When gaming PC meets Nintendo Switch, you get the all-new handheld Valve Steam Deck, the latest innovation that is set to transform your gaming experience.
Valve, the company behind software distribution platform Steam, just announced that it has created its very own handheld gaming console that will rival the Nintendo Switch while promising a whole lot more benefits. Essentially, what it is is a compact PC that both functions as a computer and runs its own custom version of the SteamOS that allows you to play all your Steam games everywhere you go.
Let’s first take a look at its controls. It has analog sticks on both sides of the display, a d-pad on the left, and ABXY keys on the right. What’s new with this are the small trackpads present on either side which were specifically meant for point-and-click games designed to be played with a mouse instead of a controller.
On the top corners are four analog triggers and at the back are four additional buttons which you can customize to map to any function you may want it to do.
Now, the display: it’s a 7-inch touchscreen with 1280×800 resolution with a 16:10 aspect ratio. Internally, the console runs on Zen 2 CPU and an RDNA 2 GPU. Battery life will last up to seven to eight hours on a full charge (when playing light games, that is).
It also has Bluetooth support which means you can connect your AirPods or wireless headphones to it, a feature that the Nintendo Switch notably lacks.
The Valve Steam Deck will have a dock too, though it will be sold separately. This dock will allow you to connect to power, wired networks, and external displays, a mouse, and a keyboard for when you want to use the console like a traditional PC. You can also use a third-party USB-C adapter if you don’t want to spend extra.
Speaking of using it as a traditional PC, it’s worth mentioning that the Steam Deck functions as a standard Linux PC when docked and you can install other third-party apps and game stores, like Epic Games and Xbox Game Pass, into it as long as it’s compatible with Linux. However, it’s been reported that you can actually reformat the console so it runs on Windows instead. So, really: any game you can play on the PC can be played on the Steam Deck!
The Valve Steam Deck will come in three models with different storage capacities:
- 64GB eMMC Model: priced at US$399 (~PHP 20,000) and comes with a carrying case
- 256GB NVMe SSD Model: priced at US$529 (~PHP 26.6K), has faster storage, and comes with a carrying case and Exclusive Steam Community profile bundle
- 512GB NVMe SSD Model: priced at US$649 (~PHP 32.6K), has the fastest storage, and comes with all the aforementioned features plus a premium anti-glare etched glass and exclusive virtual keyboard theme.
Before you react, the console will also come with a microSD slot so you don’t have to worry about running out of storage.
(ALSO READ: LOOK: Nintendo Has Announced A New, Bigger Switch)
The Valve Steam Deck will be available for purchase in December 2021 in the United States, Canada, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. Reservations will be open for these countries only starting 1 PM, Friday, Eastern Time (1 AM, Saturday, Manila time) with a reservation fee of US$5 (~PHP 250). Only accounts that have made purchases on Steam on any day prior to June 2021 can pre-order to avoid resellers.
It has yet to be announced when the console will be available to other regions. You can find out more here.
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