The image shows a man looking at the Steam Deck while standing by a walkway.

Image: Kotaku / Valve / Nintendo / Antonio William (Shutterstock)

Recently I have been playing Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope On Nintendo Switch. Original Mario + Rabbids was one of my favorite Switch games. So far, this new entry is even better, adding more chaos and depth to the already great tactical action of the previous game. But after having a Steam Deck for a few months, it’s been difficult to switch back to the Switch, especially since more and more new games run poorly on Nintendo’s aging handheld.

Since its release in 2017, the Nintendo Switch has become one of the most successful consoles in history. Nintendo announced in August It has sold over 111 million Switch consolescomfortably making it into the top five best selling consoles of all time, behind Sony’s PS4. In the meantime, Valve’s Steam Deck it hasn’t sold nearly as much, but it’s making a splash among gamers as newer portables allow more gamers to take it. their large Steam library dozens on road trips and long bathroom breaks. It also feels like the Switch Pro we’ve yet to buy, allowing me to comfortably play 60fps games on my couch. Meanwhile, the Switch is just struggling to handle new games Bayonetta 3. So I’m having a hard time coming back to a Nintendo console in 2022.

Don’t get me wrong, I keep coming back for Nintendo exclusives, though not as often as I used to. games like Luigi’s Mansion 3Rabbids + Mario, and Kirby and the Forgotten Land all bring me back to the Switch because I can’t play these games anywhere else. (Well, there is, but Nintendo doesn’t like people talking about it…)

And usually, I don’t mind going back to the Switch (or previous Nintendo consoles) to play their fantastic line-up of exclusives; Nintendo’s own games usually run great on their hardware, even though other developers struggle. Unfortunately, lately it seems like even Nintendo’s own exclusives are having issues with the old Switch hardware. Bayonetta 3 he runs like a fooleven my girlfriend Rabbids + Mario chugs the sequel during certain sequences.

(Recently Pokémon Scarlet and Violet there is notorious caught Although this is understood to be down to poorer optimization from the Switch’s outdated hardware.)

In years past, I could usually forgive some performance hiccups because the Switch allowed me to play new games on a completely portable console. How cool was that? (So ​​cool!) But now I have a Steam Deck in 2022 and it offers the same portability but with better performance. Recently I have been playing Alan Wake on board and it runs nicely at 60fps with a few minor tweaks. In the meantime, Alan Wake in transition…well, not half as smooth as this experience. And like the Switch, I can plug the deck into my TV or monitor and play all my favorite games on the big screen. But unlike the Switch, many of these games support keyboard and mouse, multiple gamepads, mods, and cross-progress with other consoles. Valve’s sleek little PC makes the Switch feel increasingly dated.

Of course, a new, more expensive piece of hardware this year will beat Nintendo’s outdated tablet/console from 2017. But it is impossible not to compare them, even if it does not seem fair. And today, all I can think about when playing the Switch is how great all those great games would look on a more powerful device like the Steam Deck. Switch 2 or Switch Pro or whatever Nintendo calls it, its follow-up console can’t come soon enough. Plus, I hope it supports the entire existing Switch library and performs better than the current Switch. Otherwise, Steam Deck will continue to win more of my play time. It’s a much better experience now.

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