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Valve Steam Deck; wallpaper: cover

Valve Steam Deck (INFO) - Release Date, Price, Performance and More

(Update): Article supplemented by exact release date and information relating to synchronisation of stored data.

After months of speculation, Valve has officially unveiled the Steam Deck, a portable gaming device that, like the Nintendo Switch, combines a compact handheld with a desktop console. Due out in February 2022, it offers a near-complete library of games from Steam and enough performance to handle the latest games and programs for Windows and Linux. Find out everything you need to know about this console in this article.


Author: Filip NěmecSpecial update


Image source: Valve

Valve Steam Deck: Everything We Know - CONTENTS

Valve Steam Deck: Review, Gameplay Impressions


As Valve Steam Deck won't be released until February 2022, there are no reviews available yet.

However, IGN Magazine's editor was able to test the handheld at Valve's offices and the first impression was very promising. IGN's Bo Moore praises the controls which may look oddly placed, but he says they're very comfortable. The biggest surprise is the trackpad with allegedly the sensitivity and accuracy of a classic mouse. Moore also tried playing in dock mode, and if he didn't see the dock right next to the monitor, he said he would have thought he was playing on a regular PC. He also praises SteamOS, which he says will be very familiar to Windows owners. In terms of graphics, newer games like Control, Doom or Death Stranding Supposedly they run on the Deck at medium to high detail without any image stuttering and look very good.

Steam Deck - Gameplay (Valve's Handheld Gaming PC)

Source: RepsUp100

Valve unveiled the Steam Deck on July 15th. Surprisingly, the announcement was not made through a fancy trailer, but instead, a bunch of short previews edited into a single video by the YouTube channel RepsUp100 was played.

The Verge magazine praises the high performance capabilities of running large AAA games at medium detail and highlights the relatively large size of the console, which enables the Valve Steam Deck to be more easily and comfortably held in comparison to the smaller and lighter Nintendo Switch. The editor of the server PC Gamer also came to the same conclusions regarding size and ergonomics: he points out that when playing on Steam Deck, you'll forget that running games weren't originally designed for handheld gaming at all, and the analogue stick controls are far more precise than on the Switch. He adds, though, that it's not necessarily a replacement for Nintendo's console.

The editor of the magazine Tom's Hardware also shares the general enthusiasm, and although the games don't look as good as they do on a desktop PC, he says it's a PC gamer's dream of handheld gaming come true. The positive feedback has also been joined by early developers who praise the fact that their games are mostly running very well on Steam Deck.

Valve Steam Deck: Release Date, Price, Models


The handheld Valve Steam Deck will be released on February 25, 2022 (first owners will receive it on February 28) and will be sold in three variants. The cheapest model, with 64 GB internal memory and a slower disk will cost 419 euros, the medium variant with a 256 GB SSD will cost 549 euros, and the most expensive version with 512 GB and an even faster SSD and other bonuses will cost 679 euros.

Preorders are available from July 16th 2021. To complete the pre-order, you need to have an active Steam account and pay a 5 euro fee to protect against bulk pre-orders from resellers. Only one console can be pre-ordered per account. It can be expected that, as in the case of PlayStation 5 and Xbox X Series – at least initially – demand will exceed available quantities. Similarly to PS5 and Xbox X, ordering the console will be governed by the first-come, first served basis.

Steam Deck release was November 2021 scrolled by two months, the console was originally due out in December of that year. The reason, according to Valve, is a shortage of certain components.

Steam Deck; screenshot: cena a předobjednávka

Source: Valve

Gabe Nowell, co-founder and CEO of Valve, revealed after the Steam Deck announcement that pricing wasn't easy and hinted that they would be subsidizing Steam Deck for some time.

Valve Steam Deck: Games


Despite initial announcements, Steam Deck will not support all games you find on Steam. Valve has therefore come up with a compatibility system that will announce each game's level of compatibility with Steam Deck via an icon. Full (Verified) means that you can start the game immediately and it will work without any problems. Partial (Playable) compatibility means that the game will require adjusting settings or having to make do with some flaws when running. Zero (Unsupported) means that the title is not currently running on Steam Deck, and Unknown indicates titles that Valve has not yet tested.

Steam Deck; screenshot: úroveň kompatibility

Source: Valve

Compatibility ratings for games may change from time to time, for example, if the developers fix some bugs after release.

According to Valve, all titles should run smoothly on Steam Deck, but newer and more performance-intensive titles should be expected to have weaker visuals. For now, however, we'll have to wait for gameplay footage directly from the Steam Deck and more detailed information about any concessions. Valve game developer Pierre-Loup Griffais for IGN magazine stated that Valve Steam Deck will especially please those gamers who are not so much concerned with the best graphics but want a smoother FPS experience, which in itself indicates what attributes the handheld focuses on.

Any game previously bought on Steam on PC can be run on the Steam Deck, there's no need to buy the title again to run it and it works the other way round as well. There is also cross-save support, so if you play a game on PC, you will be able to continue playing on the Deck and vice versa, even if you do not turn off the game on Steam Deck, but only switch the handheld to sleep mode, as is customary for console gaming. Thanks to Save Position Sync Dynamic Cloud Sync, all newly saved positions are uploaded to the cloud before the device goes to sleep.

Steam Deck; screenshot: hry

Source: Valve

A big advantage of Valve Steam Deck will be the gigantic selection of games on the Steam digital platform on release day. Most new consoles can only dream of this.

Steam Deck: Hardware Specifications


"The greatest gaming performance you've ever held in your hands," reads the official Steam Deck website, and it's not just lip service. Compared to Nintendo Switch, Valve Steam Deck is many times more powerful. At the heart of the console is the Zen 2 processor based on the modern RDNA 2 architecture with four cores running at 2.4 to 3.5 GHz. Graphics are handled by 8 cores also from the RDNA 2 architecture with a total computing power of 1.6 TFLOPS. For comparison: Nintendo Switch has to operate with mere 0.5 TFLOPS, Xbox One S 1.4 and PlayStation 4 1.8 TFLOPS. RAM will be 16GB of DDR5 and the console's internal memory will range from 64GB to 512GB, depending on the model.

Steam Deck; screenshot: analogové páčky Steam Deck; screenshot: touchpad

Source: Valve

Steam Deck could shift the way we control games on consoles. The analogue sticks are equipped with capacitive sensors, so the console knows when your finger is on the stick. With that, it can, for example, enable aiming by tilting the console, which can improve the gameplay experience of, for example, first-person shooters.

It is the internal memory that will play a major role in the loading speed of games, but also the price of the device itself. The basic version with 64GB memory will offer an eMMC drive, which is a cheaper and less powerful than the SSD variant. The 256GB and 512GB versions will already offer fast NVMe SSDs, with the most expensive variant expected to have even faster write and read speeds. The memory of all three variants can be expanded using Micro SD cards, which can be used to run games directly, but logically it is not as elegant a solution as the internal memory.

The Steam Deck's look is based on the conventions established by handhelds such as the PlayStation Portable, the later PS Vita and, of course, the current market leader in portable consoles, the Nintendo Switch. Two analogue sticks, a directional cross and a quad of buttons based on an Xbox controller are no surprise. On the other hand, the pair of trackpads, which can serve better than analogue sticks in certain moments, is a nice innovation, and the quad of buttons on the bottom also sounds promising, similar to the Xbox Elite controller. Most of the front of the console is taken up by a 7" LCD display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 px and a maximum frequency of 60 Hz. The console's battery life is claimed by the manufacturer to be between 2 and 8 hours, depending on the difficulty of the game or application running.


Steam Deck Nintendo Switch Nintendo Switch OLED
Price From 399 EUR From 309 EUR From 364.99 EUR
Date of publication in the Czech Republic December 2021 March 3, 2017 8 October 2021
Console type Hybrid (need to buy a docking station) Hybrid Hybrid
Game modes Handheld, Tabletop, TV console Handheld, Tabletop, TV console Handheld, Tabletop, TV console
CPU Zen 2 processor with a clock speed of 2.4 - 3.5 GHz Custom Nvidia Tegra Processor Custom Nvidia Tegra Processor
GPU 8 RDNA 2 cores clocked at 1.0 - 1.6 GHz (up to 1.6 TFLOPS) Custom Nvidia Tegra Processor (up to 0.5 TFLOPS) Custom Nvidia Tegra Processor (up to 0.5 TFLOPS)
FRAME 16 GB LPDDR5 4 GB LPDDR4 4 GB LPDDR4
Memory 64 - 512 GB (eMMC or NVMe SSD) + Micro SD card expansion 32 GB internal memory + expandable with Micro SD, HC and XC card (up to 2 TB) 64 GB internal memory + expandable with Micro SD, HC and XC card (up to 2 TB)
Battery life 2 to 8 hours (depending on the difficulty of the game/application) 4.5 to 9 hours (depending on the difficulty of the game/application) 4.5 to 9 hours (depending on the difficulty of the game/application)
Video output Up to 8K and 60 fps in TV mode, 720p in handheld mode Up to 1080p over HDMI in TV mode, up to 720p in handheld and tabletop mode Up to 1080p over HDMI in TV mode, up to 720p in handheld and tabletop mode
Dimensions (W x H x D) 298 mm x 117 mm x 49 mm (WxHxD) 239 x 102 x 13.9 mm (WxHxD) 242 x 102 x 14 mm (WxHxD)
Display type LCD LCD OLED
Display size 7 inches 6.2 inches 7 inches
Display resolution 1 280 × 720 pixels (HD) 1 280 × 720 pixels (HD) 1 280 × 720 pixels (HD)
Sensor for automatic brightness control Yes Yes Yes
Weight 669 g 400 g 420 g
Drivers Controls are part of the console body, possibility to connect PC accessories Joy-Con controllers, Pro controller Joy-Con controllers, Pro controller
HD Rumble (vibration) Probably not Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Ethernet Yes (at the dock) No Yes (dock)
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 4.1 Bluetooth 4.1

- Source: Valve, Nintendo

Valve Steam Deck: Docking Station and Other Accessories


Unlike the Nintendo Switch, the docking station is not included in the package, it has to be purchased separately and Valve hasn't revealed many details about it yet. The main purpose, however, as in the case of the Switch, is the ability to transfer the image to a monitor or TV and thus make the Steam Deck a classic desktop console, in this case, due to the wide range of uses rather a desktop PC.

Steam Deck; screenshot: konzole

Source: Valve

Unlike the Nintendo Switch, even the most expensive version of the Steam Deck won't include a docking station to connect the console to a TV or monitor, and the dock won't go on sale until later. However, according to Valve, any USB-C powered station can be used.

The resulting image can be up to 8K resolution at 60Hz or 4K at up to 120Hz. The Steam Deck connects to the station via a USB-C cable, while the image can come from the console via HDMI output but also DisplayPort. The dock will go on sale at a later date and we should learn more about it soon. But according to Valve, we'll be able to use any USB hub powered by USB-C to connect to a monitor or TV.

Other accessories are currently unannounced by Valve, but we can expect at least official accessories such as various cases and other gear to be introduced soon. Thanks to the Linux-based operating system and the Proton superstructure, however, we should be able to connect all PC-supported peripherals to the Deck, including mice and keyboards.

Steam Deck; screenshot: příslušenství

Source: Valve

One of Valve Steam Deck's competitive advantages may be the fact that, although it is at its core a portable PC, at first glance it is a console that can be connected to common PC peripherals. This combines the world of simple and portable consoles with the controls found only on the PC.

Steam Deck: Operating System and User interface


Steam Deck is powered by the Linux-based SteamOS operating system, but uses the Proton superstructure, which allows you to run applications, including games, on Linux that run on Windows. In addition to supporting virtually all PC games (Valve hasn't announced if there are any exceptions, or if we can actually run everything Steam supports on PC on the handheld), this also results in support for other desktop applications, so Steam Deck can be used almost like a full PC, especially when connected to the dock, where you can also connect a mouse and keyboard to the device.

Given its performance, it should handle at least not only office programs, but, of course, also streaming platforms such as Netflix or Xbox Cloud Gaming. Given the PC architecture of the handheld and the fact that the operating system is Linux-based, it shouldn't even be difficult to install full Windows on the Steam Deck.

The UI itself has not yet been unveiled, but it will be a modified version of the desktop Steam, adapted to a smaller screen or touch controls. There's no shortage of key features like notifications or social features, led by Steam Chat.

Steam Deck; screenshot: SteamOS

Source: Valve

The SteamOS UI is based on the PC version of Steam. You will also be able to use touch to navigate through the menus.

Valve Steam Deck: Streaming, Cloud Gaming, VR


Steam Deck will support Remote Play, allowing you to stream games from your desktop PC directly to your Steam Deck, all you need is a good internet connection. We don't have more information about Remote Play on Deck yet.

Since the console is essentially a classic PC, it shouldn't be a problem to stream games through services like GeForce Now or Google Stadiathat work in a web browser on a PC. Seamless operation of Xbox Cloud Gaming and therefore the service Xbox Game Pass confirmed Head of Xbox Division Phil Spencer.

As far as virtual reality support is concerned, Valve hasn't made any official statement yet, but the company's founder and CEO Gabe Nowell Interview told IGN magazine that thanks to the openness of the platform, Steam Deck will also allow connecting virtual reality headsets, specifically mentioning Oculus Quest, which offers both traditional wired and wireless connectivity. However, given the performance demands of VR titles, playing in virtual reality will certainly come with some compromises. However, we don't know more about VR support on Steam Deck yet.

Steam Deck: Multimedia and Applications


Valve hasn't announced any official list of supported applications yet, and we probably won't see it, because, given the operating system used, Steam Deck can run a whole range of applications, not only multimedia applications written for Linux and Windows. Compared to, for example, Nintendo Switch, Deck will offer a much wider range of uses, from gaming to watching movies or listening to music through native apps or the web browser.

Steam Deck; screenshot: dotykové ovládání

Source: Valve

Touch controls will make Valve Steam Deck more comfortable to use for activities other than gaming.

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- Sources: steamdeck.com, store. steampowered.com


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