Yesterday saw the star-festooned extravaganza that was the 40th annual Golden Joystick awards. Unsurprisingly when it came to the software side, Elden Ring walked off with an armful of gongs, but the best hardware award went to Valve and the Steam Deck. The award was accepted by Gabe Newell, and in doing so he made a point about something we all take for granted in our wonder machines.
"On behalf of everyone at Valve, I would like to say thank you for giving Steam Deck the Golden Joystick award for best gaming hardware," said Newell. "So on my PC I have an AMD CPU, a Nvidia GPU, the PC's from Falcon Northwest, I have a Corsair mouse, I have a Logitech keyboard, I have a Samsung monitor…
"And it's that interoperability, that compatibility, that openness that really enables products like Steam Deck."
Falcon Northwest is an American company that builds pretty extraordinary custom PCs. You have to wonder who got the build order with the customer name "Gabe Newell" at the top, what a day that would have been.
Newell went on to reference Final Fantasy 14 director Naoki Yoshida's acceptance speech at last year's Golden Joysticks, when the MMO (which Newell plays "a ton" of) scooped up the Best Ongoing Game prize.
"But more importantly I was struck listening to Yoshi P's acceptance speech last year about his emphasis on community and I really want to echo it," said Newell. "If it weren't possible, if we didn't have that gaming community behind us driving the entire industry forward, products like Steam Deck wouldn't be possible. So in addition I'd really like to accept this award on behalf of the gaming community."
There we are then: all the credit for Steam Deck goes to you. Gabe's been more visible recently, which is nice to see: you can watch him delivering Steam Decks and recalling his days as a telegram boy, or even calling in favours via potato phones.