The device has a seven-inch screen and runs on a quad-core Zen 2 CPU, coupled with AMD RDNA 2 graphics and 16GB of RAM. Storage runs 64GB to 512GB, the extra storage jacks the price up to $649. The built-in storage can be augmented via microSD.
Steam Deck plays nice with the Steam platform and is controlled through a Steam account and a user’s library. There’s a dedicated Steam button.
There is a 1280 x 800 touchscreen with a pair of trackpads and thumbsticks. A built-in gyroscope uses movement to control the gaming experience. There’s a single USB-C port for charging, peripherals, and connecting to a big screen, while a 40Wh battery promises between 7-8 hours of gameplay, by Valve’s numbers.
The much-rumoured system finds itself with some stiff competition from Nintendo’s Switch and the Nvidia Shield Portable but it does have better graphics. It will fill a gap as cloud-based gaming from companies like Microsoft are still working on a foothold as they deal with latency and other technical limitations.
The system is available for preorder and ships this December, in time for the holidays.