I didn’t win a Steam Deck when tuning into The Game Awards, but it sure was something to watch right up until the end. Valve’s push into the handheld market has been a relatively successful one. And while I don’t need it in the slightest (I’m willing to bet most buyers don’t), damn does it look cool. It’s chunky, capable, and offers a true native handheld experience in the way the Nintendo Switch doesn’t.
It’s no match for the Steam Deck, but over the past few months I’ve found a lot of love in the 8Bitdo Xbox Controller clip. I’ve backed off a bit in using it most recently, but it really does mix things up for Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. For a service that’s already an amazing value, it’s a huge boon to what you’re getting for your money.
The caveat is that your streaming experience is going to be reliant on your home network, internet provider, and the networking internals of your phone. Thankfully, it’s been nothing but good things for me. Strangely, I’ve found it to be an even better experience than my Xbox Series X when it comes to streaming. My particular setup is a OnePlus 10 Pro, 5GHz WiFi, and Comcast home internet. I imagine WiFi 6 would help even further, but then it seems like things are a bit messy in terms of what true WiFi 6 really is.
You’re also going to benefit from having a big phone. Due to the aspect ratio of games themselves there’s going to be black bars on either side on your screen.
Why even bother with the format itself when playing natively in 4K on the Series X is objectively superior?
Even at home, streaming with a controller clip fits those times when you want to work in a quick session without taking away the main screen, free up the TV for your significant other, or just want a casual experience like Forza Horizon 5 while watching the latest Netflix show that’s bound to be cancelled.
Overall, it’s adequately in the middle of the road as far as mobile game goes. Far and away above most true mobile titles, closer to native than touch control titles, and a whole lot cheaper than the “real deal”. It’s been the perfect add-on for me when it comes to the Xbox ecosystem, and I’ve loved it for that. I’d be lying if I said I don’t pine for a native Xbox handheld, but is more than enough for now.
Lover of games, tech, nature, and strange electronic music. Shaped by Sega, PlayStation, Nintendo, and Xbox – platform agnostic ever since. Currently overwhelmed by choice on my Xbox Series X thanks to Game Pass.