Nintendo Switch vs Steam Deck: Which Is Better For You?

There are not a few gamers who want to buy a portable console, since the opportunity to enjoy your favorite games anywhere is a real joy, on the way to school, on public transport, on the plane… the possibilities are endless. For this reason, one of the questions that most arises among the gaming community is: should I buy a Nintendo Switch or better a Steam Deck?

Before continuing, let me tell you that neither is better than the other, it is rather the use you want to give it that will make one of them a better candidate for you. So, to make it easier for you in your difficult decision, we are going to compare them in-depth, with all their defects, virtues, and most notable characteristics.

Content 

  • 1 Ergonomics, buttons, and transport
    • 1.1 Advantages of Nintendo Switch
    • 1.2 Strengths of Steam Deck
  • 2 Power, autonomy, and catalog 
    • 2.1 How many games are there on the Nintendo Switch and how long does its battery last?
    • 2.2 How powerful is the Steam Deck and what games can I play?      
  • 3 Price and conclusion
    • 3.1 How much does Nintendo Switch cost and what models are there?
    • 3.2 How many versions of the Steam Deck are there and how much do they cost?
  • 4 Conclusion

Nintendo Switch vs Steam Deck: Ergonomics, buttons, and transport

Nintendo Switch vs Steam Deck: Ergonomics, buttons, and transport
Nintendo Switch vs Steam Deck: Ergonomics, buttons, and transport

Advantages of Nintendo Switch

On a visual level, the line that Nintendo Switch keeps seems more attractive, being less bulky and weighing significantly less. This makes it much easier to transport and enjoy it for hours in your hands without your arms getting tired. In addition, the classic and OLED models have a small rear tab that will allow you to place the screen vertically, an especially useful function if you want to play with a friend “side by side” by detaching the controls.

Speaking precisely of the Joycons, they have accelerometers and gyroscopes for an advanced sense of movement. In this way, functions and game modes are squeezed into hilarious titles exclusive to the big N, designed to be played with family or friends with a single console.   

Finally, Nintendo incorporates a model with a high-quality OLED screen, with much higher contrast, more vivid colors, and purer black tones. A quality on the screen that Steam Deck does not deliver in any of its models.

Steam Deck Strengths

For its part, Steam Deck has many superior ergonomics, with integrated handles very similar to those of video console controllers such as PlayStation and Xbox, which fit perfectly with the shape of our hands. In addition, the Joysticks that it incorporates have greater travel and, therefore, better precision.

While on Nintendo Switch we have four directional buttons, on Steam Deck a very intuitive touch crosshead is added. On the back, there are two triggers with travel when pressed, instead of simple buttons.

Additionally, it incorporates two small touch pads on each side, since to enjoy some PC video games they can be very useful or even necessary both in menu navigation and in gameplay. Nor can we forget the buttons located on each side of the back, to assign even more commands if necessary.

Lastly, the screen on the Steam Deck is slightly larger than the more basic Nintendo Switch models. Except for the OLED model, which incorporates the same screen size as the Valve console with 7 inches.

Power, autonomy, and catalog 

Nintendo Switch vs Steam Deck: Power, autonomy, and catalog
Nintendo Switch vs Steam Deck: Power, autonomy, and catalog

How many games are on the Nintendo Switch and how long does its battery last?

The autonomy of portable consoles can vary depending on how graphically demanding the game we are playing is. In the case of Nintendo Switch, from 4 to 9 hours in the classic and OLED models, while for the Lite version we have a duration of between 3 and 7 hours.

It is known by most gamers that the Nintendo Switch is the least powerful console of this generation. But, the truth is that it is capable of playing graphically demanding titles like Zelda Breath of the Wild and other multi-platform games like Doom Eternal, The Witcher, or Alien: Isolation.

One of its virtues is the extensive catalog it has. With access to very recent blockbuster titles and countless arcade classics that we haven’t seen since we were kids in the old arcades. There are not a few who fell in love with this golden age of video games, and being able to enjoy them in a portable way from a single console is priceless.

Another aspect to take into account is its exclusive titles, since several games are authentic console sellers, and although there is a variety of tastes for everyone, it can be very painful to miss out on some of its best gems.

Although the charm of a portable console is to play precisely in portable mode, Nintendo Switch also allows us to play directly on the television thanks to its dock. With it, we can enjoy the games at a higher resolution than in portable mode, in addition to having access to two USB ports in case we want to connect several controls or another compatible peripheral.  

A negative feature of the Nintendo Switch is the inability to communicate with our friends within the console itself through chat or a similar function. Leaving having to download an external application on our mobile phone as the only viable option.

How powerful is the Steam Deck and what games can I play?      

The autonomy of Steam Deck is somewhat more controversial than in the case of Nintendo Switch. This console is capable of playing almost all the video games available on PC. However, those games weren’t created to be played on a handheld console, so they can’t benefit from precise optimization like the Nintendo Switch. This affects its autonomy in a very unique way, varying a lot depending on the title being played. The valve itself estimates a duration of between 2 hours and 8 hours depending on the title, graphic demand, and fps settings.

Although the Nintendo Switch catalog is quite extensive, it is nothing compared to the sheer number of available titles that you can access with a Steam Deck. Its library is massively expanding every day both with titles from well-known studios as well as Early Access projects and independent titles unable to be promoted on all platforms. In addition, the price of the virtual store is usually much cheaper.

Contrary to what most people think, a portable console does not have to be less powerful. Steam Deck is a clear example, since its rivals in raw power with desktop consoles such as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Allowing us to enjoy the same games even at a higher fps rate and with less overheating.

While Nintendo Switch allows us to play on our television through its dock, Steam Deck is capable of doing so through its remote game mode. This model is capable of broadcasting your game from the laptop to your Smart TV, even allowing you to use the Steam Deck itself as a controller to play and avoid annoying cables and additional peripherals.

Another aspect to take into account is the space occupied by video games. This is a very important factor, since PC games usually take up huge amounts of space, making it almost mandatory to buy an SD card to expand it or a model with greater internal capacity. 

When it comes to communicating with our friends, we have a chat within the console itself, allowing us to talk to them both by audio and in writing.

Price and conclusion

How much does Nintendo Switch cost and what models are there?

Nintendo Switch has three different models with different characteristics that affect the final price in each case:

  • The cheapest model is the Switch Lite with a price of 210 dollars but without the possibility of connecting it to the television.
  • The classic model costs 310 dollars and has access to all the features, including the dock in the price and the cables to connect to the TV.
  • The OLED model has a slightly higher cost of 360 dollars, but it has a much higher contrast, more vivid colors, and purer black tones.

How many versions of the Steam Deck are there and how much do they cost?

Steam Deck also has three different models, with different price ranges and a variety of internal memories:

  • The cheapest is priced at 435 dollars and has a 64 GB internal hard drive.
  • The next price range is 565 dollars and a 256 GB internal hard drive.
  • The most expensive model costs 700 dollars and includes a virtual keyboard, an anti-reflective screen, and a 512 GB internal hard drive.

Conclusion

As we mentioned at the beginning, it largely depends on the use you are going to make of it. But, there is no doubt that there are big differences between them.

Nintendo Switch seems a more appropriate model to transport regularly, and play with family or friends “side by side” and ideal for tighter budgets. On the other hand, Steam Deck seems to be the perfect portable console for those who play very regularly on the computer, so that you can enjoy your entire library in a portable way without sacrificing graphic power or fluidity.

Also, read about Best Shooter Games for PS4

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Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.

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