Valve’s portable handheld PC has been revealed. Its called the Steam Deck. It’s coming this December and there’s some information out there about it now officially, so let’s break down all the info with many categories. Let’s get started off
Some of the specs of this thing. So it’s got a custom AMD APU. The CPU is Zen 2 with four cores and eight threads at 2.4 to 3.5 gigahertz, up to 448 Gflops. The GPU is eight RDNA 2 compute units at one to 1.6 gigahertz. The RAM is 16 gigabytes of LPDDR 5 RAM.
The storage varies by version, but it starts at 64 gigs and it goes up to 526 gigs. We’ll talk more about that in a little bit. That’s the main gist of it in terms of graphical stuff. You can see how it handles intake and exhaust of the heat, which is of course, very important.
Interesting to note that it has two capacitive and programmable touch surfaces on both sides of the unit. This is, of course, with the intention to serve as a mouse when you need it. Along with your standard trigger buttons, face buttons, joysticks, and all that, it also has four programmable buttons in the back, similar to how some pro style controllers have.
The device also has a gyroscope for motion controls, which is pretty sweet. And I know what you’re probably thinking. You’re looking at the placement of the buttons and you think, this thing looks like a messed up Sega Game Gear that looks way too chunky and uncomfortable.“
We’re just gonna have to wait and see. The jury’s out. This layout is actually similar to the Wii U game pad from back a minute ago. As much as I wasn’t the biggest fan of that hardware, the feel of that game pad controller wasn’t too bad.
So if it’s anything like that, it’s okay, I guess. The design and button placement I’m sure will be the debate in the comments. We’re really looking forward to hearing what you guys have to say.
Because you think this thing is a portable PC? Yes, but the core hardware is technically not upgradable at all. But you can add a micro SD card. There’s a slot for it, and you can run games off of those. So presumably you could add up to another terabyte of storage.
If you’re willing to pay up for that. But there are plenty of reasonable-priced SD cards, from 32 gigs to 500, whatever you want. So don’t worry, you’ll probably be fine.
And some of this is speculation on terms of what the actual hardware specs are and what they’ve shown us. We do know that the way it’s going to work, all normal graphics options that you get on PC games are gonna be accessible. It’s going to work like playing any other PC game. You have a bunch of settings you can mess with.
They may not be compatible, obviously, but still you have the choice to push it as far as you want. A website for the steam Deck shows Jedi Fallen Order playing, and apparently it’s set to high graphic settings, which is pretty impressive.
A couple of websites have said that they’ve been able to see this in person and it does look like it performs pretty well. They also show it running control, interestingly enough, which is available on Nintendo Switch, but it’s stream only.
So that’s what’s important to note here is that this is a hardware-based device. It’s not relying on the cloud. It’s not relying on streaming. It’s using the in-game hardware, the GPU, everything working to generate real graphics for you.
So this thing uses Steam OS, which is based in Linux. It runs Linux natively, but you can easily install Windows instead if you prefer, according to Valve. It’s not a locked system, which means that you can leave the Steam interface and play around with it as much as you want.
It’s basically a fully portable PC with everything that entails. And we prefer when ecosystem and the hardware devices that we buy are open access and let us do whatever we want. Shout out the Valve for that.
Now via “Shaq News,” apparently you’ll be able to play Windows games that don’t have official Linux support on this machine, even if you don’t install Windows. We don’t really know for sure, but apparently it has to do with Valve’s Proton software, which is kind of like this Steam OS compatibility software, which they said has, and I quote, “Vastly improved.”
It’s also worth noting that the OS has a suspend-resume function that can put the system into sleep mode, and then you can just turn it on and continue gaming easy later.
Also, it’s worth pointing out that games will have mods support because of the way this thing is designed and the ecosystem it exists in. You’re going to be able to do anything you do on a PC on the Deck.
Valve has reiterated that a couple of times on their website, and we’re really excited to see that in action.
Network and connectivity
It’s wifi only. It’s a dual band. There’s no cellular connection. So you can’t pay to have like a Verizon service on this and then you can run around and play, I don’t know, Valor, or whatever the kids play on the go.
No, it apparently has a built-in microphone for multiplayer chat. And it’s Bluetooth, obviously, it’s 5.0, and you can connect your headsets via USB-C or a 3.5 millimeter headphone jack, which, thank God they’re still including those things. I feel like they’re going extinct.
Now, theoretically, you can play local multiplayer by connecting extra controllers to this thing, which gives you more fun portability co-op actions, similar to the Switch, but for PC games. So the possibilities are pretty limitless.
What’s gonna be in the box
When you buy this thing, it comes with a power adapter, a carrying case, and the device itself is gonna weigh 1.47 pounds. Now, in comparison, the Switch weighs .88 pounds with the joy cons attached. So it’ll weigh like almost double what the Switch does.
It’s 67% heavier. That’s still pretty light if you want to just talk about carrying heavy hardware things, but we’ve tested other PC portable devices like this in the past, and that’s the elephant in the room.
These things are gonna be heavy. They have to have fans in them. They have to move air. There’s a lot going on in the chassis. So for now, we have to deal with it. Also, Valve is going to be selling a dock to allow you to connect to TV or a monitor, a keyboard and mouse set up, an ethernet port.
Anything you’re really looking for, but that’ll be sold separately, and right now there’s no price or release date. But according to Valve, any off-the-shelf USBC dock. will also work, which is pretty sweet.
So it’s got a 40 watt hour battery, which according to Valve offers between two to eight hours of gameplay, depending on how system-taxing the game is. You know, depending on how graphically intense a game you’re playing.
Valves says that the battery will last up to eight hours during, and I quote, “lighter use cases like game streaming, smaller 2D games or web browsing.” So more system-intensive games will probably only last about two hours or so, give or take.
So it’s a system where you’re going to want an outlet available in some case. Like I said, we’ve seen some of these devices, and while they are fun and exciting and really kind of bring a look of the future of gaming, there’s still setbacks. And one of them is weight, the other is battery life. If you’re a PC player, though, you already learned how to mess with settings to optimize what you have. So it’s probably gonna be more of that.
You know, if you’re playing a mid-level story game and you’re willing to play it at 30 frames per second, you might save some battery life. But if you want to bump that up, the drawback is you’re gonna need to be near an outlet. Estimates are all over the place.
I see people throwing all kinds of things out there. But we’re not gonna know for sure until we get our hands on this thing for testing. So keep your eyes peeled for once this thing is actually available in people’s hands.
This is a seven-inch screen. It’s 720p native resolution. It’s 60 hertz LCD touchscreen. It has ambient light sensors to adjust the screen brightness, which is pretty much expected by now, and it has a 16 by 10 aspect ratio.
The exact resolution is 1280 by 800. So now while some people might hear that and freak out and think it’s not good enough, because it is a small screen, you won’t really notice too much of a difference.
What you’re getting as a trade-off is games not having to run on a crazy 4K monitor,so it’s less intensive, and hopefully it’ll save you some battery life. let’s talk pricing, baby. It’s available in December and there’s three different SKUs.
So the 64 gigabyte version is 35000 rupees approx. The 256 gigabyte version is 40,000 and the 512 gigabyte is 50,000. This version also features an anti-glare etched glass screen. It’s worth noting that the lower 350000 model’s storage is in the eMMC format, which is slower than the NVMe SSDs packed with the more expensive versions.
They all come with a carrying case, but apparently the most expensive version, the 50,000 version, is gonna come with an exclusive carrying case and a virtual keyboard theme. Now, the way to get your hands on one of these is you’re gonna be able to reserve any one of these at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 16th, which is done through Steam.
Now, an interesting requirement, you actually have to have made a Steam purchase on the store at some point before June 20, 2021, to be able to be eligible to reserve one on time. If you haven’t, then it makes you wait 48 hours. It also requires a 500 deposit. The initial shipping is only for the United States, Canada, the EU, and the UK, with more regions coming in 2022.
Now, that 500 deposit, the actual Steam before June 2021 requirement, all that is actually a cool deterrent against scalpers. We really hope that works.