Steam Deck: Glorified Portable PC Seen as Direct Competitor to Switch

Valve Steam Deck
Valve Steam Deck Steam

Valve has recently announced the Steam Deck - a portable gaming machine that aims to rival the Nintendo Switch.

There is no denying that Nintendo won the jackpot when the company released the Nintendo Switch back in 2017. Since its inception, the portable gaming console has sold over 78 million units.

With that said, Valve wants a piece of that market by having its own portable gaming solution.

What Is a Steam Deck?

The Valve Steam Deck is a portable gaming console with access to your Steam games but on the go. It uses the company’s Steam OS, which is based on a custom Linux.

While it is touted to rival the Switch, its internal specs are more powerful. In fact, you could say that it has similarities to Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X in terms of hardware.

Tech Specs

Speaking of specs, here is a rundown of the technical specifications of the Steam Deck:

  • CPU: Custom AMD Zen 2 CPU (4-core, 8-thread) at 2.4 to 3.5 GHz
  • GPU: Custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU, 2 compute units (CU) at 1.0 to 1.6 GHz
  • RAM: 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM (5500 MT/s)
  • Storage: 64 GB (eMMC), 256 GB (NVMe SSD), 512 GB (high-speed NVMe SSD); Expandable via micro SD
  • Screen: 7-inch LCD screen, 60 Hz refresh rate, 1280 x 800 resolution
  • Size: 11.7 x 4.6 x 1.9 inches
  • Weight: 1.47 lbs (666.78 grams)
  • Battery Life: 40 WHr battery, 2 to 8 hours estimated playtime
  • Video Output (docked): up to 4K 120Hz or 8K 60Hz
  • Dock Ports: USB 2.0, USB 3.1, HDMI, DisplayPort
  • Connectivity: 2.4GHz/5GHz WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Gyro: Gyro-enabled capacitive thumbsticks, ambient light sensor

Valve Steam Deck is virtually a small PC. Although it is twice as heavy as Switch, it does have the necessary thumbsticks, trackpads, extra buttons, and a D-Pad to give you maximum control when playing.

There will also be a docking station similar to Switch and it will be sold separately. No other details about the dock have been divulged yet at the time of writing.

In the meantime, should its docking station be released a few weeks or months after the Steam Deck’s, you can use any USB-C hub as an alternative.

Pricing and Availability

For those interested in buying the Valve Steam Deck, there are three different variants to choose from. 

The base model with 64 GB of eMMC storage is sold for $399. The 256 GB variant is sold for $529, and the 512 GB version is sold for $649. Keep in mind that the 256 GB and 512 GB versions are using NVMe SSDs. Both should perform much faster than the base model.

The portable gaming console won’t be out until December this year, but you can preorder the device starting today. However, there is a catch.

There will be a reservation fee of $5. The reason behind it is to help make sure that the ordering process is orderly and fair for everyone.

Once you’ve reserved a slot, you will be put in a queue. Then, you must wait for an invitation which will be sent starting December, according to Steam.

Do not worry, as the reservation fee will be deducted from the overall price of the Steam Deck variant you’re going to purchase. Should you wish to cancel your reservation at any point, the amount will be credited to your Steam Wallet.

The Valve Steam Deck will be available on the holidays. So, are you going to reserve yours?

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