The Deck seems really cool (even the name they picked is, I want a shiny black Ono Sendai, though; and no display, goes without saying) and the specs are impressive IMO, but it’s kind of expensive and a specialist machine, a laptop seems a more sensible choice for anybody that either doesn’t have one, or could use an upgrade, which somewhat surprisingly, for me, seems to be lots of people, most youths included.
Perhaps phones are a better comparison; I must say with the high churn rate and all of the annoyances and even woes of the Android ecosystem (please reply “but Apple instead…” for a mind-clearing instaban), the Deck could perhaps be a sensible alternative?
As an alternative to the Switch, it should be right up my alley: a mostly(?) open system with great specs instead of whatever soud vide PID runs the Switch, games that are not obscenely overpriced, and none of Nintendo’s bullshit.
However, the Switch was supposed to have games to support gaming on the go, without saving and reloading or any downtime. Sure we do get Switch ports on the PC, but will they be able to replicate the same experience on the Deck?
My impression is that Steam Machines were an experiment that never had the kind of marketing drive behind them necessary to establish a real market share.
I haven’t read enough about the Deck to tell whether Valve has a goal in mind, or they’re more experimenting with a format, and see where it can go from there, with or without them.
Judging from the past, the latter would seem a realistic possibility.