GabeN Plays Dota 2 on Valve's 'Steam Deck'.

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GabeN Plays Dota 2 on Valve's New 'Steam Deck' Handheld Console

Rakshak Kathuria
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Highlights
Valve’s co-founder, Gabe Newell revealed in an IGN interview that he personally played Dota 2, a game that is visibly complicated to play on a handheld device, on the Steam Deck.
Gabe said that he wanted to test how usable the game was on the device, so he played it on every new version they made.
Steam Deck is currently available for pre-order in a few regions and shipping will begin only in December 2021.

Valve's latest handheld console, the Steam Deck, is an intriguing product that the company dropped and it allows users to play games from their Steam libraries on the device. Valve’s co-founder, Gabe Newell revealed in an IGN interview that he personally played Dota 2, a game that is visibly complicated to play on a handheld device, on the Steam Deck. Gabe said that he wanted to test how usable the game was on the device, so he played it on every new version they made. Steam Deck is currently available for pre-order in a few regions and shipping will begin only in December 2021.

GabeN talks about playing Dota 2 on Steam Deck

Gabe, fondly known as "GabeN", was asked if he had any personal preferences or wishlists for Steam Deck. In response, he admitted that he had been focusing somewhat more on Dota 2 to examine its usability.

“I do immediately play Dota with each new version that I get so I've probably been a little more laser-focused on the useability testing of Dota.”

A couple of weeks back, when the Steam Deck was just launched, a Reddit user named 1LastHit2Die4 had emailed Gabe to ask if Dota 2 was playable on the console. Players of this PC game were unsure of whether it would work accurately on a console device, but the Valve founder replied in the positive.

Dota 2 will run on the Steam Deck

In his interview with IGN, Gabe also talked about how the pandemic affected the team's working atmosphere and Valve's productivity.

So, I think we all got better at working together remotely. I was working a little more remote than most other people. I think if you looked at sort of course measures of productivity… our productivity was impaired about 25% over the last year.”

Further, the 25% loss of productivity was not evenly distributed across all departments. Any situation that required more individual effort than teamwork was better but those that required a great deal of collaboration between people and departments were much more challenging because of the pandemic's restrictions, Gabe explained.

It was like 25% but that was not homogenous across all the different things that we do. So things that involved you going off and thinking, just pure code production. I already know what I’m gonna go write and I just know that I have a bunch of code I need to write, that actually got a little bit better. Anything that required sort of back and forth collaboration, you know it was a great time to be an individual contributor, being a hermit just producing stuff but anything like trying to launch a new product would have been impossible in the pandemic because that’s the phase in which there’s the maximal amount of interchange of ideas back and forth, you know triggering ideas in other people and so on. Making a whole bunch of hats for a game, the pandemic did not hurt us. Coming up with what is the next product for us to go build would have been super challenging, those are the two extremes.

About Steam Deck

Although Steam Deck supports Dota 2, players cannot use the joystick and other console controls to play it. A keyboard and mouse can be attached to the console, allowing players to play Dota 2 on it.

This has the advantage of allowing players to play it on the go with a limited set of peripherals. It can also serve as a convenient way to watch professional games and game replays. As such, the portable device can also be useful in professional settings, where players and coaches can watch games, discuss and analyze them with relative ease compared to laptops and computers.

An overview of the Steam library in the Steam Deck

Furthermore, the Steam Deck functions like a PC and can operate not only the Steam client, but also the game launchers from other rival developers, like Epic Games.

The Steam Deck is currently available for reservation in three versions - the 64GB eMMC version, which costs $399 USD, the 256GB NVMe SSD version, which costs $529 USD, and the 512GB NVMe SSD version, which costs $649 USD.

If you are looking to play Dota 2 on the Steam Deck, keep in mind that the official dock, that connects the console to external devices, will need to be purchased separately. For more information about the Steam Deck, you can visit https://www.steamdeck.com/en/

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Rakshak is an undergrad, an inquisitive person who likes to acquire information and knowledge of varied sectors in esports. However, his current focus is specifically on Dota 2.