Turns out that OLED screens are not the only things you need to add to sell a console.
Valve has announced a new gaming console called the “Steam Deck”. Essentially, it is a handheld port for Steam. As you read from the title, it runs SteamOS. It can play Steam games while also functioning as a handheld PC.
As seen on the sides of the console, there are your analog sticks, speakers and even two touchpads. Also, interestingly the keys are arranged symmetrically with the analog sticks. The capacitive touchpads are there for games that don’t work with traditional controllers, as they act as the mouse similar to a laptop.
In addition to those controls, the console also has a 6-axis gyroscope that can be used to track the user’s movements while playing games. On the top of the console are the trigger buttons. These buttons are specially designed in competitive games such as racing games where players can comfortably for long periods of time since these analog triggers are frequently used.
For the sound you have a headphone port and dual stereo speakers. According to Valve, these speakers have DSP and a clear, wide soundstage. The steam deck also two built-in microphones, for calling and streaming.
Alongside all the other buttons mentioned, are four more buttons for the Quick Access, View, Menu and for accessing Steam.
This console is full of buttons while phones out there are removing all of it. There are customisable buttons at the back, on the grip. There is also a MicroSD slot at the back to store more games and apps.
The Steam Deck has a 7-inch. capacitive HD+ screen, with a resolution of 1280×800 px. and a screen ratio of 16:10. The top-end model also has anti-glare features etched on the glass, which makes viewing easier especially during the daylight, or in areas near a light source.
Now let’s get to the most interesting part of the console: the hardware! The Steam Deck uses a customised AMD APU. The CPU is based on a Zen 2 architecture which has four cores and 8 threads, clocked at 2.4GHz. This CPU can be clocked up to 3.5GHz for maximum performance.
For the GPU, it uses AMD’s latest RDNA 2 architecture with 8 compute units. Its minimum clock speed is 1GHz while its maximum clock speed is 1.6GHz. In addition, there’s also 16GB LPDDR5 RAM onboard with a speed of 5500MT/s.
Users have a choice of three storage options, all of which also contain a microSD card slot. The lowest is 64GB while the highest is 512GB. The 256GB and 512GB both use NVMe SSD while the 64GB version uses the traditional eMMC storage. Obviously the latter two are faster.
You can read more about the spec sheet in the Steam Deck website.
Underneath the custom-build SteamOS 3.0 that the console will be coming with, it will also be shipped with Linux which is what SteamOS is based on. Users who prefer Windows can simply just wipe the OS out and replace it with a WindowsOS. Remember that this portable console has the power of a computer, essentially making it a compact PC.
For connectivity, the Steam Deck supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0. For external connections, there are USB-C 2nd gen port that is similar to the one your PC uses. This port can be used to connect your deck to your TV. This port supports up to 8K@60Hz or 4K@120Hz through the DisplayPort 1.4 Alt-mode.
For the battery, the steam deck comes with a 40Wh battery that can last for 8 hours when playing basic 2D games, according to Valve. Inside the box you also get a 45W USB-C PD charger
The Steam Deck will be available for purchase in the United States, Canada, the EU and the UK this coming December. Users from these regions can add the console to the wishlist. If you don’t know the prices, below are their prices and their conversion to Philippine Peso:
- 64GB- $399 (~Php 20K)
- 256GB (with Steam Community Profile)- $529 (~Php 26.6K)
- 512GB (with Steam Community Profile, Carrying Case, anti-glare glass and exclusive virtual keyboard themes)- $649 (~Php 32.6K)
The console is not yet available in the Philippines, so for Filipinos who want to order it need to change region and prepare for extra shipping fees aside from the console prices.