With another seasonal change, we see another huge seasonal Steam Sale. The Steam Spring Sale went live in time for last weekend and will continue until the 27th of this month. Now while there’s some game deals going on (Subnautica and Cult of the Lamb are at their currently historic low), the one deal that has everyone talking is on Valve’s own hardware. For the Steam Deck’s first birthday, Valve is celebrating by taking 10% off the price.
In a sea of games 60%, 75%, even 90% off, 10% doesn’t look like a whole lot, but the fact there even is a sale on the Steam Deck is pretty awesome to see. The Steam Deck has remain in the Top Sellers pretty much since it launched last year so I didn’t anticipate the device going on sale until at least the holidays of this year. There have even been reports Valve started issuing Steam Wallet credits to people who purchased close to the 10% sale. If you haven’t picked up a Steam Deck then this is the perfect time, not only for the discount on the system and games, but with the swath of information out there.
When I pre-ordered my Steam Deck, I went with the 512GB model at $649 because we still didn’t know how upgradable the storage was. Now that we know how easy the SSD upgrade is (check out Gardiner’s walkthrough video) you can save a lot of money going with the base model at $359.10. Add a Sabrent 1TB drive and together it’ll cost you $479.09 for twice the storage of the $584.10. With that extra hundred dollars you could go through that same Steam Deck sale page to see the top hundred games on Deck (even if you own the console you still should), however if you’re a 3DS or Wii U owner then you might want get some eShop games as it’s now or never.
We have all been aware of the 3DS and Wii U eShops closing for about a year now, despite the backlash, but that still doesn’t lessen the blow that the shops close at the end of this week. While not the most successful or beloved Nintendo Systems, both the 3DS and Wii U were and are fantastic and I’ve enjoyed collecting for them even past their hayday. Hot take: I don’t like the N64. I think while it had some legendary games, it did not age well and most if not all those games have since been ported or received remasters and a lot of them on 3DS. The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D, Majora’s Mask 3D, Star Fox 64 3D, and even for the original DS Super Mario 64 DS. The Wii U meanwhile had some asymmetrical multiplayer that simply won’t exist at the end of this week like Affordable Space Adventures.
All of this brings me back emulation, while not perfect, is the best method of preservation the average consumer like you and myself have available. It’s trivial to hack these two systems and dump your legally purchased games to be emulated on your PC or 10% off Steam Deck. I’ve been revisiting Breath of the Wild as my partner just started it for the first time so I’ve gotten to see a direct comparison of the game running on native hardware and emulated on my Deck. It’s not only impressive, but is a better experience running at the Triforce golden 40 FPS. The only other method of preservation would be to spend over $20,000 on games in the eShop and donate it to the Video Game History Foundation, not that’s not something a mere mortal can accomplish.
As I’ve written in the past, Nintendo has very little interest in providing its consumers reasonable access to their back catalog, Instead they provide a paltry sum of their first party games from the NES to the GBA for $50 a year. With the used games market still horribly expensive, this will probably be your last time to buy 3DS and Wii U games in any reasonable way. My advice, save $100 on a Steam Deck and spend that on whatever 3DS/Wii U games you told yourself, “Yeah I’ll get around to it”. You certainly won’t be able to after this week.
So what do you think? Are you going to be picking up a Steam Deck during the Spring Sale? Did you purchase one recently and got a store credit from Valve? Trying to scoop up 3DS and Wii U digital games before the stores close? Let us know in the comments down below!