already a lot of good coverage out there-especially from IGN, with some exclusive pre-announcement coverage. So, in addition to their detailed hands-on comments, check out the FAQ for 31 very useful questions for more details.

But while all our minds are competing, I try to offer some less obvious angles. Before we get started, here’s the official Valve video (via Steamworks’ new Steam deck section!)-7 minutes of development-centric information about the platform:

In addition to this, here are some additional insights and what surprised us with GameDiscoverCo:

  • The Steam deck is set up so that the game “works”. We’ll talk more about this later. But Valve is trying to save some devkits: “We are currently building these and are in limited quantities. When available, partners will be able to request development kits from the hardware request form on their partner site. More development as they approach launch. Keep track of all requested units as the kit becomes available. “

  • It’s a Linux-based handheld, but you don’t need to run the Linux version of the game because Proton is “converting” the Windows version. (Not everyone understands how well Proton works in Unity and Unreal Engine games these days! From this Steamworks page, you can find other tips, including links to Proton compatibility issues. Please watch.)

  • “You can use it on any store on your Steam deck, not just on Steam!” Rhetoric. And that’s somewhat true, but do you think I’m probably confused? Quote this exchange: “IGN: Can I log in to my Epic Games Store account? Greg Coomer: Again, you can really do whatever you expect. [Linux-based] A PC that can do it. So the answer to them is yes. ” Yes, yes, the Epic Games Store itself doesn’t support Linux. There’s something like the Heroic Games Launcher that can bridge this. However, it’s not as user-friendly as SteamOS or Proton. (At least not yet.) I think you can buy Windows and install it on your Steam deck, but what is the impact on battery performance?

  • Axios’ Stephen Totilo as well as development-centric elements Note In terms of its size, the Steam deck is a bit heavier than the other Nintendo handhelds you’re releasing the game on: “Standard Nintendo Switch: 9.4 x 4 x .55” / .9 lbs; Steam Deck: 11.7 x 4.6 x 1.9 “/ 1.5 lbs.” I think it will work, but it’s certainly bulkier than most people are accustomed to.

  • When it comes to hardware, like Valve’s early Steam Machines, the company is very pleased to have other manufacturers build Steam Decks. Valve’s Greg Coomer note in the IGN FAQ article: “We see this as just a new category of devices in the PC space.”, And Lawrence Yang add: “We want people to know that SteamOS 3 is available for free. Any manufacturer who wants to make a similar product can get a free license.” It’s like a free version of the 3DO spec, but I hope it’s more popular! You’ll see some third parties jumping at this.

  • Finally, there are some first comments from Valve’s Gabe Newell via an excerpt from the IGN interview video. And he definitely emphasizes that the company has been there for a long time. It’s true that this is a derivative of the multi-year process on SteamOS, Gabe said: “Our assumption is that these are the long-term decisions we make about how we can contribute to the health and vitality of this ecosystem.” In other words, do you think that “it looks like a handheld game console finally works without using Windows”?

It’s a little quick to understand what actually happens. Also, SteamDeck is more expensive than Nintendo Switch. But I didn’t keep secret the fact that Steam appreciates the broad egalitarian approach to how the platform runs. (Even if their platform cuts cut their hair and leave them enough profit, uh.) So it would be interesting to see what this would be …

Google Stadia: Negotiations begin …

Another platform is announcing this week, so you really need to cover them too, right? And earlier this week, Google Stadia was announced at the Google Game Developers Summit. “From October 1st, Google will earn 15% of its sales for up to $ 3 million. [instead of 30%] Until the end of 2023. ” (Here is a summary of all Google x game developer announcements.)

Also, as GI.biz pointed out, the company “All titles included in Stadia Pro-subscribers have access to the game library for a monthly fee-a portion of the money generated by the service”In addition to the one-time fee that the game gets by using StadiaPro.

Since then, the method of monetization has caused some controversy. “70% of all monthly revenue generated by a Pro subscription is split between partners based on the” session days “that the player spends on the game. “ In other words, it’s a rewarding game for people to come back every day. Oh, and another interesting note: “Developers receive $ 10 for each new user who helps convert to a Stadia Pro subscriber and track who clicks on the studio’s own Click To Play link.”

Anyway, some outlets like Axios talk about developers getting “creepy” at more engagement angles. This is fair and immediately hits the debate about the short / niche game fit we just had. We also agree that the pressure of Games As A Service will be further emphasized when shipping with any of these services.

However, this is not very different from how other game subscription services have handled it. Google is more positive about it in an attempt to lure developers in their direction. Specifically, other services such as Apple Arcade are reported to have post-release payments related to service “engagement.” (Xbox Game Pass has been reported to offer spot bonuses for high-download Game Pass games, but only at the highest level.)

But in general, we seem to have arrived “We haven’t done a great job with developer engagement. Let’s make developers more excited about our platform by giving them more money.” Stadia stage. I think this is the only natural thing for Google. I don’t know if that will make any difference to Stadia’s long-term outlook. But I like the “15% platform cut” angle. Because it’s another platform that uses cuts as bargaining chips, which can put more pressure on others …

Conclusion!

That’s it for this week. I am a free subscriber. Next, there are tons of small links to catch up on Monday. SteamDeck is heading straight into the regular newsletter writing time, and tomorrow will be a Plus-only game analysis newsletter.

However, I would like to inform you that Gamasutra’s former colleague Alyssa Macaroon tried to defeat IGN in their own “steam deck-only” game.

[We’re GameDiscoverCo, a new agency based around one simple issue: how do players find, buy and enjoy your premium PC or console game? You can subscribe to GameDiscoverCo Plus to get access to exclusive newsletters, interactive daily rankings of every unreleased Steam game, and lots more besides.]

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