After multiple rumours claimed that Valve was working on a Nintendo Switch-like console, the company has finally announced what they are calling the Steam Deck. This nifty little handheld gaming device is powered by an AMD APU with a quad-core Zen 2 GPU, 16GB of RAM and comes in a range of storage capacities. Valve says the Steam Deck is expected to ship in December this year.
On the outside, the Steam Deck’s handheld mode includes a massive range of controls. There are two thumbsticks and two touchpads, one on each side of the device. Valve says these pads provide an extra bit of precision when playing first-person shooters. There’s also a D-pad and full-face buttons that replicate the Xbox Controller.
As for the back, the Steam Deck packs eight trigger buttons. There is the basic L1, L2, R1 and R2 buttons but just underneath the grip, you will find another two triggers on each side.
Other features include two option buttons, a stereo speaker set, a dedicated Steam button and a Quick Access button. Inside Valve says the Steam Deck also packs a gyroscope for motion controls. This is all powered by a 7-inch 1280 x 800 touchscreen for 720p gameplay.
Specifications for the Steam Deck vary depending on the device. The base model comes in a 64GB, 256GB and 512GB SSD model. You can also extend your storage capacity by making use of a MicroSD. However, the different storage options also determine how fast the SSD is inside the device.
- 64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1)
- 256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)
- 512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)
When playing on the go, the 40 watt-hour battery can provide a decent few hours of gaming from time to time. Playing less graphically challenging games such as Stardew Valley will result in even more gaming time. You can expect to get around 7-8 hours of casual gaming in and around 3-4 hours of intense graphics games.
The Steam Deck also comes packed with a Dock that is used to extend the gameplay from the portable gaming device to a display or TV. You just dock the handheld into the device and continue playing on your monitor. Your gameplay will remain uninterrupted thanks to the custom-built Steam OS that powers the Steam Deck. It is built on a custom version of Linux called SteamOS 3.0.
Take a look at some of the official specs:
- AMD APU
- 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)
- APU power: 4-15W
- RAM: 16GB LPDDR5 5500MT/s
- Network: Bluetooth 5.0 / Dual-Band Wi-Fi 2.4GB and 5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
- Sound: Stereo Speakers with Dual Microphone Array / 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
- Output: DisplayPort over USB-C
- Dimensions: 298mm x 117mm x 49mm / 699 grams
Of course, those looking to get their hands on the Steam Deck will have to be patient. The handheld device is only expected to launch in December and there probably won’t be a local launch plan for it. You best start saving to import this nifty little portable gaming device later this year.
You can find out more about the Steam Deck on the official site here. You can also watch the hands-on video from IGN down below.