Well, this is a surprise. Out of nowhere, Steam announces the arrival of this new product called Steam Deck. Not to be confused by Elgato Stream Deck – because I did – and it is an AMD-powered handheld PC. And it also looks to be “heavily inspired” by the Nintendo Switch.

There are… way too many similarities between the Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch family. From the overall idea of a hybrid dockable handheld PC to its vent placement at the back, volume and power button placement, audio jack placement, and the inclusion of a microSD card slot.

Steam Deck

Taking a look at the specs sheet, Valve packed in an AMD APU chip inside. While Valve didn’t specifically mention which AMD APU is used specifically, we kinda know that it is indeed a chip using the Zen 2 architecture.

Here is a quick rundown of the important specs:

  • Display
    • 7-inch LCD screen
    • 1280×800 pixels in resolution
    • 16:10 aspect ratio
    • 60Hz refresh rate
    • Touch-enabled
    • Able to output display via DisplayPort 1.4 Alt Mode via USB-C
  • AMD APU
    • CPU: Zen 2 with 4C/8T @ 2.4-3.5GHz
    • GPU: 8 RDNA with 2 CUs @ 1.0-1.6GHz
    • Power draw: 4-15W
  • RAM : 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • Storage is either:
    • 64GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1)
    • 256GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)
    • 512GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)
  • Has a microSD card slot with UHS-I support
  • Dual-band WiFi on 2.4GHz or 5GHz,
    • 2×2 MIMO
    • Supports up to WiFi-5 (802.11ac)
  • Bluetooth 5.0 for controllers, accessories, audio

Steam Deck

Now this is more like a Nintendo Switch Lite, everything is built inside a single chassis. The controllers are not removable a la the Joy-Cons – but the Steam Deck does have four more triggers at the rear – two on the right and two on the left. I mean we’re dealing with PC games which were developed for mouse and keyboard input to begin with. 

Steam Deck

The dock comes with DisplayPort 1.4 port, HDMI 2.0, a USB-C port for charging, an Ethernet port, and a few more USB ports. Great additions, I’d say. But hey – if it transitions between handheld and docked as smooth and seamless as the Nintendo Switch, then color me surprised. We all know how some OS can be very fussy when dealing with different the display resolutions and scaling. Still, it depends on how Steam is going to take advantage of their Big Picture mode.

Steam Deck

The Steam Deck is available in a total of 3 different variants with different accessories bundled:

  • USD $399
    • 64GB eMMC internal storage
    • Carrying case
  • USD $529
    • 256GB NVMe SSD internal storage
    • Faster storage
    • Carrying case
    • Exclusive Steam Community profile bundle
  • USD $649
    • 512GB NVMe SSD internal storage
    • Fastest storage
    • Premium anti-glare etched glass
    • Exclusive carrying case
    • Exclusive Steam Community profile bundle
    • Exclusive virtual keyboard theme
  • Steam Deck Dock (not official name) will be sold separately. No price as of now.

Steam Deck

As for availability, it’ll be first available in the United States, Canada, European Union, and the United Kingdom. Valve states that they’ll bring the Steam Deck to more regions in 2022.

If you want to make your order and reserve a unit of the Steam Deck for yourself, click here.

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