Valve just announced their introduction into the portable gaming scene with the Steam Deck, a handheld device designed to play PC games wherever. This device, which looks similar to the Nintendo Switch, is intended to maintain incredible flexibility. The device is available for preorder starting Friday, July 16, at 1 pm ET with three different models (although preordering requires a $5 spot reservation). The 64GB storage model retails at $399, the 256GB storage model that includes a “Steam Community profile bundle” retails for $529, and the 512GB storage model with the above and “premium anti-glare etched glass” retails for $649. The Steam Deck will begin shipping in December 2021.
Introducing Steam Deck: powerful, portable PC gaming starting at $399. Designed by Valve, powered by Steam. Shipping December 2021.
— Steam (@Steam) July 15, 2021
The Steam Deck boasts plenty of impressive specs. It will have a 7 inch optically bounded touchscreen, a 40 watt-hour battery, 3 USB ports, both an ethernet and headphone jack. For controls, there are two thumbsticks, a D-pad, a four-button layout, and even 2 trackpads, to allow for precision when playing all games. Unlike the Nintendo Switch, these controllers are not detachable. The hardware is equally impressive (see below).
One of the main tenets of the Steam Deck as listed on the website is versatility. Because of this, the Steam Deck will not only be able to host Steam but act as a genuine PC. Web browsers and other operating systems, including other gaming storefronts, are available for installation, and in fact, it is possible (but not recommended) to wipe out the pre-installed SteamOS and replace it with Windows. Sold separately, a dock will allow the Steam Deck to be plugged into other monitors for higher resolutions and framerates. Boiled down, the Steam Deck is meant to be simply a more portable PC with minimal compromise on gaming power. $5 reservations begin tomorrow.