Handheld PC gaming is finally getting the technology it deserves. Valve has officially announced Steam Deck, a handheld gaming PC that is set to deliver premium performance in the palm of your hand. Better yet, it’s arriving later this year. Get excited gamers.
Looking eerily similar to the Nintendo Switch console, the new Steam Deck has a streamlined form factor. Unlike the Switch, however, it promises to provide gamers with full gaming PC capabilities. According to Valve, it runes a modified version of the SteamOS, complete with a new console-like interface for easy navigation. With the handheld device, not only can you work your way through the Steam stores and your Steam library, but you also have access to an unrestricted computer desktop where any third-party applications can be installed.
On the outside, the Steam Deck has all the characteristics you’d expect from a handheld gaming device. It’s a little clunky to look at, but it does cop a 7-inch, 1280×800 resolution, 60hz LCD screen, a custom AMD APU. This includes 4-core, 8-thread CPU paired with 8 RDNA 2 compute units for the GPU, and 16 GBs of LPDDR5 RAM, meaning you have full range to explore open-world games. Recent reports from IGN even suggest the Steam Deck can suspend running games like a console, giving players access to their entire Steam library on the go.
The controller is a familiar button, trigger and joystick combo, but the good news is that the sticks are capacitive, meaning they know when your thumb is resting on them. Below each stick, you’ll also find a small trackpad that can be used for mouse inputs. Why mouse inputs, you ask? Well, the Steam Deck isn’t just a handheld PC gaming device.
The Steam Deck can be docked to an external display, as well as a mouse and keyboard if you want to use it as a more traditional PC. This means you have free rein to rule over your Steam library on the go or at home, without changing consoles. While Valve will be selling an official dock separately, any third-party USB-C adapter should work just as well.
The new Valve Steam Deck PC gaming device will be available in three different models, the only major difference between them being be storage size and speed. The base version id prices at USD$399 and comes with 64 GB of storage, followed by a USD$529 model with 256 GB, and finally a USD$649 version that has 512 GB and an anti-glare etched glass screen treatment. According to Valve, the new Steam Deck console will hitting stores for a holiday 2021 launch, so keep an eye out for this all-encompassing new release. It’s certain to give the Switch a run for its money.