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Topic: Valve's Steam Deck is a Portable PC By The Way of a Nintendo...
KostaAndreadis
Posts: 8345
Location: Melbourne, Victoria

After several months (years even) of rumours surrounding Valve creating some sort of portable device we've now got the full reveal. The Steam Deck, a portable device that "brings the Steam games and features you love to a powerful and convenient form factor that you can take wherever you go". Yeah, and it's powerful enough to run even the most demanding titles in your library.

On that front, as per an exclusive hands-on over at IGN, running games like DOOM Eternal or Death Stranding is possible thanks to the 720p display and the custom APU developed in partnership with AMD.



IGN's Tom Marks writes.
All-in-all, I’m extremely impressed with what I’ve seen of the Steam Deck. $399 for the entry-level model is a very attractive price point for folks who are either new to the PC space, or are looking for a more powerful alternative to the Nintendo Switch. And for PC veterans, the higher-end models offer the storage space needed to tote around a handful of triple-A games in their backpack – at a price point that’s actually quite compelling compared to a cheap gaming laptop, let alone a full desktop PC build.

With its 720p display the Steam Deck includes full controls in addition to track-pads for mouse-like movement for games that require that input. No doubt Valve have packed this thing with just about everything, and the Steam Deck is set to launch with three models, each upping the storage -- starting at the consumer friendly price of $399 USD.



Here are the full specs.

Compute



  • CPU: (AMD APU) Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)
  • GPU: (AMD APU) 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



All models include high-speed microSD card slot
  • 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)

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

Display



  • Resolution: 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, 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

Power



  • Input: 45W USB Type-C PD3.0 power supply
  • Battery: 40Whr battery. 2 - 8 hours of gameplay

Expansion



  • microSD: UHS-I supports SD, SDXC and SDHC
  • External connectivity for controllers & displays: USB-C with DisplayPort 1.4 Alt-mode support; up to 8K @60Hz or 4K @120Hz, USB 3.2 Gen 2

Size and Weight



  • Size: 298mm x 117mm x 49mm
  • Weight: Approx. 669 grams

Software



  • Operating System: SteamOS 3.0 (Arch-based)
  • Desktop: KDE Plasma

And in keeping the theme of Nintendo Switch but Steam, Valve will be releasing an official dock to allow the Steam deck to connect to a display and additional peripherals, meaning it doubles as a full-blown PC too.

Just taking a look at your Steam Library there's no doubt this will be a huge hit for Valve, full Steam functionality including chat, cloud saves, the store, remote play, and more. The OS will feature quick access to everything too, and will be able to boot right into the Steam interface making it act for all intents and purposes like a console.

The Steam Deck is on track for a December 2021 release for the United States, Canada, European Union, and the United Kingdom - with other regions to follow.
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trog
Posts: 40184
Location: Other International

OK I am cautiously optimistic about this. I can see myself playing a lot of older/back catalogue games I have on Steam that I would otherwise never bother playing on my desktop, as well as replaying a bunch of other games (e.g. Batman, GTAs, etc) while just couch potatoing.

It runs Linux which is super neat. If it doesn't suffer from too much Australia tax I will be very tempted.
notgreazy
Posts: 1022
Location: Other International

Yeah I am in the same boat. The very cool thing is that it has a usbc port so you can dock it like the Switch and play some sweet multiplayer.

With these portable consoles-like (inc the switch), the attraction to me is the potential emulation options. If I can freely install Dolphin emulator I can finally finish some games I started years ago. Also the steam library is already attractive (especially GMG and COG side load options).

Also the wifi/bluetooth means potential secondary controllers! Sounds Rad.

Only issue to me is the battery life, 2-8 hours is a huge range.

What are the buttons on the back for?

If it doesn't suffer from too much Australia tax I will be very tempted.

I'm easily expecting $800 for the base model. But the issue is, the f***ing scalpers will get to them first especially with the chip shortages we're f***ed
Twisted
Posts: 12476
Location: Brisbane, Queensland

I'm not a huge fan. Having a switch myself, I personally thought I would use it a lot more. But I haven't. The smaller form factor really isn't super appealing. Sometimes I do use it, but mostly I just head to PC and smash it out with a keyboard and mouse. Control sticks just really don't do it for me to try play PC games (though it might work for some).
trog
Posts: 40185
Location: Other International

The smaller form factor really isn't super appealing.
I joked on the tweeters when this was announced that the thing I really want out of PC games is the ability to play it on a smaller screen, on worse hardware, with worse controls. Which is definitely a thing for me for a lot of games - this thing would be relatively useless to me for the game I play the most (Dota 2) and the style of games I enjoy playing the most (competitive multiplayer).
Only issue to me is the battery life, 2-8 hours is a huge range.
Yeh I suspect it will be at the lower end if you're just doing a single gameplay session. But I can't really imagine myself kicking back for 2 hours and then wanting more - the most likely use case for me for this is sitting on the couch while my partner watches a movie or TV show I'm not really into but feel like keeping an eye on while I second screen.
trillion
Posts: 4505
Location: Ballarat, Victoria
Any speculation on how these will be available. ie: via the Steam store ? Will Valve allocate distribution based on region or will scalpers get a hold of them and dump them on eBay, Amazon, Alibaba etc for ridiculously inflated prices.

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