Anyone looking for a Nintendo Switch-like portable gaming PC will want to check out the Steam Deck, which will start shipping in late 2021 for $400 and up. It’s made by Valve, the company behind the Steam gaming service.
“Steam Deck brings the Steam games and features you love to a powerful and convenient form factor that you can take wherever you go,” the Steam Deck website notes. “
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Like most portable gaming machines dating back to the Atari Lynx, the Steam Deck is an all-in-one design with an integrated display—in this case, a low-resolution 7-inch touch display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and a 16:10 aspect ratio—and all the buttons and controls one would expect here in the 21st century. But Valve says that Steam Deck will run the latest AAA games—as opposed to using AAA batteries, I guess—and … I guess we’ll have to see.
The $400 model comes with just 64 GB of slow eMMC storage, so it’s unclear how well that could possibly perform. For $529, you can get a version with 256 GB of faster NVMe SSD internal storage. And there’s a $649 option with 512GB NVMe SSD internal storage and “premium anti-glare etched glass.” Each version is powered by an AMD Zen 2 CPU and GPU and 16 GB of RAM. It promises 2-8 hours of battery life.
As for the software loadout, it comes with the Linux-based SteamOS, and Valve says that your existing Steam library will be available. But you’re free to buy and install Windows if you want.
Steam Deck starts shipping in December 2021, and you can reserve yours now. For more information, please visit the Steam Deck website.