The company revealed Steam Deck, which is coming out in December for $399. The product guarantees to run all your favorite games from Steam, which comes with AAA titles, but from a portable device.
The hardware uses an AMD APU chip, which comes with both a CPU and dedicated graphics built into the silicon. The chip itself features a four-core/eight-thread CPU built with AMD’s older Zen 2 architecture that can deliver a 3.5GHz max clock speed.
The graphics use AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture, the same tech that powers the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The GPU spans 8 RDNA 2 compute units able of up to 1.6 Teraflops. That’s somewhat under the graphics power of the original PlayStation 4, which was able of 1.84 Teraflops.
However, the Steam Deck does settle in one area: It’s not powering PC gaming at a 1080p resolution. Alternatively, the Steam Deck features a 7-inch LCD touch screen with a 1,280-by-800 resolution—which is comparable to the 720p screen you’ll find on a regular Nintendo Switch.
Steam Deck does not run Windows, but the company’s own software, called SteamOS 3.0. Once you power on the device, you can log into your Steam account, and continue to download and install your games.
Still, Valve notes “Steam Deck is a PC so you can install third-party software and operating systems.” So there may be some potential to turn the device into the latest handheld PC.
According to Valve, the Steam Deck can run for two to 8 hours on a single charge. Other highlights include 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, Bluetooth 5.0, a dual-band Wi-Fi modem, a headphone jack, and USB-C slot with DisplayPort 1.4 built-in, so you can plug it up to a PC monitor.
However, the hardware is a bit heavy. IGN tried out the product, and as you can see it’s pretty sizable, weighing in at 1.4 pounds. In comparison, the Nintendo Switch weighs 0.88 pounds in handheld mode.
The Steam Deck starts at $399, which comes with 64GB of eMMC PCIe Gen 2 internal storage. However, you can get faster loading times with the $529 model, which highlights 256GB of PCIe Gen 3 NVME SSD storage. The $649 model bumps up the NVME SSD to 512GB and updates the display with “anti-glared etched glass.” All models include a microSD card slot for additional memory.
The company is starting pre-orders for the product tomorrow, July 16, at 10 a.m. PST through a store page on Steam. The product is first starting to come out in the US, Canada, and Europe in December before rolling out to other countries in 2022.