Handheld Gaming PC Valve Steam Deck Revealed

Valve Steam Deck handheld PC cover

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Handheld Gaming PC Valve Steam Deck Revealed

July 15, 2021

By: Robert N. Adams

 
 

The rumors are true: the Valve Steam Deck has been revealed as a brand-new handheld gaming PC. Best of all, you won't have to wait too long to get one — the first units will ship out in late 2021!

What is the Valve Steam Deck?

The Valve Steam Deck — not to be confused with Elgato's Stream Deck — is a brand-new handheld gaming PC from Valve with storage options ranging from 64GB–512GB of internal memory that was revealed via a press release earlier today.

This new handheld gaming PC  features a 7" touchscreen with a 1200 x 800 16:10 resolution running at a smooth 60 FPS. You'll have plenty of control options, too — in addition to dual analog sticks, a D-Pad, and buttons, this new Steam console also has dual trackpads, a touch screen, haptics, and gyro support.

But wait, there's more! It also has a single USB-C jack that can be used to plug in peripherals — if you can play it on your PC, you can play it on the Valve Steam Deck. And yes, you can plug it into your television.

 
 

What about software, though? Well, this cool little machine is running a new version of the Steam OS that's built for gaming from the get-go. Naturally, your Steam library will be available from jump — all you have to do is log in and download your games. Simply put: as far as handheld gaming goes, this might just be the best way to play Steam games on the go.

Valve Steam Deck dock
The Valve Steam Deck also has a dock much like the Nintendo Switch.

What Are the Valve Steam Deck Specs?

The Valve Steam Deck specs reveal a pretty powerful little device that's well-equipped for running the latest and greatest games on a handheld gaming PC.

  • Processor – AMD APU
    • CPU: 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 – Your choice of three options
    • 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 Valve Steam Deck versions also have a high-speed UHS-I microSD card slot that supports SD, SDXC, and SDHC.
  • Display – 1280 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio)
    • Type: Optically bonded LCD for enhanced readability
    • Display size: 7" diagonal
    • Brightness: 400 nits typical
    • Refresh rate: 60Hz
    • Touch enabled: Yes
    • Sensors: Ambient light sensor
  • Connectivity
    • 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
    • Channels: Stereo with embedded DSP for an immersive listening experience
    • Microphones: Dual microphone array
    • Headphone / mic jack: 3.5mm stereo headphone / headset jack
    • Digital: Multichannel audio via DisplayPort over USB-C, standard USB-C, or Bluetooth 5.0
  • Controls and Input
    • 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
      • 2 x full-size analog sticks with capacitive touch
    • Haptics
      • HD haptics
    • Trackpads
      • 2 x 32.5mm square trackpads with haptic feedback
      • 55% better latency compared to Steam Controller
      • Pressure-sensitivity for configurable click strength
    • Gyro
      • 6-Axis IMU
  • Power
    • Input: 45W USB Type-C PD3.0 power supply
    • Battery: 40Whr battery. 2 - 8 hours of gameplay
Valve Steam Deck Touchscreen
The combination of a touchscreen, touchpads, analog sticks, and gyro support offers players a lot of input options.

When is the Valve Steam Deck Release Date?

The Valve Steam Deck release date will be sometime in December 2021, although this is just when you'll be able to start placing orders after you've reserved a console. A more specific date has not yet been announced.

When Do Valve Steam Deck Reservations Open?

Valve Steam Deck Reservations will open on July 16, 2021, at 1:00 PM Eastern Time. The first wave of handheld gaming PCs will be available in the US, Canada, UK, and EU; more regions will be made available in 2022.

How Do Valve Steam Deck Reservations Work?

Valve Steam Deck reservations will require you to sign up starting tomorrow and pay a nominal fee that goes towards your final purchase price. Your Steam count will also have to have made a purchase prior to June 2021 as a countermeasure against scalpers. This console is limited to one per customer.

Be careful which model you pick — once you've locked in your reservation, you can't change your mind about the model if you're going through with an order. If you change your mind and would like a refund, you can get your money back within 30 days of making your reservation. After 30 days, your reservation fee will be sent to your Steam Wallet instead.

 

You can sign up to reserve your very own Valve Steam Deck on Steam; this new handheld gaming PC will cost you a cool $399 or your regional equivalent at the minimum. You can learn more about this new device on its official website.

What do you think of the Valve Steam Deck? Do you think this will have a longer life span than the Steam Controller? Let us know in the comments below!

A photograph of Robert N Adams
Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!

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