Valve is not just the game developer who can not count to three and the company behind the distribution platform Steam; they also have several hardware projects in their backpack. Less successful Steam Machine, more successful Steam Link and the successful Valve Index are three examples. Recently, there have been rumors that Valve is also a carpenter on a handheld game console, but stakeholders were disappointed when there was no announcement at this year’s E3 trade fair.
Valve now chooses to lift the veil of the soaked product, which is named Steam Deck. Like Nintendo’s popular Switch consoles, it’s a form factor with a screen in the middle and controls on the sides of it. The central touch screen has a resolution of 1,280 × 800 pixels and a size of 7 inches, the latter being identical to the Switch OLED. This is where the similarities with Nintendo’s consoles end, and under the shell of the Valve-signed product awaits hardware that is rather recognizable from the computer world.
7-inch driven by customized system circuit from AMD
The 60 Hz screen is powered by a system circuit from AMD that uses the previous generation Zen 2 architecture and it is about four cores with Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) for eight wires, which roll at frequencies between 2.5 and 3.5 GHz. The graphics part is RDNA 2-based and has eight calculation units with clock frequencies in the range 1.0–1.6 GHz. Valve states that the power output is between 4 and 15 watts, where the 40-watt battery should power with two to eight hours of gaming. Fast charging of 45 watts can be done through the USB Type-C connection on the top of the console.
On the primary memory front, a really large 16 GB of LPDDR5 type is listed and the amount of storage varies between different configurations. All have space for a micro SD memory card, while built-in storage consists of 64 GB EMMC memory for the simplest variant, while 256 or 512 GB NVME storage over PCI Express 3.0 applies to the more expensive variants. In addition to the amount of storage, it is the software supplement, an “exclusive case” and an anti-reflective screen that separates the variants.
Permanent controls with touch pads and extra buttons
The controls are permanently mounted on the sides and on both sides you can see a joystick, a small touchpad and two shutter buttons for the index fingers, while the underside is equipped with two more buttons on each side. The left side also has a steering cross, one View– and a Steam button, while the right side has a set ABXYbuttons, next to Options and Quick access. There are also speakers on both sides, but on the top there is a 3.5 mm socket and volume buttons.
The hardware is actively cooled by a fan with an exhaust on top, next to the said USB Type-C connector, which can be used for those who want to connect the console with a TV or computer screen, to drive the gaming experience with mouse, keyboard and larger picture. For this purpose there is a special docking station, with Displayport, HDMI, Ethernet and three USB connections. On the wireless front, Steam Deck supports Wifi 5 over the 2.4 and 5 GHz band, as well as Bluetooth 5.0 that can be used for hands-free controls and audio. The console weighs 669 grams and has the outer dimensions 298 × 117 × 49 mm.
Linux base and familiar features with Steam library available
On the software front, the Arch-based operating system Steam OS 3.0 is used and just like when using Steam on a computer, there are features for cloud saving, communication options through chat and the regular store and the player’s existing Steam library. The console comes with the Proton software pre-installed, which can run games in real time even if they do not have official Linux support. Valve believes that Steam Deck can run AAA games and do well, but exactly what this means is not mentioned.
Steam Deck can be reserved from Friday 16 July for a fee of 4 euros. The price for the entry-level model is 419 euros, which corresponds to around 4,300 kronor including VAT. The intermediate model starts at the equivalent of SEK 5,600, while the worsting variant is SEK 7,000. Deliveries will begin sometime in December 2021.
Are you a speculator on the game console?
Source: SweClockers by www.sweclockers.com.
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