Steam Deck: Everything you need to know about Valve’s Switch-like handheld console

Valve Steam Deck

Following the announcement of the Nintendo Switch OLED Model, Valve has shifted gears and announced the Steam Deck, a hybrid console with a similar format but with more features and a massive game library.

The Steam Deck is Valve’s long-rumored portable console that can be connected to your TV, played on the go, and even used as a PC. Thanks to Steam, it has a massive game catalog. All of those games that you already have in your Steam library are just waiting to be played on the Steam Deck.

It would be unfair to say that the Steam Deck concept is novel or revolutionary. This is because both the Nintendo Switch and the original Smach Z introduced us to this handheld-console hybrid concept. You can use it the same way as a classic handheld gaming system or connect it to a TV to play on your couch.

The best part is that, despite the fact that it is a surprise announcement, the project is much more than just an announcement. We will have it in our hands before the end of 2021, and Valve has laid out the cards.

Here’s what you need to know about the Steam Deck!

Steam Deck: A Hybrid Console

Despite its unconventional format, the Steam Deck shares many similarities with the well-known Steam Machine, including many similarities in terms of controls with the old and failed Steam Controller. Despite this, we are witnessing a massive leap forward from Steam.

To summarize, it is not common for a completely digital gaming platform to end up being converted into hardware when, in fact, we are still doing the opposite with cloud gaming services.

That is, what makes Steam Deck a unique system is, in essence, everything that the Valve community has accomplished and amassed over the years. Since then, there have been games, but there has also been community and an aggressive pricing and discounting policy. That’s something about which this new console will undoubtedly utilize to its advantage.

Valve’s Nintendo Switch?

Comparing the Steam Deck to the Nintendo Switch is hardly unexpected. We’re talking about a portable system with a 7-inch touch-screen display (1280 x 800 pixels) and two sets of controls, one with sticks and the other with tactile pads (same as the Steam Controller). However, we will be able to connect it to a screen via HDMI 2.0 thanks to its own connection point (Dock).

That is, unlike the Switch, the Steam Deck Dock will be sold separately. The dock will allow you to play in both single-player and multiplayer modes, as well as use your Steam Deck as a portable computer. As with the Intel NUC, this Valve console will allow gamers to use it as a mini-PC with the ability to connect to external monitors via the previously mentioned HDMI 2.0 port, as well as a keyboard and mouse.

Many people wonder, however, if it will have a Valve-specific operating system. It will ship with the well-known SteamOS, but what will come as a surprise is the ability to install Windows and use it as the primary software by placing it in the dock. That adds a lot of value that Nintendo Switch doesn’t offer.

The processor is a custom APU designed for the occasion and optimized for mobile gaming. More specifically, an AMD with a CPU Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5 GHz, and a GPU with 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1-1.6 GHz. This is complemented by 15 GB of LPDDR5 RAM.

To that end, two of the three editions include SSD storage (similar to that found in next-generation consoles) for faster and more precise game loading. Not bad for a system that Valve promotes as a computer that can be connected to any screen, keyboard, or mouse.

64 GB Edition256 GB Edition512 GB Edition
Price$399$529$649
Storage64GB eMMC256 GB NVMe SSD512 GB NVMe SSD
ExtrasCarrying case-Carrying case
-Steam Community Exclusive Profile Lot
-Premium anti-reflective screen
-Exclusive carrying case
-Exclusive Steam Community profile bundle
-Virtual keyboard with exclusive theme
Release dateDecember 2021December 2021December 2021

Steam Deck is coming out in December 2021. Reservations open on Friday, July 16. When making a reservation, we will have three different editions to choose from, each with its own price and storage capacity, but there will also be other factors to consider. Steam Deck reservations are made through Steam, and there is a reservation fee for those who join the pre-reservation club, who will receive an email when consoles become available.

As previously stated, the dock is sold separately and is also coming out in December, but Valve has provided no additional information. Following the disappointing Nintendo Switch OLED Model announcement, perhaps Valve’s new console will be able to eventually dethrone Nintendo’s monopoly on portable gaming.

With all of this in mind, we must wait until December. And who knows? Maybe we’ll see more competitors enter the space before the year ends.

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