Valve launched its first-ever handheld console called Steam Deck, allowing gamers to play games from the Steam Library.
It’s a 7-inch 1280×800 LCD touchscreen that has a refresh rate of 60Hz. The button layouts seems to have everything. It adopted a familiar button layout of ABXY buttons, D-pad, L&R analog, and bumper triggers. But additionally, it has View & Menu buttons, two full-size analog sticks with capacitive touch, and four assignable grip buttons. This makes it an adaptable console that can play any games available in Steam.
It’s equipped with a custom AMD APU processor, a Zen 2 CPU, an RDNA 2 GPU, has 16GB of LPDDR 5 RAM, and has storage options of 64GB eMMC, 256GB NVMe SSD, and 512GB NVMe SSD.
Most of all, it runs on SteamOS 3.0 with Proton, making it possible to run games without any porting work needed from developers. To store more games, it also includes a microSD card slot.
It’s marketed to have a 40Whr battery capable of 2–8 hours of gameplay charged via USB Type-C. Other connectivity features include Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi 5.
Powered via USB-C, its dock supports one USB-A 3.1, two USB-A 2.0, an ethernet port, a DisplayPort, and an HDMI 2.0 port. The dock is sold separately.
The concept is similar to the Nintendo Switch experience, which is versatile to use may it be as a standalone handheld gaming console or portable in other gadgets such as monitors and gaming controllers. Unlike Switch, however, it allows players to install third-party apps, which also includes rivals’ shops such as the Epic Games Store.
As of now, it’s only available in regions United States, Canada, European Union, and the United Kingdom. It’s ready to ship in December 2021, available in three variants.
- Steam Deck: USD399 (64GB eMMC storage, carrying case)
- Steam Deck: USD529 (256GB NVMe SSD, faster storage, carrying case, Exclusive Steam community profile bundle)
- Steam Deck: USD649 (512GB NVMe SSD, Fastest storage, premium anti-glare etched glass, exclusive carrying case, exclusive steam community profile bundle, exclusive virtual keyboard theme)
Fortunately, Valve will include more regions by 2022. For now, stick around for future updates.