Just three weeks ago, the release of the long-awaited Steam Deck, a handheld console from Valve, happened. However, is it worth such attention?
What is Steam Deck and whether you should buy it
As you may have already heard, Steam Deck has been waiting for close to a year, and on February 25, 2022, the long-awaited console from Valve came into the world. Many say that the console combined the qualities of PC and Nintendo – although it looks like a handheld console, it is designed for those who appreciate PC gaming. Moreover, Steam Deck is also designed for those who have a collection of games in Steam because the console automatically pulls up your Steam library.
Besides that, Steam Deck is also developed in cooperation with AMD. The processor and graphics components are produced under this brand. Therefore, the gameplay option will be maximally realized as it was conceived by the developers. More interesting is the detail about the fact that the console supports not only SteamOS and Windows 11 and 10.
What is Steam Deck’s price and release date
As already mentioned, Steam Deck was released on February 25 this year, but there is one nuance. Now launched not the sale, but only the pre-order. What does it mean? The fact that making the pre-order you will get your product only in a year, more closely to October.
Next, The Steam Deck will be available in three different varieties. The 64GB eMMC storage model will be the cheapest at $399 and will include a carrying case.
Next comes the mid-range model at $529 and will include 256GB of NVMe SSD storage, with a carrying case and an exclusive Steam Community profile bundle.
The most expensive version of Steam Dec has 512GB of NVMe SSD storage, premium anti-glare etched glass, an exclusive carrying case, an exclusive Steam Community profile bundle and an exclusive virtual keyboard theme. All this goodness costs $649.
How about Valve Steam Deck specs
Here you can read more about the characteristics of different models (but at the same time the same):
|Price||$399; $529; $649||Same processor/RAM, different storage|
|CPU/GPU||AMD Zen 2 + RDNA 2 APU||4-core, 8-thread with 8 RDNA 2 compute units for GPU. CPU: 2.4 to 3.5GHz; GPU: 1.0 to 1.6GHz|
|GPU Compute||1TF to 1.6TF|
|Screen||7″ 1280×800 LCD Display||512GB model to include anti-glare etched glass|
|7-8 hours for 2D games/web browsing|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Storage||64GB; 256GB; 512GB||256GB and 512GB models will use faster NVMe SSD storage. 64GB will use eMMC.|
|Expansion||Micro SD Card slot|
|Max Power Draw||20W (including display)|
|Other||Built-in microphone, ambient light sensor|
Which games are compatible with Steam Deck
Even though Steam Deck supports up to 16,000 games, it’s still not enough for the whole Steam platform. That’s why Valve developed a program that helps Steam Deck users to see which games are supported and which are not.
That is when you scroll through the Steam library, then next to the game names, there are signs “Verified,” “Playable,” “Unsupported,” or “Unknown. The first one means that the game is ready to run without any problems, while “Playable” – can make you worry about launching it. The first two mean, of course, that the game is not supported by Steam Deck or has not been tested by the program yet.
Are Steam Deck performance and battery life good enough
As you already know, Steam Deck has an AMD processor and all graphics moments are created by this company – one of the best in its field. “Optimized for handheld gaming” – this is how Valve described the performance of the processor in Steam Deck. Besides all this, Steam Deck has a hardware Zen 2 + RDNA 2 architecture, which is very similar to the one in the Xbox Series X.
According to Valve, all modern AAA games will run well on the console. Performance, they say, is at the highest level. Moreover, all games from Steam (which are confirmed) will also become on your new console without any problems.
Is there an option to switch to Windows OS
Thanks to the built-in TPM, your future console can work not only on the default SteamOS but also on all the familiar Windows 10 and even recently introduced Windows 11. Still, do not rush to switch to Windows as soon as you buy the console – audio drivers are not yet integrated into the console, meaning you can only get sound by connecting wireless earbuds, wireless headphones, or USB-C headphones.
Besides this, there is a statement from Valve that “unfortunately [we] unable to offer ‘Windows on Deck’ support”.This means that after restarting from SteamOS to Windows you won’t have support for some time.
What about connecting Steam Deck to monitors and TVs
Yes, Steam Deck will have peripheral connectivity. At the moment, little is known about the accessories that will help you display the picture on the monitor and the TV screen of your gaming session, but as the developers said – all this will soon be available.
And although Steam Deck is designed to make the console as close to the PC as possible and, moreover, to make this console portable – still do not forget that the output of the product can often have some shortcomings or defects. Pre-order is to some extent a good thing, but it is necessary to judge the situation reasonably and consider the product not only with a positive and social side, but also with a realistic approach.
Still, it is much easier to evaluate a product when you see it in person and test it for a while. It’s like trying on shoes. After all, the console, as a minimum, should also be comfortable in your hands.