Rumors that Valve made a version of the Nintendo Switch for handheld Steam games are true. The company discovered Steam Deck, which will arrive in the US, Canada, the European Union and the UK in December, and availability will later be extended to more regions. The system starts at $ 399.
Although the hardware is not final, according to IGN, the device currently looks like a mashup Switch, Sega Game Gear and Steam Controller. It has a seven-inch touch screen, a resolution of 1,280 x 800 at 16:10, a brightness of 400 nits and a refresh rate of 60Hz.
There are dual thumb bars, two 32.5mm square trackpad pads, an analog directional pad, four main face buttons, triggers and a quartet of grip keys, as well as gyro controls. The Steam Deck also has a headphone jack, stereo speakers, dual microphones and haptic feedback. It weighs about 669 grams and is slightly below the foot wide.
The valve has partnered with AMD on hardware. The custom Steam Deck chipset features a 2.4-3.5 GHz processor and a 1.0 to 1.6 GHz GPU with eight RDNA 2 PCs. Valve claims it’s a “Zen 2 + RDNA 2 powerhouse” that can run the latest big games “in a very efficient power envelope”.
The handheld comes with 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 512 GB of NVMe internal memory, which you can expand with a microSD card. Valve says the 40-hour battery will power the device between two and eight hours on a single charge. Battery life will depend on how intense the games you play are. Meanwhile, the switch runs for up to nine hours.
Steam Deck is working on a new version of SteamOS that is designed for manual use. Valve says he uses Proton, a compatibility layer that allows games to be played without developers doing the transfer. You will have access to your full library of games. You can expect access to many Steam features, including chat, remote game (so you can play PC games almost anywhere), cloud savings and, of course, a Steam showcase.
The device has a built-in quick stop and restart function. Pressing the power button will pause the game and send the Steam Deck to sleep mode. You will be able to continue where you left off when you press the power button again.
The Steam Deck will support a variety of Bluetooth and USB-C peripherals. You can connect a USB-C drive hub and use multiple devices at once. You can connect the system to an external display and play games at up to 8K at 60Hz or 4K at 120Hz.
Valve also performs an official docking station with DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0 and Ethernet ports, as well as one USB 3.1 connection and two USB 2.0 sockets. You will be able to use the Steam Deck as a real computer if you wish. In fact, you’ll even be able to install some other game stores.
Steam Deck could be tempting for those who crave to play all kinds of PC titles while on the go or even relax on the couch. However, the name is very similar Elgato’s Stream Deck, so it remains to be seen whether that part of the system will stick. Usually, the device costs only $ 50 more than the upcoming one OLED version of the Switch and the same as the all-digital PlayStation 5.
The basic $ 399 Steam Deck comes with 64GB of eMMC internal memory and a pouch. For $ 529, you can upgrade storage to a 256GB NVMe SSD. The 512GB model costs $ 649 and comes with “premium anti-glare engraved glass”. The dock will be sold separately.
Reservations for the steam deck opened on July 16 at 13:00 ET at the Steam store. You will have to pay a deposit, but that goes according to the price of the system.
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