A new contender has entered the fight for the best gaming system. Valve has announced Steam Deck, the company’s new portable device. It is scheduled to release in December of 2021.
With an AMD APU that boasts a quad-core Zen 2 CPU and 8 RDNA 2 compute units of GPU, this system seems quite powerful for a handheld. The videos released showcasing the device revealed visually impressive games such as Control and Jedi: Fallen Order running on the system. In addition to handheld play, it can be connected to a larger screen.
According to an interview with IGN, the developers said that they viewed the Steam Deck more as a PC than a console. Along with support for connecting to larger screens, users have the option to plugin peripherals such as a mouse and keyboard while using the system’s dock (sold separately).
Valve is offering 3 versions of the console at various price points. While these versions contain different amounts of storage space, the performance between the systems is largely the same. Buyers can choose between 3 different storage options: $399 (64GB), $529 (256GB), and $649 (512GB). It’s nice to see that potential customers don’t have to sacrifice image quality or fps when making a purchasing decision. The 2 higher priced options contain NVMe SDDs that offers slightly faster load times.
It will be interesting to see how things play out between Valve’s new gaming system and Nintendo’s new Switch OLED model. While the Switch comes equipped with an OLED screen, increased storage capacity compared to the previous model, and various other small upgrades, the Steam Deck appears to have the advantage in regards to performance. Nintendo’s new version of its successful handheld doesn’t feature any improvements to the previous version’s dated hardware.
One question that begs answering is whether people will be able to find the Steam Deck at launch. The PS5 and Xbox Series X were virtually impossible to purchase at launch, and they remain difficult to track down even now. Valve has created a type of online queue system in an attempt to help customers order the product. People with Steam accounts can attempt to reserve the handheld PC starting on Friday July 16th at 10am PDT.
Will you be picking up Valve’s new gaming system when it releases at the end of this year? Let me know in the comments below.