Valve just announced their new upcoming Steam Deck. It looks like Nintendo switch like a handheld console. Shipping will start in December and reservations will start December 16th at 1 PM ET (10:30 PM IST). Pricing starts from $399 (approx ₹ 30,000). There are multiple variants of the gadget available in $529 (₹ 40,000) and $649 (₹ 52,000) models as well.
Let’s Talk about Specs
The device is powered by a Quad-core Zen 2 AMD CPU with 8 Threads and 8 compute units. It has an AMD RDNA 2 Graphics on board with 16GB LPDDR5 RAM. You will get 3 different storage options for the handheld console for different pricing we discussed above.
- $399 – Base model with 64GB EMMC
- $529 – 256GB NVMe Storage
- $649 – 512GB NVMe Storage
Regardless of whatever variant you choose you will get the same specs except for storage. All versions of the handheld come with expandable storage options. You can use an SDHC card as an expandable storage a MicroSD card slot is provided.
Controls in Steam Deck
The device has got robust control options. It has two thumbsticks supplied with two mini trackpads for precision aiming and control. It has Xbox-styled action buttons set with D-pad and a 720p HD touchscreen display. The device got motion and gyro sensors. It comes with triggers and bumpers on its back like a typical gamepad from Xbox or switch. Along with it has an extra 4 buttons or triggers like that we see on Nacon pro controllers and also on Xbox elite controllers. It comes with a built-in microphone too.
Valve has said that the steam deck can give several hours of gameplay but we highly doubt that statement. The steam deck has a 40 watt-hour battery. Valve claims that you can play portal 2 for hours if fps is been limited to 30 it can last about 5-6 hours. Portal is not that demanding and yet there are restrictions like this wonder if you play some demanding title like some FPS game like warzone can it last even for an hour.
SteamOS in Steam Deck
The steam deck is powered by SteamOS 3.0 (Arch based) which is a custom Linux OS designed by steam for couch gaming. A few years ago there was a hype for this OS to replace windows as the gaming OS for your couch gaming needs like that of Playstation and Xbox. But it gained popularity among the masses. Now they bringing the same OS to their handheld device. The biggest drawback of SteamOS is the limited library of games. You can only play the titles that have been ported to Linux.
The SteamOS will give you a quick suspend and resume feature to save battery if you need to save your battery. SteamOS will let you put the device in sleep mode and resume where you left your game.
Valve will also sell dock like Nintendo switch dock you can stream your display to your external display or TV via an HDMI or USB-C. The dock will come with HDMI, USB-C, ports, and also native Bluetooth audio. Something you won’t often see with other consoles.
The SteamOS will have the proton compatibility as a means to run your Windows games. Proton is a compatibility layer protocol that functions somewhat like an emulation for windows games it has been introduced in steam in 2019. I am not a fan of proton but it’s good than getting nothing. You won’t have a smooth high frame rate gameplay but it will be playable that I can be sure of. One drawback is that the first launch can take a huge loading time since it will process shaders and all different loading processes.
In December when the product goes live the preorders will first be given to the residents in the US, Canada, UK, and European Region. Availability for other regions will be made next year. Valve is following a reservation system for its sales the reservation lines open this Friday. To avoid bot sales and prebooking you have to pay a refundable amount of $5 to be able to preorder.