Gaming is becoming more mobile than ever. Nintendo has always led in this area with its portable handheld game consoles, but then smartphones and mobile gaming came along. NVIDIA has the Shield, and Xbox is even in the mix with game streaming on mobile devices. Valve has just unveiled the Steam Deck, a portable gaming PC that allows gamers to play their favourite Steam games on the go.
The announcement comes on the heels of Nintendo’s unveiling of the Nintendo Switch OLED, which basically features a slightly larger OLED screen over its predecessor and not much else. Valve’s Steam Deck promises to “run the latest AAA games – and runs them really well.” With high-fidelity controls including thumbsticks, directional pads, touchpads, and buttons. In addition, gamers will be able to connect peripherals and connect the portable gaming PC to a TV.
As one would expect, your entire Steam library is available on the Steam Deck, just power on the device, log in, and you’ll be able to access your games and communicate with your friends as if you were on your PC. This includes Steam Chat, notifications, Cloud Saves, Remote Play, Store, and Community.
The Steam Deck will be available in three configurations featuring different onboard storage amounts. All models will have a microSD card slot for expanded storage. An optional dock will allow you to expand the device even further by adding three more USB-A ports, an Ethernet port, and DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI2.0 connectivity. As for battery life, Valve claims between 2 and 8 hours, depending on what game you’re playing.
Technical specifications of the Steam Deck include:
|RAM||16 GB LPDDR5 RAM (5500 MT/s)|
|Storage||• 64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1)
• 256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)
• 512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)
All models include a high-speed microSD card slot
|Display type||7″ Optically bonded LCD for enhanced readability|
|Resolution||1200 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio)|
|Brightness||400 nits typical|
|Sensors||Ambient light sensor|
|Gamepad controls||• A B X Y buttons
• L & R analog triggers
• L & R bumpers
• View & Menu buttons
• 4 x assignable grip buttons
|Thumbsticks||2x full-size analog sticks with capacitive touch|
• 2x 32.5mm square trackpads with haptic feedback
• 55% better latency compared to Steam Controller
• pressure-sensitivity for configurable click strength
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 5.0 (support for controllers, accessories and audio)|
|Wi-Fi||Dual-band Wi-Fi radio, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, 2 x 2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac|
|Audio||Stereo with embedded DSP for an immersive listening experience|
|Microphones||Dual microphone array|
|Headphone/mic jack||3.5mm stereo headphones/headset jack|
|Digital||Multichannel audio via DisplayPort over USB-C, standard USB-C, or Bluetooth 5.0|
|Input||45W USB Type-C PD3.0 power supply|
|Battery||40Whr battery, 2-8 hours of gameplay|
|Expansion||microSD (UHS-I supports SD, SDXC and SDHC)|
|External ports||USB-C with DisplayPort 1.4 Alt-mode support; up to 8K @60Hz or 4K @120Hz, USB 3.2 Gen 2|
|Operating system||SteamOS 3.0 (Arch-based)|
|Dimensions||298 x 117 x 49mm|
|Weight||Approx 669 grams|
The Steam Deck is available to reserve starting at 10 am PT today (July 16th) and starts at US$399/CA$499 for the 64GB model. For US$529/CA$659, you can pick up the 256GB model and US$649/CA$819 will double that to 512GB and include an anti-glare etched case. An optional dock will be available as well. The device will begin ship in December to the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, and the EU. More regions will be coming in 2022.