Today's the big day for digital pinball, Zen has finally released its new Pinball FX platform on Steam. In anticipation of the game being set free on PCs, last week I ordered a Steam Deck.
I know that a lot of people don't like digital pinball, but to me after a full day of work, working out and taking my son to sports there's something that I find amazingly relaxing about flopping down on the sofa and playing a few games of digital pinball. I love it. Sure it's not exactly the same as real pinball...and it doesn't have to be for it to be fun. I know that Zen bungled the launch of the new Pinball FX about as badly as it could have, but I still like the product. So this morning during breakfast this morning I loaded Pinball FX up on the Steam Deck to see how it played.
First and foremost, man the Pinball FX file is really big, at least for the entry level Steam Deck, which is the one that I bought. My thinking there was, the only difference between the tree available Steam Deck models is the internal SSD memory so I went with the cheapest one and I have a 1 TB memory card coming in the mail this week. Anyhow, the base Steam Deck has 64 GB of internal memory, some of which is taken up by the OS and other necessary files. Well, Pinball FX takes up something like 35 GB. That's a massive chunk of the unit's available memory, at least until my memory card arrives. So I cleared out most of the existing games on my Steam Deck and got it to work.
The default graphic settings for Pinball FX look amazing on my Alienware gaming PC, but they sure tax the Steam Deck. When I tried my first game of pinball on the my Steam Deck it was all laggy and the device eventually started huffing and puffing super hot air from the vents. So, I decided to lower the graphic quality of the game in the settings and it plays much, much better. I'm busy with work today so I haven't put in many games on the Steam Deck yet, but I have the sneaking suspicion that I am going to play the heck out of this thing while relaxing on the sofa with my family in the evening after a long day.
If you recall from my earlier post, in addition to today's new availability of Pinball FX on Steam Zen also dropped a bunch of new tables for it, including Bally Twilight Zone, three new Godzilla / King Kong tables, remasters of myriad of Marvel tables that were out on an earlier version of Pinball FX and a Crypt of the Necrodancer table. All of the Star Wars tables are on there as well. There is a TON of content on Pinball FX at its Steam launch. Since the game still isn't out on the Nintendo Switch and the Steam Deck likely has better performance than the Nintendo anyhow this is going to be my new go to digital pinball platform.