Valve has announced the Steam Deck portable, which will start at $400.

Valve will begin releasing a new portable gaming gadget dubbed Steam Deck in December 2021, according to reports.

The gadget, according to Valve, is an AMD “powerhouse” capable of running “the newest AAA titles.” The hefty black rectangle has a 7-inch 1280×800 touchscreen, trackpads similar to the Steam Controller, and gyroscopic control.

On the software front, Steam Deck is powered by a new version of SteamOS, the Linux-based operating system that Valve thought would become a living room mainstay back when Steam Machines were a thing. However, this does not imply that the Steam Deck will just be available for Linux games. Valve claims that their Proton compatibility software has been “vastly enhanced” and is now compatible with anti-cheat systems. Simply said, you’ll be able to play Windows games that don’t have official Linux support.

You may also experiment with the Steam Deck—it isn’t a locked box—and even use it as a conventional PC by connecting it to a display and accessories. “Browse the web, watch streaming video, do your usual productivity stuff, instal some other game shops,” Valve explains. A USB-C dock, which is optional, will enable DisplayPort and HDMI output, as well as an Ethernet adaptor and three USB inputs.

The following are the specifications of the handheld, as provided by Valve:

  • CPU: AMD 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)
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • Storage: 64GB, 256GB, 512GB versions; expandable with MicroSD cards
  • Display: 7″ diagonal, 1280×800 (16:10), 60Hz LCD touchscreen
  • Audio: Stereo speakers that “pack a punch,” says Valve, 3.5mm stereo jack, dual mics, multichannel USB-C/Bluetooth output
  • Controls: Two analog sticks with capacitive touch, D-pad, face buttons, analog triggers, bumpers, assignable grip buttons, “view” and “menu” buttons, gyro
  • Trackpads: There’s two of them, andValve says that they have “55% better latency compared to Steam Controller.”
  • Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Wired connectivity: USB-C with DisplayPort 1.4 Alt-mode support; up to 8K @60Hz or 4K @120Hz, USB 3.2 Gen 2
  • Battery: 40Whr, “2-8 hours of gameplay”

The battery life is one possible source of disappointment. According to Valve, the Steam Deck’s battery would last “many hours” while playing most games and up to 8 hours when used for “lightweight use cases like game streaming, smaller 2D games, or web surfing.” Playing a resource-intensive game should last at least two hours. Then I hope your aircraft seat has an outlet.

A rapid suspend/resume capability, similar to that found on consoles, will allow you to pause the Steam Deck and send it to sleep mode, then quickly wake it up and return to your game when you’re ready. (For example, once you’ve plugged it in.)

The Steam Deck is priced at $399 for a 64GB model. There’s also a 256GB model for $529 and a 512GB model for $649. The more costly variants also include faster NVMe storage, and storage can be expanded with a microSD card in all three models.

Valve CEO Gabe Newell noted that deciding on pricing for the Steam Deck was “difficult,” but that the gadget has to be powerful enough to function effectively in the end.

“Our belief is that if we execute this correctly, we’ll be selling millions of devices and obviously establishing a product category in which ourselves and other PC makers will be able to participate,” Newell added. “And that’s going to have long-term advantages for us, so that’s kind of how we’re thinking about it.”

The whole Steam Deck specifications and information may be obtained on the Steam Deck website. Steam Decks will be available for reserve on Steam for a $5 deposit beginning this Friday at 10 a.m. Pacific.

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