Valve announces Steam Deck, a £349 handheld PC

"The most powerful, full-featured gaming handheld in the world."

Valve has revealed Steam Deck, its handheld PC shaped like a Nintendo Switch with a 7" screen.

The device will ship this December priced at £349/$399 with 64GB storage, with increased storage options available for £459/$529 (250GB SSD) and £569/$649 (512GB SSD).

Steam Deck features two analogue sticks, two touch pads, analogue triggers, ABXY face buttons, four rear buttons, and gyro controls.

It has a custom Zen 2 AMD processor, USB-C port and microSD slot for storage expansion. Valve says Steam Deck is specced "comparable to a gaming laptop with the ability to run the latest AAA games".

Valve is promoting the device alongside videos of it running games such as Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Control, and of course, your Steam library will be instantly accessible.

But as a PC, not a closed ecosystem, Valve says you can also install and use other PC software. "Browse the web, watch streaming video, do your normal productivity stuff, install some other game stores, whatever," Valve notes.

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For comparison, Steam Deck's 7" touchscreen is the same size as the upcoming Switch OLED, and larger than the base Switch's 6.2" screen.

A dock will be available separately to connect the Steam Deck to external displays, wired networking, USB peripherals and power.

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Paid reservations to buy a Steam Deck will begin tomorrow, 16th July, limited to one per customer for anyone with a Steam account that has made a purchase prior to June 2021. Take that scalpers!

For everyone else, paid reservations open up 48 hours later on Sunday, 18th July. Reservations are open to anyone in the US, Canada, EU and UK, and the reservation fee is deducted from your overall purchase price and will be refunded if you cancel.

We first heard of Steam Deck earlier this year, in a report which detailed a "Switch-like" handheld gaming PC for launch later in 2021. Back then it was called "Steam Pal", and sadly not Gabe Boy.

"We think Steam Deck gives people another way to play the games they love on a high-performance device at a great price," Valve boss Gabe Newell said today. "As a gamer, this is a product I've always wanted. And as a game developer, it's the mobile device I've always wanted for our partners."

We've listed its specs in full below.

Compute

  • Processor: AMD APU
  • CPU: Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)
  • GPU: 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: 64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1) or 256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4) or 512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)
  • All models include high-speed microSD card slot

Controls and input

  • Gamepad controls: A B X Y buttons, D-pad, L & R analogue triggers, L & R bumpers, View & Menu buttons, 4 x assignable grip buttons
  • Thumbsticks: 2 x full-size analogue sticks with capacitive touch
  • Haptics: HD haptics
  • Trackpads: 2 x 32.5mm square trackpads with haptic feedback (55 percent 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: Yes
  • Sensors: 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

Official dock (sold separately)

  • Peripherals: 1 x USB-A 3.1 Port, 2 x USB-A 2.0 Ports
  • Networking: Ethernet
  • External displays: DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0
  • Power input: USB-C Power Delivery passthrough input
  • Deck connection: 6" USB-C captive cable with low profile 90° connector
  • Size: 117mm x 29mm x 50.5mm
  • Weight: Approx. 120 grams

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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