Lord, I’m in love with Valve’s Steam Deck TGS booth

the steam coverThe launch in Asia has taken it to the Tokyo game showfollowing a solo launch event that included several surviving Steam Deck prototypes. In my report on the latter, I made a few passing references to a novel oversized rig Valve was building for its TGS booth, not realizing how often I’d find myself admiring it a few days later. Look, the Steam Deck booth at TGS, from the imposing scale model to the weirdly impressive elegance of its logistics, might just be the best event booth I’ve ever seen.

I’m not sorry! Single Look– Even without the Big Deck, which comes complete with a suitably giant functional screen, it’s a beautiful display design. The vast and coldly lit space; the neat shelves of the demo units; the fact that there are real seats?! Can people go to a big event like this and sit on something other than a disgusting floor? Incredible. I bet they even have bottled water that isn’t carbonated.

As you can probably infer, booths like these are not the norm. I’ve been to a few tech shows in my time, and the usual routine when going to try out a piece of hardware is as follows: you show up at a booth that’s already overcrowded for its size, move to where the crowd around the demo kit it’s more sparse, move around awkwardly for a few minutes, then move to a completely different section of the crowd anyway because a YouTuber is here and he wants everyone to stand back ten feet so he can set up his tripod.

Ah, having written more practices after visiting posts like the Steam Deck. A video by Valve designer Lawrence Yang shows a much more civilized visiting experience, starting with a nice stroll through the huge main area and ending by playing a Steam Deck in your choice of Three different seating options. Apparently, the only waiting period is filled by watching an informative video on the Steam Deck, after which everyone can help themselves to a real one to try. No fights between everyone, no stress, no tripods. Darling.

Y look how organized it is! We Brits have spent the last two days patting ourselves on the back for a (certainly very long) queuing to see the dear late Queen Liz, but the sight of 150 random TGS attendees parading neatly past the shelves of Demo Decks remains the most impressive demonstration of logistical courtesy I’ve seen this week. And again, that’s enabled by the cabin, in all its roomy, friendly, white-and-blue glory. It is not surprising Hideo Kojima passed by here.

The only thing I don’t like about this booth is its potential to induce deep-seated feelings of inadequacy, specifically in myself. Since RPS shares a corporate overload with EGX, Katharine and I (mainly Katharine) have been collaborating on a Steam Deck demo booth to EGX London next week. I have no idea how big or resplendent it will be, but between us, the reader, even a second-hand view of Valve’s effort makes me wonder how ours will fare. Still, if you attend and see me around, feel free to say hello. I could deny that I wrote any of this.

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