Steam Deck, Valve handheld for PC games, announced for December release

The Steam Deck is a brand-new portable gadget from Valve for playing PC video games on the go, the business revealed Thursday. The Nintendo Switch-like gadget is set for release in December beginning at $399.

Formerly reported as the “SteamPal,” the Steam Deck is a portable PC that’s somewhat bigger than the Nintendo Change. It includes a 7-inch touchscreen, 2 thumbsticks, a D-pad, and a four-button design. There are likewise 2 trackpads — one on either side of the maker, under the thumbsticks — to enable increased accuracy. The Steam Deck has 8 triggers on its back: 4 on the gadget’s shoulders and 4 more where the ring and pinky fingers rest.

The Steam Deck will run video games from gamers’ existing Steam libraries. Gamers will just log into their account, and their buddies and brochure need to follow them onto the portable. The Steam Deck can running PC video games by itself hardware, without the power of the cloud. Videos launched by Valve reveal individuals utilizing the Steam Deck to natively play video games such as Baldur’s Gate 3, Crusader Kings 3, Disco Elysium, Hades, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Gamers can likewise acquire a dock that enables the Steam Deck to work on a TELEVISION.

Inside, the Steam Deck boasts a sped up processing system (APU) constructed by AMD. Its CPU is based upon the business’s Zen 2 microarchitecture and peaks at 3.5 GHz. The GPU includes 8 RDNA 2 calculate systems performing at as much as 1.6 GHz, providing peak efficiency of 1.6 teraflops. The system loads 16 GB of RAM and a microSD card slot, enabling users to broaden upon the integrated storage. The Steam Deck’s 7-inch screen is an LCD with a 16:10 element ratio and a 60 Hz refresh rate at a 720p resolution of 1280×800. The Steam Deck likewise includes a dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi radio — it’s compatible with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks — and Bluetooth 5.0 for controllers, devices, and (unlike the Change) audio.

At launch, the Steam Deck will be readily available in 3 designs with various storage alternatives. Valve states there are no efficiency distinctions in between the 3 variations — aside from the speed of the flash memory, which will supply differing read and compose speeds.

The $399 base design provides 64 GB of storage in the eMMC format. The next design up expenses $529, and loads quicker storage thanks to a 256 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD; it likewise comes with an “exclusive Steam Community profile bundle.” The top-tier Steam Deck, at $649, consists of a 512 GB NVMe SSD that Valve describes as “high-speed,” although it is still a PCIe 3.0 drive. In addition, this design’s screen functions “premium anti-glare etched glass.” The system comes with a special bring case and unique virtual keyboard style, on top of the more affordable designs’ bonus offers.

Steam users will have the ability to book any of the 3 Steam Deck designs (for a cost) beginning at 1 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 16 — as long as they bought on the Steam Shop at some time prior to June 2021. If not, they’ll need to wait till 2 days later on.

The 40 watt-hour battery inside the Steam Deck provides 2 to 8 hours of gameplay, according to Valve — a large range that most likely depends upon how taxing the software application is. For audio, the Steam Deck includes double microphones, front-facing speakers, and an earphone jack. The whole maker weighs 1.47 pounds, and steps 11.73 inches long by 4.6 inches high by 1.93 inches deep. (For contrast’s sake, the base design of the Nintendo Change with both Joy-Cons connected weighs simply 0.88 pounds, and determines 9.4 inches long, 4 inches high, and 0.55 inches deep.)

The Steam Deck’s main dock enables users to link the portable to an external display screen like a TELEVISION or computer system display. It has 3 USB ports: one is USB 3.1, and the other 2 are USB 2.0. It likewise provides 2 video outputs — DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 — and an Ethernet jack. Thanks To USB-C DisplayPort (aka DP Alt Mode), the dock will support video output in 4K resolution at 120 Hz or 8K at 60 Hz, although thinking about the power of the Steam Deck’s elements, it’s extremely not likely that it might natively run video games at those resolutions.

Valve will offer the dock independently; there’s no word yet on a cost or release date. The business did define in an interview with IGN that the Steam Deck will work with “any USB-C dock that you can buy off the shelf.”

The Steam Deck likewise works as a typical computer system, enabling gamers to “install and use PC software,” according to Valve. For example, users will able to search the web and watch streams along with play video games. On the software side, the Steam Deck supports Steam features such as chat, notifications, cloud saves for video games, remote play (allowing users to stream video games from their home PC to the handheld), and the Steam Store.

It’s worth noting that the Steam Deck doesn’t run Windows, which is by far the most common operating system for Steam users. Instead, it runs the Linux-based SteamOS, version 3.0, which Valve says is “built with Steam Deck in mind and optimized for a handheld gaming experience.” SteamOS 3.0 includes Proton, a “compatibility layer” that allows Windows video games to run on Linux “without any porting work needed from developers.”

However, the Steam Deck is not a closed device, so Valve won’t stop users from doing what they want with it, such as installing Windows and the Epic Games Shop. And now that Xbox Cloud Video gaming is readily available in a web internet browser, the Steam Deck might most likely be utilized as a portable Xbox Video game Pass maker.

“It is a PC; you can install whatever you want on it,” Valve’s Erik Peterson stated in a developer-oriented video released to Valve’s Steamworks YouTube channel. In addition, Greg Coomer of Valve informed IGN that the Steam Deck’s accessory assistance encompasses “anything that can be plugged in via USB and anything that can be plugged in or accessed via Bluetooth.”

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.