The Steam Deck is Valve’s foray into the portable console market to compete with the Nintendo Switch. Here’s everything you need to know about the Steam Deck ahead of its release.
The Nintendo Switch has been running unopposed as the only portable console in town for some time. However, now Valve is entering the space with the Steam Deck. A powerful portable console that allows players to bring their Steam library with them when they go out the house.
Those who have a massive backlog of games and little time to sit at their PC and play them will be especially interested in the Steam Deck. The console is offering PC level gaming, not just on console, but on a portable console. Is it too good to be true? Here’s everything we know about the Steam Deck in one place.
- When does the Steam Deck launch?
- Steam Deck preorder guide: Price and specs
- What games are playable on the Steam Deck?
- Will other gaming services arrive on Steam Deck?
The Steam Deck is officially set to launch on Friday, February 25.
While Steam’s new device originally planned to release in December 2021, delays saw it pushed back into the new year.
Although a concrete target was unclear at first, the Steam Deck release date was locked in for good on January 27.
There are three versions of the Steam Deck you can preorder via the Steam store.
The only difference in specs between the three is the amount of storage each contains. It starts at 64GB (enough for a handful of games) and runs up to 512GB (which could store a very diverse library).
- Steam Deck 64GB (eMMC SSD): $329 USD
- Comes with carry case
- Steam Deck 256GB (NVMe SSD): $529 USD
- Faster storage than eMMC SSD
- Comes with carry case and exclusive Steam profile bundle
- Steam Deck 512GB (NVMe SSD): $649 USD
- Faster storage than eMMC SSD
- Premium anti-glare etched glass screen
- Comes with exclusive carry case, Steam profile bundle, and virtual keyboard theme
The hardware of each version remains the same. They all come with a custom AMD APU (accelerated processing unit), as well as 16GB of RAM to take on more high-end games.
The screen comes in at 7 inches at 1280×800 resolution, slightly bigger than the Switch’s 1280×720 resolution (although the new OLED model will feature a 1920×1080 resolution). While the FPS cap isn’t known, the refresh rate maxes it out at 60Hz.
The battery life isn’t anything to write home about — maxing out at eight hours of gameplay. However, with a dock on the way, you’ll be able to port it like a Switch and hook it up to your TV to play on the big screen.
Players will have to put down a deposit to preorder the Steam Deck. However, if you change your mind, this is refundable as either cash (for the first 30 days) or Steam Wallet credit.
The Steam Deck is designed to let players access their Steam library on the go. However, titles will need to be compatible with the console’s specs. We imagine most games will run on Steam Deck in time, although there’s likely to be some that the console struggles to run.
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The good news is that the console will likely cause the Steam Library to split into two groups, games that are optimized for Steam Deck and games that are not. Developers could also offer versions of their games that can run on Valve’s console rather than a high-end PC. This practice could be similar to how developers adapt games to other existing consoles like the PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.
The following games have now been revealed (thanks to SteamDB) for the console’s launch:
- Aliens: Fireteam Elite
- Ape Out
- Castle Crashers
- Circuit Superstars
- Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
- Dark Souls III
- Death Stranding
- Death’s Door
- Final Fantasy
- Guacamelee! 2
- Gunfire Reborn
- Hollow Knight
- Hot Wheels Unleashed
- Into the Breach
- Mad Max
- Manifold Garden
- Mark of the Ninja: Remastered
- Portal 2
- Psychonauts 2
- Record of Lodoss War-Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth-
- Remnant: From the Ashes
- Risk of Rain 2
- Rogue Legacy 2
- Scarlet Nexus
- Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – GOTY Edition
- Super Mega Baseball 3
- Tetris Effect: Connected
- The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
- The Messenger
- Total War: Warhammer II
While the Steam Deck will be primarily designed for downloading and playing games from Valve’s Steam service, the company has confirmed that third-party software. This includes additional storefronts like Origin, Epic Games Store, and Ubisoft Connect. Should the owner wish, they could replace SteamOS with a completely different OS, although only those who know what they’re doing should attempt this.
Xbox’s Phil Spencer has confirmed that the Steam Deck will include Xbox Cloud Gaming through the system’s browser. This means that those with Xbox Game Pass subscriptions can access, download, and play games from that service. Essentially, this means the Steam Deck can also serve as a portable Xbox Game Pass console – which could be a game-changer for both Xbox and Valve.