Valve Comments On The Comparisons Between The Steam Deck And Switch

Valve Comments On The Comparisons Between The Steam Deck And Switch

Last week, Valve announced the Steam Deck, a portable handheld PC that looks very similar to the Switch, leading to a number of comparisons and memes being made about the two.

Since then, some comments from the team at Valve have surfaced about the similarities between the two devices. In an interview with IGN prior to the Steam Deck’s reveal, Valve designer Greg Coomer said the Switch was a “great device”, but that they designed the Steam Deck to appeal to their existing audience on Steam, and its outward similarity to the Switch just happened to be the result of that.

“We tried to make all the decisions really in Steam Deck that targeted that audience and that served the customers that were already having a good time interacting with the games that are on that platform, on our platform. That really was how we were making our decisions. We’ve ended up with a device that cosmetically shares some traits with a Switch, but that just was… it’s kind of an artifact of how we’ve proceeded down the design direction.”

In a separate interview, Valve’s co-founder Gabe Newell also shared his thoughts on the comparisons. Newell echoed Coomer’s sentiments that the two devices appeal to different audiences, referring to the Steam Deck’s larger size as one indicator. He also acknowledged that Nintendo’s success in appealing to their own audience, and that whether or not gamers will favor the Switch or the Steam Deck will be up to their own personal preferences.

So I think Nintendo does a great job targeting the audience they do with the content that they have. And that’s going to be different. Like when you pick this [Steam Deck] up, it feels much more like the ergonomics for somebody who’s used to playing with an expensive game controller, right? Because it’s bigger and it’s bulkier than a Switch. And if we’re right, that’s the right trade-off to be making for the audience that we’re going after.

“Let me put it this way, If you’re a gamer, and you pick up a Switch, and you pick up one of these [Steam Deck], you’re going to know which one is right for you, right? And you’re going to know it within 10 seconds.”

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.