Steam Deck is one of the gaming platforms that has generated the most hype lately. Not for nothing, it is a portable console with direct access to Steam and incredible technical features. It has the ability to connect to our TV through almost any dock. It is also presented as a portable gaming computer with the ability to run almost any game on the market, as long as it is available on the Valve platform and/or is compatible.
It has support for Xbox Game Pass, supports the installation of mods, and can be used as a conventional computer. Come on, it’s an entertainment monster with the ability to compete for a one-on-one with next-gen consoles, including Nintendo Switch. Now, we must bear in mind that it has some very specific technical specifications, complicated launch windows, and a series of prices not suitable for all pockets.
Back in July 2021, Valve opened pre-orders for its video game console: Steam Deck. The stock soon ran out and, within a few hours, speculation became a reality… Although the console was not yet available. In fact, there were many who decided to reserve it – without the certainty of its future purchase – knowing that the shortage would be an inevitable reality because of the lack of chips on the market.
Originally, the console was expected to land in our homes by the end of 2021, but its release had to be delayed until February 2022. And here we are, waiting, although we already have an official release date: February 28, 2022. However, it will be a gradual and staggered launch. What does this mean? That they will not be put on sale at once but will be sent little by little to their buyers based on the original reservation order.
In fact, Steam has warned us that the first warning emails will start coming out from February 25. If you were one of the lucky ones who managed to pre-order a console, you’d better stay tuned to your inbox, as you’ll only have 72 hours to confirm your purchase before the notice and pre-order expires.
If you couldn’t pre-order the console at the time and you do it now, you should keep in mind that you wouldn’t receive your console until the second quarter of 2022… At the earliest. The waiting lines are quite long and will remain so for quite some time.
It is a situation reminiscent of the first months of the launch of Nintendo Switch or the current situation of the new PlayStation and Xbox consoles. About when there will be more stock or increased production, nothing is known about it. Valve has not issued any official statement. After all, it is difficult to predict what will happen in the coming months. If you are interested and have not yet booked it, you better do it soon.
Steam Deck Pricing and Models
Broadly speaking, we have three different options if we want to buy a Steam Deck. The truth is that they do not differ much from each other. The only real difference is the storage space and its processing speed. The rest of the hardware features are identical, so you don’t have to worry about that. The three models are:
- 64 GB model (419 €). The memory is eMMC and processes information more slowly than those of the other two models.
- Model of 256 GB (549 €). Its memory is NVMe SSD. It processes information faster than eMMC memory.
- Model of 512 GB (679 €). Its memory is high-speed NVMe SSD.
All three models have an additional slot for a high-speed microSD card. All use 2230 m.2 modules (not designed to be replaced by the end-user)
Technical characteristics of Steam Deck
- Portable: SteamOS 3.0 (based on Arch).
- Desktop: KDE Plasma.
The console is compatible with other operating systems and will allow the installation of Windows, for example.
Processor and RAM
- APU AMD.
- CPU: Zen 2 4-core/8-thread, 2.4-3.5 GHz (up to 448 GFLOPS FP32).
- GPU: RDNA 2 with 8 compute units, 1.0-1.6 GHz (up to 1.6 TFLOPS FP32).
- APU consumption: 4-15 W.
- RAM: 16 GB of integrated LPDDR5 RAM (four 32-bit channels, 5500 MT/s).
Broadly speaking, you could get to play (in theory, although it would have to be checked) games like God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn or Shadows of Mordor, for example, without any kind of problem. It is very likely that Elden Ring could also work on the Valve console, although the graphics could suffer a little.
Storage and connectivity
- Storage (type 1): 64 GB eMMC model, PCIe Gen 2 x1).
- Storage (Type 2): 256GB model (NVMe SSD, 4 x PCIe Gen 3)
- Storage (type 3) model 512 (GB NVMe high-speed SSD, 4 x PCIe Gen 3).
- microSD: UHS-I compatible with SD, SDXC and SDHC.
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0 (compatible with controllers, accessories and audio).
- Wi-Fi: Dual-band Wifi radio, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, 2 x 2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac.
We remind you, once again, that the three models of Steam Deck are compatible with external microSD storage memories. We will be able to enjoy more space for our games. It is something, in theory, essential, especially if we take into account that there are many games that occupy almost (or more) 60 GB … Without the release patch.
Display and audio
- Resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels (16:10 aspect ratio).
- Type: IPS LCD display with optical lamination to improve readability.
- Size: 7″ diagonal.
- Brightness: 400 nits (typical).
- Refresh rate: 60 Hz.
- Touch: Yes.
- Sensors: Ambient light sensor.
- Audio channels: Stereo with built-in DSP for a surround sound experience.
- Microphones: Dual microphone array.
- Headphone jack and microphone: 3.5mm stereo headphone/headphone jack.
- Digital: Multichannel audio via DisplayPort via USB-C, standard USB-C or Bluetooth 5.0.
To make a comparison and that you can get an idea, it is something bigger than a Nintendo Switch. It would be about six centimeters longer and a couple of them taller. It is not a big difference, but it will help you to get a rough idea. It’s also somewhat heavier than Nintendo’s base model or OLED.
Size and weight
- Size: 298 mm x 117 mm x 49 mm.
- Weight: Approx. 669 grams.
Controls and inputs
Finally, the buttons. We have included them in their technical characteristics so that you can get an idea of how their external architecture is built. Valve’s Steam Deck has:
- 4 basic buttons: A, B, X and Y.
- A crosshead.
- Two analog triggers: L and R.
- Two front buttons: L and R.
- A View button and a Menu button.
- 4 assignable grip buttons.
- 2 full-size analog sticks with capacitive touch.
- Haptic response: Haptic response in HD.
- Trackpads: 2 square trackpads of 32.5 mm on each side with haptic response. 55% less latency than the Steam Controller. Pressure sensitivity for configurable click force.
- Gyroscope: 6-axis IMU.
- External connectivity for controllers and displays: USB-C compatible with DisplayPort 1.4 alternative mode; up to 8K at 60 Hz or 4K at 120 Hz, USB 3.2 Gen 2.
Steam Deck Feature Summary
Want a quick recap? Steam Deck is a bug. As specified by Valve, you will have no problem running almost any triple-A game in optimal conditions. That is, most of the big games of the moment will run at 60fps stable on the new portable console of Steam.
What we don’t know is whether, when launching that announcement, they took into account the minimum requirements of games like Elden Ring… It remains to be seen. Finally, we warn you that it is compatible with almost any device or peripheral, whether traditional mice, DualSense or Xbox controllers, wired headphones, etc.