Valve has released new details about their portable gaming device Steam Deck, which will launch this December.
Valve Announces Steam Deck Releasing This December 2021
Steam Deck will be releasing this December, with reservations starting on July 16th at 1PM ET. The device’s starting price starts at $399, with $529 and $649 models, with 64GB, 256 GB and 512 GB respectively. The two more expensive models come with NVMe SSD allowing faster storage.
The Steam Deck will have access to your entire Steam Library just like any PC according to the official Steam Deck page.
Steam Deck Features
The device comes with a number of features that will rival that of the Switch including being able to connect the Steam Deck to your TV without the need for a dock, but a dock accessory is available if you want to play tabletop mode, offers a number of connections or plug into your TV. “Deck can be plugged into your TV, monitor, or even your old CRT if you have the right cables.” The Deck comes with USB-C ports that contain HDMI, Ethernet and USB data, as well as Bluetooth, including native Bluetooth audio.
Steam Deck Specs
- CPU: AMD Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)
- GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32)
- RAM: 16 GB DDR5
- Storage: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB versions; expandable with MicroSD cards
- Display: 7″ diagonal, 1280×800 (16:10), 60Hz LCD touchscreen
- Audio: Stereo speakers that “pack a punch,” says Valve, 3.5mm stereo jack, dual mics, multichannel USB-C/Bluetooth output
- Controls: Two analog sticks with capacitive touch, D-pad, face buttons, analog triggers, bumpers, assignable grip buttons, “view” and “menu” buttons, gyro
- Trackpads: There’s two of them, and Valve says that they have “55% better latency compared to Steam Controller.”
- Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Wired connectivity: USB-C with DisplayPort 1.4 Alt-mode support; up to 8K @60Hz or 4K @120Hz, USB 3.2 Gen 2
- Battery: 40Whr, “2-8 hours of gameplay”
- Size: 11.7″ x 4.6″ x 1.8″ (298mm x 117mm x 49mm)
- Weight: Approximately 1.47 lbs (669 grams)
The device runs on what Valve calls a “new version of SteamOS”, which is optimised for the handheld’s mobile form factor. The OS is based on Linux and will use Proton to make it compatible with Windows-based games.
The Steam Deck is designed to emulate the regular Steam app that you use on a desktop, which include chat, notifications, cloud save support and your whole library, collections and it will keep in sync. The Steam Deck will also allow you to game directly from your PC using Valve’s Remote Play feature if you require a little more power.
The display offers a 1280 x 800 touchscreen for 720p gameplay. It includes ABXY buttons, D-pad with triggers on each side. There is also a built-in microphone as well.
Steam Deck Reservation Details
The Steam Deck will open reservations on July 16th at 1PM ET but will be initially only open to an account that has had purchases on Steam before June 2021 in order to crack down on bot resellers. There’s also a refundable $5 reservation fee with one reservation per person. While your reservation isn’t a pre-order, it does put you in live to pre-order the system once inventory is available.
In December the first units to be shipped will be available in United States, Canada, the European Union, and the United Kingdom, with other areas to follow in 2022. The pre-order invitations will be expected to go out before December. If you miss your window invite, you will be refunded the $5 to your Steam Wallet.
Steam Deck Announcement Timing & Competition
The announcement had some interesting timing, as it was announced a few hours before the pre-orders for the new Nintendo Switch OLED went live. The pricing for the entry-level Steam Deck is $50 more than the new Switch OLED model. But what gives Valve its competitive edge with the Steam Deck is that those who already have a library of Steam games, can simply buy the device and play their favourite games without the need of purchasing a whole new stack of games.
Only time will tell whether this device will perform as expected, but from the looks of it, the device comes with a lot of customisation which rivals that of Switch. This isn’t the first device to harness the power of the current library as Playstation had the PS Vita but this was more slightly restricted.
The design doesn’t look quite as sleek as the Switch, being larger, heavier and bulkier with its in-build controls, but having a readily available library of games to play may have consumers preferring substance over style. There is a whole host of options as the Steam Deck is intended to be an open platform meaning you could potentially install other applications, this could mean other store fronts.
can pretty much run anything you can run on a PC.
Pierre-Loup Griffais in an interview with IGN
Valve has made the right move with the reservation system, restricting newer accounts and limiting one per customer as more recent launches such as the PS5 didn’t exactly help when they were bought up by scalpers and further shortages. The release date lines it up with the holiday season meaning a potential Xmas gift idea.
What do you think of this news? Will you be getting in line to purchase the Steam Deck? Let us know in the comments below.
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