Steam Deck is the Handheld PC Gamers Never Knew They Needed
Nintendo has been in the news quite a bit for the announcement of their new Switch OLED model. As far as handheld gaming goes, I don’t think people were expecting much more and were about to just accept the new Switch. But now Valve has announced their own handheld gaming device, the Steam Deck.
So let’s get right into the specs, what’s inside this bad boy?
- CPU: 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)
- 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM (5500 MT/s)
- 1280 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio)
- 7″ optically bonded LCD
- Bluetooth 5.0 (support for controllers, accessories and audio)
- Wi-FiDual-band Wi-Fi radio, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, 2 x 2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
At first glance, it feels like I’m looking at specs for a big gaming console, but all of this is packed into a little device that fits in my hand, which is crazy. I would really love to test out this device and see how it runs. From all the videos I’ve seen so far, it seems like it can run some really intense games.
What can it play?
If it’s on steam, it can play it. It has its own operating system, SteamOS. You will be able to simply power the game on and access your steam library where you can play the games you own. Most of us gamers have a huge steam library by this point, so there will be no shortage of games we can play on this thing.
The footage released so far has shown some intense games, like Star Wars Fallen Order, which run beautifully on the device. Portal has also been shown a couple times and looks awesome on here.
There are a few versions, but the main difference is the storage capacity in each one.
If you want one you need to reserve your spot in live to have a chance of getting it. This will cost $5 and can be done here. Reservations start Friday, July 16, at 1 p.m. ET.
- $400 for 64GB internal storage
- $530 for 256GB SSD storage and “Exclusive Steam Community profile bundle”
- $650 for 512 GB SSD storage and an “Anti-glare etched glass” screen
A big question that comes up with these devices is battery life. They say the Steam Deck will last between 2-8 hours on a charge. It will really depend on what you are playing and at what intensity. If you are sticking to 30fps it will last a bit longer than if you are hammering it, as can be expected. This is not terrible battery life depending on what you hope to do with the device. It will definitely last you through a good bit of gaming.
The device will have a built in mic so you can talk in online multiplayer games, which will be interesting. The device will also have a dock that’s sold separate and can be used to connect it to a TV or monitor. They are doing everything possible to really make this a handheld PC.
It will be released in December just in time for the holidays.