Valve reveals its handheld console called Steam Deck

Valve have announced its own Nintendo Switch like handheld gaming device, called Steam Deck. Unlike the Switch however it is more like an actual PC.
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Valve has announced its own Nintendo Switch like handheld gaming device, called Steam Deck. Unlike the Switch, however, it functions similarly to an actual PC.

Valve is allowing reservations on Friday the 16th for a £4 refundable fee – this is not a pre-order but having a reservation will allow you to pre-order the product later this year before shipping begins in December.

The Steam Deck starts at £349 for the base model, with two further higher spec models also for sale, priced at £459 and £569. The main difference between the models appears to be larger and faster storage, however, the full difference between them according to Valve is as follows:

£349 Model:

  • 64GB eMMC internal storage.
  • Carrying case.

£459 Model:

  • 256GB NVMe SSD internal storage.
  • Faster storage.
  • Carrying case.
  • Exclusive Steam Community profile bundle.

£569 Model:

  • 512GB NVMe SSD internal storage.
  • Fastest storage.
  • Premium anti-glare etched glass.
  • Exclusive carrying case.
  • Exclusive Steam Community profile bundle.
  • Exclusive virtual keyboard theme.

All models include a MicroSD slot for additional storage.

Putting the storage aside, the internals on all the models appear to have the same offering. The internal specs of the Steam Deck are:

Processor:

  • AMD APU.
  • CPU: 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).
  • APU power: 4-15W.

RAM:

  • 16 GB LPDDR5 on-board RAM (5500 MT/s dual-channel).

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).

Display:

  • Resolution: 1280 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio).
  • Type: Optically bonded IPS LCD for enhanced readability.
  • Size: 7″ diagonal.
  • Brightness: 400 nits typical.
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz.

Size and weight:

  • 298mm x 117mm x 49mm.
  • Around 669 grams.

Therefore, the Steam Deck is quite powerful, more so than the Nintendo Switch, however it is almost twice as heavy. But one very important thing to consider is the fact that the Steam Deck is very open and not closed software-wise like the Switch is. The Steam Deck runs on SteamOS by default (which is based on Linux), but since it is basically just a handheld PC, the Steam Deck can actually run Windows if a user would like to do so. Even with SteamOS however, the Steam Deck generally will have a much larger offering of games than most other handheld gaming devices, since it is literally just a PC that can run any game on Steam, making its game library enormous.

Overall the Steam Deck would appear to be a great device from what we know so far, but ultimately it is aimed at a different customer base than the Nintendo Switch. It is less aimed at families or people who just want something very simple and easy to use and more aimed towards existing Steam users who wish to complement their PC gaming experience with a handheld device.

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