Gaming at 40
I recently hit the big 4-0, and I’ve come to realize that handheld gaming devices are an absolute game-changer for people like me—40-year-olds who belong to the millennial generation. As I write this piece, I can’t help but gush about the comfort, flexibility, and sheer awesomeness that handheld gaming brings to the table. Let’s dive into why handheld gaming devices like the Steam Deck and ROG Ally are an absolute must-have for us millennials.
Comfort is King
When you hit 40, your body isn’t as resilient as it used to be. Those marathon gaming sessions hunched over a desk? No, thank you. Handheld gaming devices have our backs (literally) when it comes to comfort. Whether I’m chilling on the couch or lying down in bed, these devices allow me to enjoy my favorite games without sacrificing my posture or risking a backache. The ergonomics of devices like the Steam Deck and ROG Ally are designed with our comfort in mind, giving us the freedom to game for hours on end without any unnecessary strain.
Between the two, however, I will have to still stick with the Steam Deck except for its added heft. Despite ASUS’ efforts to improve the ergonomics of the ROG Ally, I still feel that the Steam Deck is still the clear winner in the comfort department except the fact that it’s heavier by a few ounces.
Lie Down and Level Up
I’m all about finding moments of relaxation amidst the chaos of adult life, and handheld gaming devices perfectly fit the bill. What’s better than being able to dive into gaming while lying down? It’s the epitome of bliss! With handheld devices, I can transform my bed into a gaming sanctuary, escaping into virtual worlds while embracing the cozy comfort that adulthood demands. It’s a game-changer for those of us who crave a more laid-back gaming experience.
The Powerhouses: Steam Deck and ROG Ally
Okay, let’s talk about the gaming beasts known as the Steam Deck and ROG Ally. These handheld wonders have given me a newfound appreciation for portable gaming. The Steam Deck, my personal favorite, combines the might of PC gaming with the convenience of a handheld device. Its stunning display, customizable controls, and seamless integration with the Steam library make it a dream come true for any gamer. Meanwhile, the ROG Ally boasts a sleek design and impressive hardware that can handle the most demanding games with ease. It’s a tough choice, but having options like these ensures that there’s a perfect fit for every gaming enthusiast.
Performance-wise, I’ll have to give the award to the ROG Ally. Despite it’s shortcomings, it is undoubtedly the best you can get at a very good price; and it’s coming to the Philippines this July 20, 2023. ASUS is still keeping mum about its official local price, but a quick search on Facebook can give you an idea about its leaked prices.
Nostalgia Unleashed: Video Game Emulation
Remember the games that defined our childhoods? Well, handheld gaming devices breathe new life into those classics through video game emulation. It’s like stepping into a time machine and reliving those cherished moments. With these devices, I can revisit the games that shaped my gaming journey, rediscovering the magic and nostalgia that made me fall in love with gaming in the first place. Handheld gaming devices cater to our inner child, reminding us why we’ve been gaming all these years.
Talking about video game emulation is controversial topic, but I prefer to call it video game preservation. I remember when I got my Steam Deck last year, I immediately downloaded Emudeck and played the games my dad and I used to play before I got into the Seminary in 1996. (Yes, I am that old… but not super old). Super Mario Bros. 3, Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear, – you name it.
Seamless Integration with Gaming Platforms
Now, let’s talk about the sweet integration of handheld gaming devices with platforms like Valve Steam and other PC and Linux gaming platforms. The Steam Deck, in particular, has my heart as it effortlessly connects with the vast Steam library. AAA titles, indie gems—it’s all there at our fingertips. Plus, being able to sync progress across different devices and enjoy cross-platform play adds an extra layer of convenience and excitement to the gaming experience. It’s a match made in gaming heaven.
ROG Ally, on the other hand, shines with compatibility with all Windows-ready gaming platforms. It is unhinged as I can easily connect and play games on Epic, GOG, Blizzard, or EA without software workarounds. These are doable on the Steam Deck, but as someone who just wants to play the games I’ve got on these platforms, the ROG Ally is just perfect for me. Zero-hassle to download games, but there’s a UX experience I’ve got with the Ally – it’s running on Windows.
Between Steam OS and Windows, the former is primed perfectly for handheld gaming. Windows for handheld gaming does not provide the best user experience, and I sincerely hope that Microsoft would move fast in enhancing the default experience. The ROG Ally’s saving grace, however, is Armoury Crate, which gives easy ways to manually tweak fan curves, TDP, connect game shortcuts, remap buttons and a lot more.
As a proud 40-year-old millennial, I can’t stress enough how handheld gaming has reinvigorated my love for gaming. It’s a true game-changer in terms of comfort, flexibility, and sheer enjoyment. Devices like the Steam Deck and ROG Ally are the perfect companions for our gaming adventures, offering us the comfort we crave and the nostalgia we long for. These devices are not just gadgets; they are portals to our fondest gaming memories.
If you’re a 40 year old (or above) like me, or you’re about to cross this new “threshold” and you’re a gamer at heart, then you might want to consider getting yourself a handheld gaming device. The comfort and flexibility provided by handheld gaming devices like the Steam Deck and ROG Ally make them an irresistible choice for us. We can kick back, relax, and game to our heart’s content, without worrying about sore backs or uncomfortable setups.
And let’s not forget the exhilaration of video game emulation. With these devices, we can dust off our favorite retro titles and relive the magic. Whether it’s battling through Super Mario Bros. levels or exploring the vast lands of The Legend of Zelda, the ability to revisit these games is an experience like no other. It’s a nostalgic journey that takes us back to the carefree days of our youth, filling our hearts with warmth and joy.
Moreover, the integration of handheld gaming devices with platforms like Valve Steam and other PC and Linux gaming platforms is a game-changer. We can access a vast library of games, from indie gems to blockbuster hits, all in one place. The convenience of syncing progress and engaging in cross-platform play adds a new level of excitement and connectivity to our gaming adventures. It’s a testament to the ever-expanding possibilities of handheld gaming.
Some might argue that we should leave gaming behind as we enter our 40s, but I say why deny ourselves the pleasure and thrill that gaming brings? Handheld gaming devices offer us a means to unwind, recharge, and tap into our inner child. They provide an avenue for self-expression, creativity, and social interaction, whether through online multiplayer or sharing gaming experiences with friends.
Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.