Morning XP Boost

Ep08 Steam Deck

July 22, 2021 MXPB Episode 8
Morning XP Boost
Ep08 Steam Deck
Show Notes Transcript

This Week on MXPB we are talking all things Steam Deck.  Plus, we celebrate Nintendo’s greatest hits. 

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Tox  0:03  
hit record. Press the button. This week on MXPB we're talking all things, steamed. Plus, we celebrate Nintendo's Greatest Hits, don't go away MXPB starts now.

Hello and welcome to the Morning xp boost, we're your hosts tox and glitch, and we're here to give you the experience points you need to get through your week, whether that's the end of the week the middle of the week the beginning of the week, or just that part of the week that is so, so hard... Glitch, how are you doing today.

Glitch  0:56  
Oh yeah tox. Oh yeah yeah yeah. How about you,

Tox  1:01  
are you ready for a podcast because I am 

Glitch  1:04  
I am in fact ready for a podcast, let's do this.

Tox  1:07  
Let's do this. So today we're going to have a brief little news segments, followed by some history, followed by a less brief new segment featuring the steam deck, and we're gonna talk about all that good stuff right now. So, first up I just wanted to drop this in here because I thought it was super interesting. Tencent Chinese firm Tencent internet technology conglomerate giant from China, as is set to take over the sumo group and Sumo is sort of best known for working on projects like Sony Sonic and Sackboy a development team from the UK, and I think this is super interesting because, first of all, Tencent Chinese company is the largest video game vendor in the world, which kind of says something, considering that the Chinese market is a little bit special, a little bit unique in that, you know, not every, they don't freely import, you know, Nintendo Switch and all its games and E shops and stuff like that. In fact, Tencent was the exclusive launch partner for the Nintendo Switch, in China, in 2019, and they recently did a promotion with Tencent Nintendo Switch, putting nintendo switch in IKEA's in China, and around in Hilton Hotels in China as a little cross promotional thing where you can get your room or you while you're shopping you can play a switch, and you can you can enjoy that during your hotel stay or during your shopping trip, and I just thought it was really interesting that these companies are finding their way into the Chinese market, which is a huge market via Tencent, which is a huge Chinese conglomerate

Glitch  3:05  
It is I think they actually think they're responsible for pub G as well. I think that's their game. Yeah, yeah pub G

Tox  3:14  
WeChat is a really popular app that folks may be familiar with, that's, that's 10 cent. All right, well, that's all I wanted to say about that glitch want to lay some history on me. Sounds good.

Glitch  3:28  
July 20 1983 Mario Brothers arcade came out. Your, are you familiar with this one tox? 

Tox  3:40  
Oh yeah. I never played the arcade game itself but I played it on the Super Mario Brothers, NES  cartridge because it was a part of that too.

Glitch  3:49  
As did I. I believe that was a, was it a part of Super Mario Brothers all stars I think as well, of a game yeah also awesome. Yep. And so, this game was a lot of fun, especially in our household. I played it a lot with my sister who was she's about three years younger than I am. And we used to get in a lot of arguments over this particular game I believe it was, head to head, was it not. 

Tox  4:17  
Yeah, yeah, there's a competitive aspect for sure.

Glitch  4:19  
Well yeah, I think I got sent to my room, many times because of this particular game. 

Tox  4:26  
Yeah, well, one thing I wanted to say about Mario Brothers is that it was the one of the first standalone Mario Brothers games, you know, Mario had made an appearance in Donkey Kong arcade game, and some other arcade games, but this was really sort of the stepping stone to Super Mario Brothers, that we know and love the platforming, you know, it was just a single screen, where you had sort of pipes on the bottom, you had blue platforms, you could bunk enemies from below, and you had that power switch. Everyone knows the power switch by now. This the first occurrence of the power switch, and all those iconic things, and it was just a single screen you run around bonk the enemies, but it was lots of fun. Also in 2017 on July 21 Splatoon two came out, and this game. I really love this game. It's one of the best games on switch hands down, you know, Breath of the Wild, Splatoon two. They share a similar company because they're just really defining titles for the switch, and it's basically a shooter, but it has a lot of style and a lot of character, you are these sort of, I don't know what to cut you're like Inklings here's the squids, that can change into like humanoid forms and back into squids. And the interesting part of this game is to shoot with paint different color paints so it's nice and colorful, but the paint also splats on the ground, and you can swim through it, and that's kind of the way that you reload and it's also the way that you move quickly through the levels and position yourself around your enemies. And so, even though it's a shooter, it has this really fun sort of appeal. Nobody really dies you know just kind of get shot and then respond and do over and the whole, the whole game is sort of set in this culture where these shootouts, are you know like an activity like a sport and everybody does them, and it's just super stylish, there's an element of fashion, there's really cool clothing items you can get them, you know, it's kind of set in like a Tokyo style like metropolitan city, and so there's all kinds of like cool graffiti art, the music is amazing I regularly listen to this soundtrack. When I just need to feel good or feel hyped. It's just an awesome game. Did you have any experience with it glitch?

Glitch  6:57  
none whatsoever I have always wanted to play it, it looks very, very interesting, is there like a, is this just a multiplayer game or is there a solo campaign.

Tox  7:08  
Yeah, there is a solo campaign. I have to be honest I haven't really finished it, it, I found it a little bit difficult because it forces you to use certain weapons, of course, there's a whole bunch of different weapons. From these, you know, a sniper, sort of equivalent to really fast shooting guns or slower shooting guns, and they all have their different characteristics and then you have secondary weapons to like grenades or interesting kinds of missiles or little auto bombs, all that good stuff. So, the single player game kind of forces you to use certain ones, and one of the great things about this game in the multiplayer aspect is that there is such a wide variety of guns and brushes because it's paint, you get paint brushes that you can slap people with as well as rollers. The you know it rewards you for doing things other than having like Bullseye dead on AIM, which is a lot of shooters. You, the primary mode is called turf war and you win by covering the ground in your color ink, the most, the team that does that. But the most wins that round it's not how many frags you get or how many people that you eliminate, it's about covering with ink and even the other modes, you know, obviously if you're constantly eliminating opponents on the other team. You're impeding their progress but that's not the primary goal, it has all these other modes to where you basically control the zone, or you control a tower that's moving around, or you're playing football with a bunch of clams. It's just so much fun, it's just dripping with style and character multiplayer single player. It's awesome. I highly recommend it for anyone with a switch and Splatoon three, we've been teased is coming out sometime next year.

Glitch  8:57  
So a nice one more question about Splatoon, because like I said I'm very interested in the game, especially with the third one coming out, would you compare it to, let's say, like an Overwatch, or fortnight is there like different character classes or anything like that.

Tox  9:15  
There are not really different character classes, the way you differentiate is mostly through your loadout so you have a primary weapon and a secondary weapon, and then you sort of earn points, the more you play and you unlock different combinations of those primary and secondary weapons or different versions, you know, more powerful or more accurate are. Yeah, they tweak those stats and they release regular updates to balance the game to try and make sure nothing, no one weapon is too Opie, but they're no character classes. It is that thing about the paint and moving through the paint is just so different, and it's just so much fun, and I can't get over the music and it's just one of those games that really celebrates it's similar to fortnight in this way it really celebrates what it is, and the underlying fun aspect of that. And you know there are tournaments, people play this game in eSports, as you know at that level, and there are sort of community events called splat fests where they pick a theme, and you pick aside, like the first and last Splatfest were mushroom verse star like Mario themed, and you basically pick aside and then that whole weekend all your battles count for points towards or against your team, and then at the end of the weekend they tally it up in a few different categories, and they tell you who won and Splatfest changes it from day to night, it changes the music and makes the square into this like hoppin concert is so much fun. It's really cool.

Glitch  10:53  
I look forward to, probably grabbing the Splatoon three when it comes out. 

Tox  11:03  
You and I are definitely playing Splatoon three and squatting up. that's gonna happen.

Glitch  11:06  
 Looking forward to it.  I Have some quick honorable mentions here for a history, Final Fantasy 10 for the PlayStation two came out in Japan so I'm guessing that was its original launch July 19 2001 for Mario Sunshine, GameCube also Japan July 19 2000 to a Virtual Boy Japan July 21 1995 Did you ever play the Virtual Boy. 

Tox  11:35  
No, I only ever read about it in Nintendo Power.

Glitch  11:39  
And then last but not least we have Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64 Japan 

Tox  11:47  
Yeah, we could go on and on, but we've got something else to talk about I

Glitch  11:53  
wonder what that could be,

Tox  11:54  
I don't know. But first, we made some friends you know we're a small podcast and we're trying to grow, and we made some friends over at another podcast called The gorge, and we're gonna play for you a little preview of their show and if you like them, you can go check them out so let's listen to that and we'll be right back with more on the Steam deck.

Glitch  13:07  
So, contrary to its name, it is not a streaming deck it is a steam deck. He company steam, or rather the, what would you even call that the video game, right, Valve yeah so valve is the creator of steam. It says, saying I don't even know the steam shop slash platform, you can play all your games on it. They've created a handheld system. That happens to have a dock. Very interesting. It also

Tox  13:47  
looks a little bit like a switch to draws the inevitable comparison

Glitch  13:51  
looks a little bit like a Nintendo Switch Yes, so the specs on the Steam deck, I'm just going to go over them real quick. The 64 gigabyte version which is going to have EMC eMMC, which I believe that particular memory access is just a little bit slower than SSD, my. Am I incorrect in that.

Tox  14:12  
I know you're right the other models have a little bit faster. You know,

Glitch  14:16  
access Fetch, fetch access 64 gigabytes for the 399 which comes in at I believe just $50 more than the new LC, or the Oh led switch I'm sorry 256 gigabytes will set you back 529 that does give you the SSD, memory, and then they're going to have a 512 gigabyte model that comes in at 649, also with an SSD. They're all going to come with carrying cases, but the 512 gigabyte is going to come with some kind of exclusive rare carrying case, maybe it's made an exclusive virtual keyboard. Oh yeah, Yeah $150

The resolution, it's gonna be 700 720 P, which is exactly what the switches, I do believe I saw somewhere NADP docked, I think.

Tox  15:13  
Yeah, it certainly has the horsepower for higher resolution but the built in screen is a 1280 by 720

Glitch  15:20  
Yep, it's gonna be rocking and AMDs and to custom. I believe our DNA to apcu whatever it all those for, for anybody who cares about those numbers they're there for you 16 gigabytes, are 16 gigabytes of RAM, gigabytes of RAM, with a 40 watt hour battery now, they are saying that you can get up to about eight hours with gameplay. However, if you're playing a an intensive game. They were actually talking about this during the showcase, you your system might only be good for up to an hour to two hours. So if you're going to be playing a game like the Witcher. Grand Theft Auto or something like that, which, which the steam deck is supposed to be able to handle, you're definitely going to want to be near an outlet while you're playing those games.

Tox  16:12  
Yeah. This thing is super customizable it's basically a PC. And so, being a PC you can customize the settings that you're playing at and so if you want to optimize for our battery life, you can set your settings in that way, if you want to optimize for performance and sacrifice, battery life or maybe you're plugged in, then you can configure it that way too.

Glitch  16:34  
Yep, definitely and to build off of that so since it is basically a little handheld PC. You are not locked in to steams native OS is what it's kind of going to run, which isn't Linux base, you will be able to purchase and download Windows as well as, you'll be able to use it, free by the way, is it is a free. I didn't know that.

Tox  16:58  
It's free and you get a watermark that says this is the free version of Windows

Glitch  17:03  
by use, like, why. Yeah. All right, I actually didn't know that I haven't used a Windows product in a number of years. That's a whole different thing. So you will also have access to the epic game store Tim Sweeney, who is one of the directors over at Epic responsible for games like fortnight, and was a Gears of War I think is another epic game it's pretty big. He has been praising the steam deck since its announcement, and they're really excited to see what the steam decks gonna be capable of, and they cannot wait to get the epic game store into people's hands on a mobile device like that.

Tox  17:47  
Yeah, yeah. To be clear, this is a, this is, like we said it's a sort of a PC but it's a handheld device, it's got the buttons, it's got trackpads, it's got the joysticks, the D pad, and it runs steam O S, which is a Linux based operating system that is essentially just the Steam Store. And so one of the key benefits is that you have access to the entire Steam library, but being a PC and you can do whatever you want with it. You can like which said install windows and get to things like the epic store or the steam. Steam platform on Windows or anything else on Windows two.

Glitch  18:29  
Yep. Um, the, the trackpads also so a lot of games on Steam, are native to PC, which means you need to have a mouse to play those games. So to compensate for that they added the addition of trackpads, and I was able to watch a couple people use the stream deck firsthand and they said after some time, they're actually to trackpads are very nice to use. So, honestly, you know, I'm kind of excited if I if I get an opportunity, which I probably will do to try this device out, I'm looking forward to trying the trackpads and seeing what they're like.

Tox  19:13  
Those trackpads definitely seem like a bit of an innovation I think they came from the Steam Controller, which was part of another hardware effort that Valve had, which was a little bit less successful they tried to make basically Linux based gaming PCs, but they didn't make their own hardware. And so it was a bit of a flop and so folks, you know, attempted to compare this to that history, but this is obviously different because they're sort of creating their own hardware from scratch, and so they have a lot more control over the experience.

Glitch  19:50  
You'll also have some extra programmable buttons will technically, because this is a mobile device you'll actually probably have to go in, unless they do a software update or something actually have to map, probably all your buttons, initially,

Tox  20:04  
You know it varies and I think that's one of the major points about this theme deck is so hard not to say stream deck is themed deck. I think it was one of the major points about this device is that a, it comes with the Steam library that if you are a PC gamer, or even have dabbled, you have a Steam library and if you're like me you probably haven't played 70% of the games in your Steam library you just see them on sale for a few bucks and you say that looks neat. I'll try it someday you buy it, and then you never do. So, you get the, you know, it solves one of the key problems, or one of the key sort of disappointments that comes inevitably with getting a new console is, what do I play on it and do I have to shell out 5060 bucks for a single game that I can play on this shiny new thing that I just bought. You've got the whole library. If you are already a PC gamer right there and if you're not, there's a variety of games on there, at various different price points and you can get playing right away, but because it is sort of, you know, those are PC games designed for, let's face it Windows PCs. There are some drawbacks and one of them is controls and that has come a long way, I think, I personally love controller I, I've tried playing games on keyboard and mouse and just controller is more my jam. And so every time I get a PC game I look for controller support and I have noticed that there is a lot more controller support, sort of built into games by default so if you plug in a controller, or in this case the steam deck is a controller steam. Steam itself has really great controller support. And so it's able to do a lot of that, what you would call mapping for you, sort of automatically, and then there inevitably there will be games that don't support that. And you might have to tweak and hack a little bit but I think that controller support on modern games through Steam is going to be pretty robust.

Glitch  22:00  
Yeah, I mean, honestly one of the things that one of the biggest draws you just talked about for for myself is I haven't had a PC in a while I've, I've kind of switched over to Apple products. A couple years back. There's a lot of games that I would love to be able to play. So, this system is kind of built for somebody like me I have close to 200 games in the Steam library. But still, you know, yeah, I still have the app, you know and as things pop up on the store and I'm like hey you know I really liked that game. Back in the day or hey that's a game I'd really like to play theme sales, I mean I don't think that there's another gaming platform that comes close to what you end up paying for games on Steam, you can pick up almost a triple A brand new title from like a year ago, like three bucks.

Tox  22:53  
A lot of sales, that's for sure. And they, they generate a lot of purchases with those sales.

Glitch  22:59  
Yeah, so, you know, I honestly I think I'm looking at probably picking this up and using it to play through the library of games that I have in backlog there too so it's, well just add to that backlog.

Tox  23:15  
Yes, add to the backlog. Yeah, it's gonna be really interesting to see who plays this because tech, you know, technically speaking, it's a really exciting device, it is really powerful. It's in that form factor, that is very similar to a switch, but slightly different, it, you know it, IGN says it's comfortable to hold. So okay. So as a tech piece of technology, it's really interesting. And then, you know, we'll see how it does as a product. It has pros and cons, you know, it might not be the most user friendly thing because PCs are not exactly the most user, you know, there's always configuration you have to do to get things to work, and there's a compatibility layer, since this is based on Linux, If you don't go, and reinstall the operating system and do a bunch of stuff from scratch, then you are sort of limited to what is supported by that I'll be robust, but still, you know, not 100% compatible layer and so there's already a list of games that probably won't run because specifically they use this anti cheat software. That doesn't work on this Linux based platform. So it's going to be really interesting to see who buys this why they buy it, you know, glitch might buy it you might buy it because you've haven't had a chance to play PC games in a while. Yeah, I'm not so sure I would buy it because I'm sort of in device overload and I have a PC which I can play games on so I might just wait and see how it goes. And then there's people who really wanted a Switch Pro something beefier, and they might buy this i don't know i Because, you know it's really hard to compare even though they look so similar, a Nintendo Switch to the steam deck because, you know, Nintendo and other manufacturers, traditional console manufacturers make their money through selling first party software and steam obviously has a huge store, they must make money from selling software to but they don't really have exclusive titles, so it'd be interesting to see if that that size of their library compensates for the fact that they don't have those exclusive titles and if that's enough draw to make it a successful product.

Glitch  25:32  
And honestly I think that kind of brings us to the elephant in the room, which is what a lot of people have been doing which is comparing it comparing the stream deck, or steam deck, you're right, that is difficult.

Tox  25:45  
Comparing poorly chosen name, but it is awesome device.

Glitch  25:50  
Comparing the steam deck to the Nintendo Switch. It's been happening a lot, like, like he kind of said, I think it's, it's markets might be two different people. It is my belief, however, that this is, you know, Nintendo has created an amazing product handheld market has been pretty much solely dominated not pretty much it has been solely dominated by Nintendo. Since the Gameboy Gameboy. The DS series. And now the Nintendo Switch, which has been the fastest selling console. This generation. I think this is an attempt to grab some of that market share, looking at this from a sales and marketing standpoint. The fact that the steam deck is more comparative to a PlayStation four in power, like you said, I think the, the PlayStation or the Nintendo Switch Pro crowd. This is going to be a pretty big draw to them, and the fact that it's only $50 more. And the Nintendo Switch with the OLED screen. I don't know what the point would really be, unless you're a big Mario fan, or one of the Nintendo IPs, I probably would not purchase the LCD, I would probably, you know, If you want to play Skyrim on the go. I think the steam deck would kind of be a better choice in that aspect. I mean,

Tox  27:26  
yeah, if you want to play it in q2 of 2022. Then there's that, yeah. And like you said, I mean it's comes down to what you want to play, you know you won't be able to play Breath of the Wild, you won't be able to play Mario Splatoon too. There are plenty of games though that are class cross platform, including PC that are on the switch that are awesome, and if you're playing those, the steam deck might be right up your alley. Works, that's sort of, for me that's sort of a big sticking point it's like I would if everything worked, it would be awesome but just my experience with recently coming back to PC gaming, like, think that epic store had Borderlands and Borderlands, two, and maybe even the pre sequel for free one week, so I was like, Yeah, sure, why not. And then I tried like installing it and playing it immediately I get the error, blah blah blah DLL, not found. And so I searched the I started searching, I start Googling, and I see, okay, this random shady websites has blah blah blah dot DLL, I guess I'll just download and put this random software on my computer and hope nothing bad happens and then I did it and it still didn't work and it was just like a couple hours of frustration and I really hope that the steam deck is not like that. I'm a little afraid.

Glitch  28:48  
Talks. Another thing that this could be is, this could be just an experiment for, you know a company to see to to kind of test the waters as far as mobile gaming goes for other companies outside of Nintendo, trying to capture some of that market share. I know Playstation has has forayed into mobile gaming before the PSP was, I think, very successful for PlayStation, not as nowhere near as successful Of course as Gameboy, or the DS series but it did manage to capture some, some sales, and it was a great system if you, if you ever got a chance to play with it. It had a remarkable lineup, and you could watch movies on it in color, watch TV, color TV in your

Tox  29:37  
11 most selling console. That's nothing to sneeze at is really popular.

Glitch  29:43  
It really was. Now the PlayStation Vita, unfortunately, we could talk about all the reasons why the vitta kind of failed to capture the same audience, but it really I think it ultimately came down to the games you have to have games on a system, sell a system. And unfortunately the vitta didn't really capture that. Do you think we could see PlayStation, just, just some hypotheticals here Could we see other people, people maybe enter the mobile market now that Nintendo has been incredibly profitable. The Nintendo Switch and Gameboy, do you think PlayStation could come back into the market space. Personally me,

Tox  30:29  
I don't, I mean I wouldn't rule it out but I don't think it's likely because PlayStation, and Xbox, are both investing a lot in games streaming, which is something that we've talked about before. And that's sort of, you know limits, dx, their control over the experience because they don't have the hardware to make sure it's good and compatible, but sort of a built in audience with the proliferation of mobile devices. And I think that is a tough nut to crack as PlayStation well knows, and we'll see what the steam deck does and maybe if it's super successful you'll see like, like a Sony iPad or something that works with their existing game streaming,

Glitch  31:12  
who knows. Skeptical though. Right talks does that just about does that just about cover it.

Tox  31:23  
I think so. That's it for our feature presentation. Thank you so much everybody for listening once again to the morning xp boost. If you liked the show please leave us a review and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. If you like social media, we're there too. We are at morning xp boost.

Glitch  31:43  
Alright folks, thanks for tuning in and listening. We'll see y'all in the next one. Take care.