Valve announces Steam Deck, a handheld gaming device starting at $399

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Valve has finally announced their Steam Deck handheld system which was formerly rumored to be the ‘Steam Pal’. The device itself looks quite similar to the Nintendo Switch and is powered by a custom AMD Zen 2 + RDNA 2 Based chipset, essentially making it a portable PC.  

The Steam Deck is powered by Valve’s Linux Arch-based SteamOS 3.0 although it is possible to play Windows games through ‘Proton’, which has improved over time and can run almost any game without hiccups. Valve says that you can sideload any program or game store, sideload any other OS, and virtually use it however you want to. In an interview with IGN, Lawrence Yang, a Valve designer stated “If you buy a Steam Deck, it’s a PC. You can install whatever you want on it, you can attach any peripherals you want to it. Maybe a better way to think about it is that it’s a small PC with a controller attached as opposed to a gaming console.” 

The handheld also supports an optional dock powered using USB- C with 3 USB Type-A ports (1×3.1 2x 2.0) along with LAN, HDMI 2.0, and DisplayPort 1.4 ports. You can use the dock to connect the Steam Deck to your TV or Monitor and play from your couch.

Steam Deck specifications

  • Processor: AMD APU Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32) 
  • GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32)
  • APU power: 4-15W
  • RAM 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM (5500 MT/s)
  • Storage 64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1) 
    • 256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4) 
    • 512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4) 
    • All models include high-speed microSD card slot
  • Resolution 7 inch 1280 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio) LCD Touchscreen
  • Operating System SteamOS 3.0 (Arch-based)
  • Other: Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0 (support for controllers, accessories, and audio) 
    • Wi-Fi Dual-band Wi-Fi radio, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, 2 x 2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 6-Axis IMU Gyro sensor
    • 40Whr battery. 2 – 8 hours of gameplay

Steam Deck Price and Pre-Order details

The Steam Deck starts at $399 for the 64Gb edition and comes with a free carrying case while the 256Gb NVMe edition costs $529 and comes with a carrying case and an exclusive Steam Community profile bundle. The $649 edition comes with an exclusive keyboard theme, an anti-glare screen, and an exclusive Steam Community profile bundle.

You can reserve a Steam Deck tomorrow, July 16, from 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET for a $5 reservation fee and only one Steam Deck can be purchased per customer. 

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