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Why Steam’s new handheld console wins for Microsoft

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The handheld game console market is once again hot between Nintendo’s (OTC: NTDOY) upcoming OLED switch model and Valve’s newly announced Steam Deck. However, there are significant differences between these two consoles and their market impact.

While the switch hardware is locked down to the pre-installed operating system, Steam Deck welcomes customizations, including installing an alternative operating system on the new console. This opens up opportunities for Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) popular game streaming service. To indirectly benefit from the launch of the Xbox Game Pass and Steam Deck, consumers are already building hype about it.

Image source: Xbox.

Why Steam decks are a new kind of handheld

At first glance, you might classify your Steam deck as a direct threat to your Nintendo Switch. However, the two devices are fundamentally different in functionality and target market.

Switch keeps its intellectual property (IP) close to the chest and has no option to play games from outside Switch’s Nintendo app store (that is, it won’t hack). In addition, you may not play Nintendo games on your PC or any other non-Nintendo hardware. For companies offering such powerful first-party games, this integrated hardware and software strategy makes sense. I’m very tempted by the Steam decks that can’t play them.

Alternatively, the Steam deck acts as a powerful portable PC that allows you to access and play any game that traditional PC gamers can. Nintendo completely outperforms Valve in terms of first-party games and IP, so it makes sense for Valve to take a broader approach to Steam Deck.

This makes Steam decks more attractive to different subsets of the gaming market (that is, PC gamers and gamers who use streaming services). This includes many gamers who want to install Microsoft Windows on their Steam deck to access their Xbox Game Pass games.

Xbox Game Pass has won a valuable use case

Now that the Xbox is driving games mobilization through streaming, handheld consoles feel like a natural next step, if not on their own. In fact, the Xbox is no longer focused on selling its hardware. Console sales are a particularly unprofitable business, and the company is much more interested in acquiring subscribers to the Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming services.

The Xbox Game Pass has just begun its mission to make games mobile and convenient for all gamers in a myriad of ways. Microsoft plans to partner with TV makers to include Xbox Game Pass connections on their smart TVs without any additional hardware requirements (other than the controller). The company will also begin building its own Xbox Cloud Gaming streaming device for use on TVs and monitors.

That’s why handheld consoles are the perfect hardware medium for Xbox’s cloud-based streaming services for gamers who need a high-value game library for the Game Pass and want to offer $ 399 for their Steam decks. The Steam Deck Xbox Game Pass proves this, with articles and discussion board pages already posted on the topic. Obviously, the Xbox doesn’t require a handheld console, but it can benefit from something that suits its needs.

Keep an eye out for market reactions

Some Xbox fans expect Microsoft to respond to Steam decks with its own handheld console. However, the Xbox doesn’t seem to be planning its own handheld, and this announcement won’t change that overnight. The Xbox started a portable console project a few years ago and scrapped it, but it’s no more developed than some drawings.

Some important details need to be properly placed in order for the steam deck to earn game passes and retain subscribers in a meaningful way. First, the Windows operating system installation process should be simple and clean. Next, the user experience of playing Game Pass on the Steam deck is important.

Console interfaces, ergonomics, and gameplay can be difficult to predict before the market actually gets them. Sure, you have to wait for when your first Steam deck order will ship in December. Until then, as a long-term shareholder of Microsoft, it’s a great opportunity to spend money on pending iterations of the Xbox Game Pass (integrated smart TVs, streaming devices, and even handheld PCs).

This article represents the opinion of a writer who may disagree with the official recommended position of the Motley Fool Premium Advisory Service. It was miscellaneous! Asking investment treatises (even our own) helps us all think critically about investment and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer. Useful.

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2/ https://www.fool.com/investing/2021/07/24/why-steams-new-handheld-console-could-be-a-win-for/

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