The Nintendo Switch has been the go-to option for mobile gaming since it launched back in 2017, but it looks like it has some serious competition. Valve just announced its handheld gaming console named the Steam Deck. With it, the company promises an authentic PC gaming experience on the go.
The Steam Deck will be powered by a custom AMD chip
Promising a handheld PC gaming experience is a tall order. Valve partnered with AMD to build a custom APU to power the device. The CPU will be a Zen 2 4c/8t clocked at 2.4-3.5GHz. The GPU will be an 8 RDNA 2 CUs clocked at 1.0-1.6GHz.
While Valve states that the Steam Deck will be able to play AAA games, it will most likely need to keep the games on a lower graphical setting in order to maintain performance. It states that the processor is a very “efficient package.”
There will be three storage options: 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB. If that’s not enough, it will also have a microSD card slot. A PC gaming device will need to have the RAM to keep everything running, this is why it will come with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. That’s in the neighborhood of most gaming phones today.
The display will be a bit bigger than the current Switch model
Introducing Steam Deck: powerful, portable PC gaming starting at $399. Designed by Valve, powered by Steam. Shipping December 2021.Advertisement
— Steam (@Steam) July 15, 2021
The Steam Deck will come with a 7 inch LCD display. That’s a little bit bigger than the original Switch’s display which is 6.2 inches. But it’s the same size as the display on the Nintendo Switch OLED model, which pre-orders went live for today. It will have a resolution of 1280 X 800, which is slightly sharper than 720p.
This might be a disappointment to people who like high-definition gaming. Another downside is the fact that it will only be able to get up to 400 nits of brightness, which will make playing outside difficult.
The Steam Deck will have all the connectivity options that you would want
The Steam Deck has a USB-C port that you can use to connect accessories. You can connect external controllers, fight sticks, keyboards, mice, and other peripherals.
What’s interesting is the fact that you can dock the Steam Deck to use on a high-definition monitor. When connected to a monitor, it will be able to output a 4K signal up to 120Hz and an 8K signal up to 60Hz.
If you don’t want to bother with using any wired devices, there’s the option to use Bluetooth. One main gripe that Switch users have is the lack of Bluetooth capabilities. It also supports WiFi 802.11ac, which runs on the 5GHz signal band.
You get all this for a price that’s actually pretty good
Other features include the Hi-Fi audio, a 45Whr battery that’s rated for 2-8 hours of gameplay, a trackpad, gyroscope capabilities, and all the buttons you would need to play any game.
All of this comes in a package that starts at $399. That will get you the 64GB model. The 256GB model will sell for $529 and the 512GB model will cost $649. The Steam Deck will start shipping in December this year. You can reserve your unit here.