After months of reports and rumors today, Valve announced the Steam Deck. A new portable PC game console that looks similar to a Nintendo Switch. Buyers can choose between several different models, which start at $400 and will arrive this December.
Valve Steam Deck reservations open tomorrow, July 16th, at 1 PM ET and will run you $5 to get a place in line. While the base model is $399, you can get upgraded models for $529 and $649 as well. Here’s what Valve had to say during the announcement:
“We partnered with AMD to create Steam Deck’s custom APU, optimized for handheld gaming. It is a Zen 2 + RDNA 2 powerhouse, delivering more than enough performance to run the latest AAA games in a very efficient power envelope,” according to the company. Valve designed the Steam Deck thumbsticks for “extended play sessions,” and your entire Steam library will be available when you log on. If that all sounds awesome, you’ll love that there will be a dock, sold separately, that can connect to TVs or a bigger computer monitor.
The Steam deck has a large 7-inch screen, which competes directly with Nintendo’s recently announced OLED Switch, not to mention a slew of different control options for gamers, as you can see below.
There are two thumbsticks, two tiny trackpads under each stick, a D-pad, and four ABXY buttons. Valve’s handheld gaming console also has a gyroscope for motion controls, two shoulder triggers on each side, and four back buttons. Hopefully they’re all extremely customizable, too.
As for specs, the 7-inch optically bonded LCD has a 1280 x 800 resolution, and the Deck packs 16GB of RAM, microSD support, a headphone jack, USB Type-C support, and the most expensive model even comes with an “anti-glare etched glass” screen. Depending on which model you buy, it comes with 128, 256, or 512GB of storage.
With any high-powered handheld console, battery life is important. According to Valve, “Steam Deck’s onboard 40 watt-hour battery provides several hours of playtime for most games, and for lighter use cases like game streaming, smaller 2D games, or web browsing, you can expect to get the maximum battery life of approximately 7-8 hours.” We’re assuming AAA titles will drain the battery far quicker.
The device runs a new version of SteamOS, but Valve notes that you’ll be able to plug in a mouse, keyboard, monitor, and install third-party game stores, PC software, and browse the web.
When reservations open tomorrow, they’ll only be for Steam accounts with purchases on Steam before June 2021 to slow down bots and give actual users a chance to buy (or reserve) one. Again, the all-new Valve Steam Deck console ship in December.