Valve enters the console game with the handheld Steam Deck gaming PC

Gaming is becoming more mobile than ever. Nintendo has always led in this area with its portable handheld game consoles, but then smartphones and mobile gaming came along. NVIDIA has the Shield, and Xbox is even in the mix with game streaming on mobile devices. Valve has just unveiled the Steam Deck, a portable gaming PC that allows gamers to play their favourite Steam games on the go.

The announcement comes on the heels of Nintendo’s unveiling of the Nintendo Switch OLED, which basically features a slightly larger OLED screen over its predecessor and not much else. Valve’s Steam Deck promises to “run the latest AAA games – and runs them really well.” With high-fidelity controls including thumbsticks, directional pads, touchpads, and buttons. In addition, gamers will be able to connect peripherals and connect the portable gaming PC to a TV.

Valve Steam Deck handheld gaming PC
The Valve Steam Deck handheld gaming PC.

As one would expect, your entire Steam library is available on the Steam Deck, just power on the device, log in, and you’ll be able to access your games and communicate with your friends as if you were on your PC. This includes Steam Chat, notifications, Cloud Saves, Remote Play, Store, and Community.

The Steam Deck will be available in three configurations featuring different onboard storage amounts. All models will have a microSD card slot for expanded storage. An optional dock will allow you to expand the device even further by adding three more USB-A ports, an Ethernet port, and DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI2.0 connectivity. As for battery life, Valve claims between 2 and 8 hours, depending on what game you’re playing.

Technical specifications of the Steam Deck include:

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 a high-speed microSD card slot
Display type 7″ Optically bonded LCD for enhanced readability
Resolution 1200 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio)
Brightness 400 nits typical
Refresh rate 60Hz
Touch-enabled Yes
Sensors Ambient light sensor
Gamepad controls • A B X Y buttons
• D-pad
• L & R analog triggers
• L & R bumpers
• View & Menu buttons
• 4 x assignable grip buttons
Thumbsticks 2x full-size analog sticks with capacitive touch
Haptics HD haptics
Trackpads • 2x 32.5mm square trackpads with haptic feedback
• 55% better latency compared to Steam Controller
• pressure-sensitivity for configurable click strength
Gyro 6-Axis IMU
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
Audio Stereo with embedded DSP for an immersive listening experience
Microphones Dual microphone array
Headphone/mic jack 3.5mm stereo headphones/headset jack
Digital Multichannel audio via DisplayPort over USB-C, standard USB-C, or Bluetooth 5.0
Input 45W USB Type-C PD3.0 power supply
Battery 40Whr battery, 2-8 hours of gameplay
Expansion microSD (UHS-I supports SD, SDXC and SDHC)
External ports USB-C with DisplayPort 1.4 Alt-mode support; up to 8K @60Hz or 4K @120Hz, USB 3.2 Gen 2
Operating system SteamOS 3.0 (Arch-based)
Desktop KDE Plasma
Dimensions 298 x 117 x 49mm
Weight Approx 669 grams

The Steam Deck is available to reserve starting at 10 am PT today (July 16th) and starts at US$399/CA$499 for the 64GB model. For US$529/CA$659, you can pick up the 256GB model and US$649/CA$819 will double that to 512GB and include an anti-glare etched case. An optional dock will be available as well. The device will begin ship in December to the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, and the EU. More regions will be coming in 2022.