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The Steam Deck needs more startup movies

The Steam Points Shop only has 27 Steam Deck start-up movies, with six being based on games you can currently purchase on the handheld.

Screenshot of the Steam Points shop on the screen of a Steam Deck OLED.

Before the Steam Deck OLED launched for all of us to get our PC gaming handheld loving hands-on, the variety of start-up movies on the Steam Points Store was fairly limited. A new set of animations based upon some of the best games to play on the go has since been added. However, the variety and quantity of options for the Valve handheld is still incredibly limited, despite the full range of possibilities.

When first buying a Steam Deck of your very own, your Points Shop balance will become beset with points, the platforms’ own currency given out whenever you make a purchase. If you decide to pick up the delicious new Steam Deck OLED, you’ll be given 100 points per $1 to spend on a feast of profile backgrounds, animated avatars, emoticons, and of course, Steam Deck start-up movies. However, despite almost coming up to the second anniversary of the handheld’s lifespan, the quantity of start-up movies available is pretty abysmal, leaving you opting to keep your remaining points balance for a rainy day.

Originally there were 21 start-up animations to choose from, each one cleverly created to form the Steam Deck logo, like the default boot-up, in a myriad of interesting ways. Each animation is incredibly well-designed, with the Portal animation of a turret being manufactured, only to create the Steam Deck logo with its iconic red eye, being a personal favorite of mine. Yet, I just expected more on offer for the magnum opus of Steam hardware, and a piece of kit that can set you back more than the current-gen consoles.

The launch of the Steam Deck OLED saw a new array of start-up movies being added to the store, including ones based on some of the best Steam Deck games you can currently play on the handheld. From animations featuring Ranni’s hauntingly beautiful face peering up at you from Elden Ring, to everyone’s favorite boy Zagreus from Hades, reaching up into the sky, five new start-up movies in total were added to the points shop, with an exclusive start-up movie was also given to the select few who ordered the 1TB version of the new Steam Deck OLED. Their addition was overshadowed by the expected excitement over the OLED model’s drop, but upon seeing the new start-up movies on offer, I was still disappointed, and my points balance remained untouched.

Where Valve hasn’t delivered, the Steam Deck community has risen to the occasion, creating some of the best custom start-up movies I’ve come across. There’s a whole Steam Deck Subreddit dedicated to purely sharing some genius movie designs and edits, with over 10k members as of writing. It does take some tinkering to get your own custom animations to run, but seeing the pay-off of examples, like the nostalgic Microsoft XP boot-up, or a clever rendition of the Marvel Cinematic Universe opening but with famous characters from notable Steam games, makes the possibilities seem endless. I’ve even seen the boot-up animation from a classic episode of The Simpsons TV series, featuring that of Mr Burns on Smithers computer, being used as a startup movie, which is probably my favorite yet.

While you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth, and I was pleasantly surprised with the addition of any start-up movies alongside the Steam Deck OLED launch, I can’t help but wish there was more on offer in the Points Shop for Deck owners. Outside of Portal, even some animations based upon some of the most iconic Valve properties, to co-inside with the 25th anniversary of Half-Life for example, would be a great a nice way to celebrate all the great memories we’ve had with Valve games and products over the years. Until then, the best start-up movies are likely to be found and created by the genius Steam Deck community, and it’s likely my Points Shop balance will be set aside for more backgrounds for my Steam profile instead.

Check out our Steam Deck OLED review, if you still need some convincing about adding this PC gaming handheld to your setup. If you’re enjoying the benefits of Deck ownership, picking up one of the best Steam Deck docks will help fully unlock the potential of your new favorite handheld.