Want to take your portable gaming to the next level? Valve recently announced a handheld system called the Steam Deck that will be releasing this December.
Previously, rumors hinted at a portable Steam device named SteamPal. In retrospect, that was likely the working title for this project.
What do you get in this handheld package? There are three different versions of Steam Deck to choose from, but all of them feature powerful processing. On the page where you can pre-order Steam Deck, Valve describes the programming as a “Zen 2 + RDNA 2 powerhouse” that allow you to play AAA games on the go without sacrificing graphics and performance.
The Steam Deck was designed first and foremost as a handheld, and it has a portable mode complete with touchscreen, multiple trackpads, and multiple joysticks. The design is obviously inspired by the Nintendo Switch, though some skeptical Steam fans are wondering how comfortable it will be to play games for a prolonged time on this device.
Another clear Nintendo inspiration is the ability to dock the console (dock sold separately) and to play the system on a larger screen. So, if you want to attach it to a monitor or certain televisions, you can basically use this portable system like a traditional desktop computer, complete with USB peripheral compatibility.
All three Steam Deck models come with a 7″ touchscreen, hi-fi built-in speakers, a solid battery (with 40 watt-hour life), expandable I/O, and Bluetooth compatibility. While it will vary based on the kind of games you play and how performance-intensive they are, you can realistically expect to get 4–8 hours of playtime.
While all of the features above are standard, what do you get with different models? The baseline model is $399 and comes with a 64GB eMMC for storage. The second model is $529 and comes with 256GB of faster NVMe SSD storage. Finally, the beefiest model is $629 and comes with 512GB and the fastest NVMe SSD storage as well as premium anti-glare etched glass.
You can also get certain bonuses for pre-ordering the system, including a carrying case, exclusive community Steam profile bundles, and more. Pre-orders start today, and we recommend moving fast: these are likely to sell out due to fan excitement!