With the Steam Deck's announcement a few weeks ago, many saw the portable system as a competitor to the Nintendo Switch.
But Valve has clarified their stance on the discussion, implying that they never saw Nintendo as a rival due to their separate target audiences.
Steam Deck Is Targeting A Different Audience To The Switch, Valve Says
Valve Designer, Greg Coomer spoke to IGN about Steam Deck's target audience, and Valve's stance on the Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch debate. Coomer assures that the device aims for a separate audience to the Switch:
We tried to make all the decisions really in Steam Deck that targeted that audience and that served the customers that were already having a good time interacting with the games that are on that platform, on our platform. That really was how we were making our decisions. We've ended up with a device that cosmetically shares some traits with a Switch, but that just was... it's kind of an artifact of how we've proceeded down the design direction.
He clarifies that the design and playable games on the Steam Deck are different from Nintendo's, making the intended uses of both systems different.
So I think Nintendo does a great job targeting the audience they do with the content that they have. And that's going to be different. Like when you pick this up, it feels much more like the ergonomics for somebody who's used to playing with an expensive game controller, right? Because it's bigger and it's bulkier than a Switch. And if we're right, that's the right trade-off to be making for the audience that we're going after.