Steam Deck Won’t Suffer from Stick Drift Issues, According to Valve
The Steam Deck announcement took the gaming industry by storm last week. Valve is basically trying to deliver a PC in handheld console format, and it's sparing no expenses in doing so. Gabe Newell said maintaining a relatively low price point (the Steam Deck starts at $399, provided you're happy with the default 64GB eMMC internal storage) was painful yet critical for the success of the hardware.
Furthermore, Valve is confident that the Steam Deck won't suffer from those pesky stick drift issues that plagued Nintendo (which received several class-action lawsuits because of it) with the Switch. Speaking to IGN, Valve hardware engineer Yazan Aldehayyat said:
We've done a ton of testing on reliability, on all fronts really – and all inputs and different environmental factors and all that kind of stuff. I think we feel that this will perform really well. And I think people will be super happy with it. I think that it's going to be a great buy. I mean, obviously every part will fail at some point, but we think people will be very satisfied and happy with this.
Steam Deck designer John Ikeda added:
We purposely picked something that we knew the performance of, right? We didn't want to take a risk on that, right? As I'm sure our customers don't want us to take a risk on that either.
On the official Steam Deck website, the thumbsticks are described as 'best-in-class' and capable of providing 'a level of precision and comfort not found in other portable gaming devices'. They also come with built-in capacitive touch sensors.
The device also includes 2 x 32.5mm square trackpads with haptic feedback, 4 x assignable grip buttons on the back, and a 6-Axis IMU for gyroscopic controls. Of course, you can connect other input peripherals through Bluetooth and/or the USB-C port.
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