After rumors in May, Valve now officially announced the Steam Deck, a portable gaming PC that will arrive later this year. IGN has an exclusive practice with Steam Deck as part of this month’s IGN First, as well as an FAQ with Valve on the device, but here’s the key info.
The Steam Deck has a form factor similar to that of a slightly larger Nintendo Switch, but with the capabilities of a full gaming PC. It runs a modified version of Valve’s SteamOS, with a new console-like interface for easy navigation both in the Steam store and your Steam library, but it also gives access to an unrestricted computer desktop where all the Third-party applications can be installed (including games or non-Steam launchers).
Close-up photos of the Valve Steam Bridge
In terms of hardware, the Steam Deck has a 7-inch LCD display, 1280×800 resolution, 60hz, a custom AMD APU with a 4-core, 8-thread processor paired with 8 RDNA 2 compute units for the GPU and 16 GB. of LPDDR5 RAM. In practice, this makes it considerably stronger than the Switch, allowing it to run modern games impressively. with little to no problem. It can even suspend games from running like a console, and Valve says the intention is really to give players access to their entire Steam library on the go.
To better enable it, the controller setup on either side of the screen includes all the full-size buttons, triggers, and joysticks you’d expect from a modern gamepad and more. The sticks are actually capacitive, which means they can sense when your thumb is resting on them, and below each is a small trackpad that can be used for mouse input. There are also four rear buttons on the back of the Steam Deck that can be mapped as you see fit, and the display is a multi-input touchscreen.
Additionally, the Steam Deck supports Bluetooth for any device you can connect to a regular PC (including headphones like Apple’s AirPods). It can also be “docked” and connected to an external display, as well as a mouse and keyboard if you want to use it like a more traditional PC. While Valve will be selling an official docking station separately, any third-party USB-C adapter should work just as well – and those who just want a more handheld or regular console-like experience may skip the line altogether. the more IT aspects.
Speaking of sales, the Steam Deck will be available in three different models – but most importantly, the only major difference between them will be storage size and speed, with their otherwise identical graphics capabilities. The base version will cost $ 399 and have 64GB of storage, followed by a $ 529 model with 256GB, and finally a $ 649 version with 512GB and glass screen treatment. engraved anti-reflective. These last two Steam Decks will also have faster NVMe SSDs, and all three will allow you to install and play games from a Micro SD card to further expand storage capacity.
The Steam Deck doesn’t have a specific release date yet, but it’s currently slated for a holiday launch in 2021, and Valve chairman Gabe Newell told IGN that hitting those prices was “painful” but “Critical”. A reservation pre-order system will be rolled out in the near future, with Valve aiming to avoid the chaos and unpredictability of recent console launches, and all three price points will also come with a bespoke carrying case.
We’ll have a lot more information on the Steam Deck throughout the month as part of our IGN First coverage. In the meantime, be sure to check out our many hands-on impressions, and if you have a question that you haven’t answered here, you can check out an FAQ with Valve on the Steam Deck.