Elgato, the company responsible for my strange addiction to put more buttons on my desk, has just launched its latest streaming accessory, the Elgato Stream Deck Plus, which is currently available on the Elgato store and Amazon for $199.99, $70 less than the Razer Stream Controller but $50 more than the Stream Deck MK. 2. Like its predecessors, the Stream Deck Plus has a set of buttons that can be assigned to a variety of functions and plug-ins available through the Elgato Stream Deck software, but this version comes with a set of four buttons and an LED screen.
If you’ve used a Stream Deck before, you know what to expect. The buttons are similar to previous versions of the Stream Deck, but are slightly larger, making icons appear more vibrant and making the button text easier to read. The Plus lacks some of the improvements we saw with the Stream Deck MK. 2, namely the exchangeable front plate, which is somewhat disappointing. The stand on the Stream Deck Plus is not designed to be easily removed and is not adjustable, supporting the deck at an angle of approximately 15 degrees.
The main draw of the Stream Deck Plus is its four buttons, which allow for precise adjustment of volume, camera zoom and other functions. Each button can turn infinitely left or right and can be pressed with a satisfying click. In the Elgato Stream Deck software, the watch faces get their own exclusive column of plugins and are not compatible with plugins designed for buttons.
At launch, there are only a handful of apps that can be used with the buttons, and most are linked directly to Elgato’s software, which is only compatible with Elgato products. However, third-party developers like BarRaider have had early versions of Steam Deck Plus and the SDK so they could work on their own plugins before release, which should hopefully bring new button functionality soon.
Another feature of the Stream Deck Plus that isn’t quite as obvious, but is arguably just as cool as the buttons, is the LED touchscreen. Nestled between the eight buttons and the new buttons is a small LED screen that displays the current functions assigned to each button, but it’s also a touchscreen that lets you swipe left and right to navigate the different pages of apps. that you have assigned to your home screen . In some cases you can also use the touchscreen as a button to activate certain functions. Taps and swipes on the touch bar cannot be reassigned, but that may change with post-launch updates.
I’ve spent some time with the Stream Deck Plus and was able to transfer the existing features of my Stream Deck XL without too much trouble. You can expect a full review in the near future, but we’ll wait for more third-party apps to become available before making a verdict.