Valve, the American video game software company best known for video games like Half-Life and Portal, and PC video game distribution platform, Steam, has just delight the video game world with a new hardware. No, it’s not another Steam PC. It is a handheld gaming console aka portable gaming device.
Some referred to the device, called Steam Deck, as a direct competition to Nintendo Switch, but I think it is not quite. It plays PC titles which is another segment altogether.
Steam Deck feels more like a formal answer to PC gaming on-the-go to brands like, say, GPD which have been dishing out handheld PC gaming devices.
However, the setup is pretty much what you expect of a handheld: a screen flanked by two sections with controls on them.
The screen in this instance is a 7-inch touchscreen with 1,280 x 800 resolution and 60 Hz refresh rate while the controls available at your disposal are a pair of thumbsticks, two 32.5 mm square trackpads, an analog directional pad (aka D-pad) on one side and a set of ABXY button on the other, four trigger buttons, and four grip buttons. Gyro control is in order too because, why not?
Also onboard are a headphone jack, stereo speakers, dual microphones, and motors to provide haptic feedback.
Under the hood, Steam Deck is powered by a custom AMD chipset, featuring a 2.4-3.5 GHz processor and a 1.0-1.6 GHz GPU with “eight RDNA 2 computer units.” The chip is backed by 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 512 of NVMe storage. The latter is further expandable with a microSD card.
The device is kept juiced by a 40 Wh battery good for 2-8 hours on a single charge. It is powered by SteamOS. An optional dock will let you hook up Steam Deck with external displays too. In this regard, though, it is very much like the Switch. But I have reiterate, it is has a completely different target market.
Personally, I thought Steam Deck might just attract new adopters of Steam games who previously rather not have a high-end PC. I know am I one of them.
The Valve Steam Deck Handheld Gaming Console will be available to the the U.K., and the North America and EU markets this December for a starting price of US$399.
Meanwhile, both Dell’s Alienware and Razer may also get into this handheld gaming console market.
Introducing Steam Deck: powerful, portable PC gaming starting at $399. Designed by Valve, powered by Steam. Shipping December 2021.— Steam (@Steam) July 15, 2021
Learn more at https://t.co/ZOTx3KUCVK and reserve yours tomorrow. #SteamDeck pic.twitter.com/jcgbaKfT9c