With Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s Switch dominating the video game industry, Valve recently announced the Steam Deck, a handheld joystick specifically targeting Steam PC games. Through IGN‘s detailed reports, we get to dig into this upcoming console a bit more, including its hardware, software, prices and more.
According to IGN’s first-hand experience with the device, the Steam Deck seems to be a slightly larger Switch with advanced features. It runs like a console version of Valve’s SteamOS but retains easy access to the Steam store and your personal Steam library. What’s even more impressive is that in addition to Steam PC games, the Steam Deck can also perform any third-party application that can be installed through the computer desktop. This console is designed to offer you full capacities to any PC game, as Valve coder Pierre-Loup Griffais promised in an interview with IGN. “It can pretty much run anything you can run on a PC,” Griffais said.
As for hardware, the Steam Deck has a seven-inch, 1280×800 resolution, 60hz LCD screen, a custom AMD APU featuring a 4-core, 8-thread CPU paired with 8 RDNA 2 compute units for the GPU and 16 GBs of LPDDR5 RAM. These features allow it to run at a high speed, even faster than Nintendo’s Switch. And because of how “perfect” it already is, Griffais said that the core hardware is not expected to be upgradable.
You can treat the console as a traditional PC by connecting it to a mouse, keyboard and even external display. The official dock from Valve will come as a separate deal. The Steam Deck also supports Bluetooth devices that are operatable on PC, including headphones like Apple AirPods.
Speaking of selling, the Steam Deck will come in three different deals with varying storage sizes and speeds. It starts with a $399 version with 64 GB of storage, followed by a $529 model with 256 GB and finally a $649 model that has 512 GB and an anti-glare etched glass screen treatment. The latter two Steam Decks will be equipped with faster NVMe SSDs, and you can install and play games off of a Micro SD Card on all three models.
A reservation pre-order system has already been available in some regions. While there is no hard release date so far, the website suggests that shipments will start approximately in December. You can log into your Steam account and get notifications for further information about the Steam Deck.