Valve introduced the Steam Deck. It is a portable machine capable of running all the games on the famous PC platform. It will be launched in December from 494 Dollars and is clearly inspired by the Nintendo Switch in terms of its format.
Nintendo did not announce its Switch Pro, so Valve decided to present its own version. Unveiled without trumpets or fanfare, the Steam Deck is a terminal that furiously reminds the console of the Japanese manufacturer in its format. However, there is a big difference: it is neither a console nor a PC. It is a mixture of the two.
As you can see, the Steam Deck is a portable terminal with a screen embedded in a controller. We have an analog stick on each side, a directional cross on the left and four buttons on the right. On the top edge we have triggers. Very classic. The small feature of the machine is to board two tactile paving stones with haptic return. A feature that seemed inherited from the Steam Controller, which had also made the choice of touch. Although they are more difficult to master, these surfaces bring more precision in strategy games or C-RPG not conducive to gamepad gameplay.
Joy-Con point to detach here, unlike the Switch, since the Steam Deck is made in one block. However, it is possible to connect it to an external display in USB Type-C to enjoy a wider display. Two players can then compete, the machine can also accommodate controllers or sticks via its connector.
STEAM, BUT ON CONSOLE
We remember the Steam Machines of Valve released a few years ago, which were in reality Windows PCs disguised as game console. Valve seems to have learned from its mistakes because the company of Gabe Newell this time completely follows the console philosophy with a dedicated OS. This is a new version of Steam OS. You will of course be able to sign in to your account, retrieve all your games, access the store and even retrieve your backups in the Cloud.
A new way to access the service, without any limitations. All Steam games will run on the console, even very greedy AAA. It’s the same platform, but in a portable machine. So you can start a game on Steam PC and continue it on Steam Deck. Note that the machine will offer a small novelty: the possibility of putting it on standby in the middle of a game to resume it later, as the Switch does.
CLOSER TO A PS5 THAN A SWITCH
In terms of technical specifications, Valve has chosen to make concessions in order to achieve an acceptable selling price. The Steam Deck is equipped with a 7-inch IPS LCD display with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution and a 60 Hz refresh rate, a slab almost similar to that of the Switch. On the other hand, the hardware side is more promising with a custom APU designed with AMD capable of running big games. We have an AMD Zen 2 processor and an RDNA 2 GPU, 16GB of RAM and a 64 GB eMMC storage or, at your option, a 256 or 512 GB NVMe SSD depending on the model. A machine that is closer to the PS5 and Xbox Series X than the Switch. The big unknown is autonomy, since Steam remained very vague on the subject, evoking just several hours of continuous play.
The Steam Deck will be launched in December 2021, but pre-orders will be open today, July 16 at 7 pm. To get one, you will have to pay 494 Dollars for the 64 GB version. You know, you will quickly feel cramped with so little space. The version with 256 GB will cost 549 euros while the highest-end version, with 512 GB of storage, will be displayed at 766 Dollars.
In short, a console that tries to reconcile two worlds, that of portable machines and PC. It remains to be seen if Valve has learned from its mistakes and especially if the success will be there, which was not always the case with the products of the firm of Bellevue.
Finally, we share a video from IGN, the only media in the world to have taken charge of the beast: