Finally, Valve has unveiled the SteamOS powered handheld gaming device called Steam Deck. It will start shipping in December this year.
The best part? You can quickly plug it into a TV or a monitor, and it can also be used as a PC. According to Valve, the handheld device is powered by an AMD processor and is able to run all the latest AAA titles.
Built in the shape of a rectangle, the Steam Deck looks like the Nintendo Switch with a 7-inch 1280×800 touchscreen and a trackpad that resembles the Steam Controller. It has an analog stick.
Coming to the software, the Steam Deck runs on the Steam OS, which is, in fact, a Linux-based operating system. It is interesting to note that this is the same operating system the infamous Steam Machines used. However, this does not imply that the Steam Deck will only run Linux-based games.
Valve says that they have drastically improved their Proton compatibility software which now works with several Anti-cheat systems. In other words, you can easily play Windows-based games on the Steam deck.
You can also replace the SteamOS and install Windows 10 or some other operating system. Lawrence Yang, a designer at Valve, told IGN,
We don’t think people should be locked into a certain direction or a certain set of software that they can install. If you buy a Steam Deck, it’s a PC. You can install whatever you want on it, you can attach any peripherals you want to it. Maybe a better way to think about it is that it’s a small PC with a controller attached as opposed to a gaming console.
According to Valve, the Steam deck has “more than enough performance to run the latest AAA games in a very efficient power envelope.” Steam has put up videos and images of people playing games such as Control, Jedi: Fallen Order, and Doom Eternal. It remains to be seen how the handheld gaming device will fare against other AAA titles such as Hunt: Showdown.
The one area where the Steam Deck loses out is the battery life. The company says that it will last a few hours, with the maximum battery life set at 8 hours when playing lighter games.
Steam Deck Price
If you wonder how much the Steam Deck will cost, you will be glad to know that the base variant with 64GB storage is priced at $399.
If you require more storage, the 256GB version is priced at $520, whereas the 512GB version will cost you $649. The two higher-end version features NVMe storage. The Steam Deck also supports a microSD card that allows users to expand existing storage.
Gabe Newell, who works at Valve, says,
Our view is, if we’re doing this right, we’re going to be selling these in millions of units, and it’s clearly going to be establishing a product category that ourselves and other PC manufacturers are going to be able to participate in. And that’s going to have long-term benefits for us. So that’s sort of the frame in which we’re thinking about this.
If you are curious to buy one, you will be able to book yourself a Steam Deck for a fee of just $5 starting this Friday. However, keep in mind that if you live in the US, Canada, UK, and the EU, you will be able to get your hands on the Steam Deck starting this December. Other regions will see the device sometime in 2022.