I've been a PC gamer since I was a wee lad starting out on a Commodore VIC-20. The VIC wasn't called a PC, but it had a monitor a keyboard and played awesome games. Fast forward to 2023 and PC gaming has evolved a lot and if you can afford the hardware, is the cutting edge of graphics and performance. All that said, my profession is Software Engineering so at the end of the day I don't want to spend a lot more time at my desk playing games. I've preferred the Switch or more recently the XBox because I can kick back on the couch. I was excited when Valve announced Steam Machines but I was waiting a bit to see how folks were using them and even though Steam Machines were a great idea, they didn't catch on. Apparently Valve didn't give up on Steam in the living room because even after the Steam box streamer they came hot to the market with the Steam Deck, a premium Linux handheld that has quite a bit of PC power. I didn't pick one up at launch because I wasn't sure what to make of it. The initial reviews were good, but who knows how well they'd hold up? Well after waiting a while when the Deck recently went on sale I picked it up.

For me the Steam Deck is a shot in the arm to PC gaming and bringing me back to it to play games in my back catalog. Plus the Steam Deck runs Linux so you can do whatever else with it you want. Want to play Nintendo games you've already bought from Nintendo 5 times already? They will run. Want to play those free games you got on the Epic Games Store? Most will run. Want to play your incredible Steam back catalog? Most will work too.

Since the Steam Deck is running Linux and using Proton as the Wine emulation layer I expected things to be janky and I'm surprised it's as seamless as it is. I've been a Linux Desktop user and gamer for years and nothing in the past is this easy to use. Valve has done a ton of work and them owning all the hardware, drivers and Proton stack really adds up to a magical device that just works. Now all Steam games don't work, but I don't care much about that because I have thousands of games I'll never get around to playing anyway.

I got the official Steam Deck Dock and that works great on my TV and am currently replaying Borderlands that way. Bouncing between the Deck and my TV is seamless and occasionally there are issues, but it's nothing game breaking. The Steam Deck is so great I'll most likely purchase most new games digitally on PC because this really seems like the best way to play games.