The SteamOS devices can be plugged right into a TV or Monitor just like a Nintendo Switch! Or used as a standalone PC!
Valve's latest tech marvel, a handheld gaming device called Steam Deck will be gracing us in December 2021. Just in time for Christmas!
Valve stated today that the device can play "the latest AAA games", dock directly to a TV or monitor, be used as it's own gaming PC or be your new on the go gaming driver! The little slab of tech has been labelled a AMD "powerhouse" that boasts a 7 inch screen (not unlike the new OLED Nintendo Switch), has a 1280x800 touchscreen, two trackpads (like we saw on the somewhat dropped project the Steam Controller) and a set of full-sized analogue sticks!
The software inside the new machine had me baffled at first as it's a Linux-based SteamOS which was used previously on the Steam Machines... however Valve have stated that the device can be entirely wiped (should you choose to) and be moved to Windows. Not sure if I'd risk that personally on my brand new device that should work perfectly fine on the inbuilt software built by Valve themselves! They did also state that you'll be able to play games built for Windows regardless so why would you need to anyway?
Valve really seem to be touting this as a wonder device, you can "Browse the web, watch streaming video, do your normal productivity stuff, install some other game stores, whatever," Valve said this week.
It'll do want Nintendoesn't... but we've heard that before haven't we? Hopefully it isn't another Sega GameGear going up against Nintendo's latest handhelds (IS THE SWITCH PRO STILL COMING?!), but personally with the added features to be a standalone PC I think it has a real chance of standing out as something different and not just competition. Valve also stated in an interview with IGN that a specialized dock, not too dissimilar again from the Nintendo Switch will be coming soon too however this does not have a price or confirmed release date yet.
Let's get nerdy and talk hardware!
Steam Deck Specs
Here are the specifications of the handheld itself, according to Valve:
CPU: AMD Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)
GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32)
RAM: 16 GB DDR5
Storage: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB versions; expandable with MicroSD cards (YUS! This could've been a deal breaker.)
Display: 7" diagonal, 1280x800 (16:10), 60Hz LCD touchscreen, and the 512GB will come with an anti-glare etched glass screen (shame it's only this model!)
Audio: Stereo speakers that "pack a punch,", 3.5mm stereo jack, dual mics, multichannel USB-C/Bluetooth output
Controls: Two analog sticks with capacitive touch, D-pad, face buttons, analog triggers, bumpers, assignable grip buttons, "view" and "menu" buttons, gyro
Trackpads: There's two of them, and Valve says that they have "55% better latency compared to Steam Controller."
Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Wired connectivity: USB-C with DisplayPort 1.4 Alt-mode support; up to 8K @60Hz or 4K @120Hz, USB 3.2 Gen 2
Battery: 40Whr, "2-8 hours of gameplay" or "up to 5 hours
Size: 11.7" x 4.6" x 1.8" (298mm x 117mm x 49mm)
Weight: Approximately 1.47 lbs (669 grams)
PRICES COMING & PREORDER INFO below
Valve also stated that you probable could run your VR headset into the handheld however how far you'd get is yet to be seen... not just for the processing power to run the games but also how much your battery life would be effected. The battery life is surely a concern due to the power of the device itself as we've seen in some of the promo material players gaming down on some Doom Eternal, Jedi Fallen Order and Control. Valve said that the device would last "several hours" and "lighter use cases like game streaming, smaller 2D games, or web browsing." would see up to 8 hours of battery life. Let's remain optimistic however that aspect is something that Nintendo fans love about their hardware and it would surely be a huge benefit to Steam Deck to try it's little lithium heart out for.
The current prices given are as follows:
64GB - $399
256GB - $529
512GB - $649 - Also comes with an anti-glare etched glass screen!
As I said above I think it's a shame only the top spec device comes with the anti glare glass as I think most people would benefit from that. And, I feel that people are more likely to be playing on the go with their cheaper devices as opposed to taking their expensive pocket PC to play on the train on the way to work. So you'd think that the people who would need it most would in that case be the buyers more likely to purchase the cheaper model. Maybe I'm wrong and feel free to let me know below!
Starting this Friday at 10 am Pacific, for only $5 you can reserve your new Stream Deck ready to start shipping in December.
December 2021 will see units shipped to the United States, Canada, the European Union, and the UK, with more regions adding to the list from 2022.