Steam Deck - The best portable gaming so far?
The Steam Deck is a handheld gaming device developed by Valve Corporation, the company behind the popular video game distribution platform Steam. It was announced in July 2021 and is set to release in December 2021. The Steam Deck features a 7-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1280x800, and is powered by an AMD APU that combines a quad-core Zen 2 CPU with an RDNA 2 GPU, along with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. It also includes a built-in controller with analog sticks, buttons, and touchpads, as well as the ability to connect to external displays and controllers.
The Steam Deck runs on SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system developed by Valve, but it is also compatible with Windows games through the Steam client. It will have access to the entire Steam library, allowing users to play their favorite games on the go. The device also includes a USB-C port for charging and data transfer, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot for expandable storage.
The Steam Deck has generated a lot of excitement among gamers, as it offers a unique handheld gaming experience with the ability to play a wide range of games from the Steam library. However, its success will ultimately depend on how well it performs in terms of battery life, performance, and usability.
Steam Deck Features
here are some features of the Steam Deck:
Handheld Gaming: The Steam Deck is designed to offer a portable gaming experience, allowing gamers to take their favorite games with them on the go.
Powerful Hardware: The device is powered by an AMD APU that combines a quad-core Zen 2 CPU with an RDNA 2 GPU, along with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, making it capable of running demanding games.
Large Display: The Steam Deck features a 7-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1280x800, providing a large and immersive gaming experience.
Built-In Controller: The device includes a built-in controller with analog sticks, buttons, and touchpads, allowing gamers to play games without the need for additional peripherals.
Compatibility: The Steam Deck runs on SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system developed by Valve, but it is also compatible with Windows games through the Steam client.
Expandable Storage: The device has a microSD card slot for expandable storage, allowing users to store more games and media.
Wireless Connectivity: The Steam Deck has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing for online gaming and wireless peripherals.
Display Resolution Scaler: The device includes a built-in display resolution scaler, which allows games to be rendered at a lower resolution to improve performance.
Battery Life: The Steam Deck's battery life is estimated to be between 2-8 hours depending on usage, allowing for extended gaming sessions.
USB-C Charging: The device can be charged via USB-C with a 45W power adapter, making it easy to charge on the go.
here are the technical specifications of the Steam Deck:
CPU: AMD Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)
GPU: AMD RDNA 2, 8 compute units, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32)
RAM: 16GB LPDDR5 RAM (5500 MT/s)
Storage: 64GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1), 256GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4), or 512GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)
Display: 7-inch diagonal, 1280 x 800 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, IPS LCD
Audio: Stereo speakers, dual microphones, 3.5mm headphone jack
Controls: Dual analog sticks, D-pad, face buttons, bumpers, triggers, and grip buttons. Capacitive touch pads on each side
Wireless: Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Bluetooth 5.0
Ports: 1 x USB-C (for charging, data transfer, and DisplayPort 1.4), 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack, 1 x microSD card slot
Battery: 40Whr battery (up to 8 hours of gameplay)
Operating System: SteamOS 3.0 (based on Arch Linux)
Dimensions: 298mm x 117mm x 49mm
Weight: Approx. 669g
Ports & Connectivity
here's some information about the ports and connectivity options on the Steam Deck:
1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port (supports Power Delivery 3.0 for charging, DisplayPort 1.4 Alt-mode for video output, and USB 3.2 Gen 2 for data transfer)
1 x 3.5mm headphone jack
1 x microSD card slot (for additional storage)
Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) for wireless internet connectivity
Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless peripheral connectivity (such as controllers or headphones)
Integrated dual-band antenna with MIMO support for improved wireless performance
It's worth noting that the USB-C port can be used for various purposes, such as charging the device with a compatible USB-C charger or power bank, connecting the Steam Deck to a TV or monitor with a compatible USB-C to DisplayPort adapter, or using a USB-C hub to connect other devices to the Steam Deck. The microSD card slot can also be used to expand the device's storage capacity.
here's some information about the display on the Steam Deck:
The Steam Deck features a 7-inch diagonal, 1280 x 800 resolution touchscreen display with a 60Hz refresh rate.
The display uses an IPS (In-Plane Switching) LCD panel, which provides wide viewing angles and good color accuracy.
The screen has a 16:10 aspect ratio, which is well-suited for gaming and media consumption.
The display is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which provides scratch and impact resistance.
The Steam Deck also features an ambient light sensor that adjusts the screen's brightness based on the environment.
Overall, the Steam Deck's display is designed to provide a good balance of size, resolution, and image quality for gaming and other tasks. The touchscreen functionality also provides additional options for controlling games and interacting with the Steam Deck's user interface.
Pros & Cons
Portability: The Steam Deck is a highly portable device that allows you to play your favorite PC games on-the-go, whether you're traveling or just moving around your house.
Wide game compatibility: The Steam Deck is designed to run most games available on Steam, including those that are compatible with SteamOS and those that can be played through Steam's Proton compatibility layer.
Familiar interface: The Steam Deck runs on SteamOS, which provides a familiar and easy-to-use interface for Steam users. This can make it easier to navigate the device and access your games and other content.
Built-in controls: The Steam Deck features built-in controllers that allow you to play games without the need for additional peripherals. This can be a convenient and cost-effective option for gamers who don't want to invest in separate controllers.
Expandable storage: The Steam Deck includes a microSD card slot that allows you to expand the device's storage capacity. This can be useful for storing large game libraries and media files.
Price: The Steam Deck is a relatively expensive device, with prices starting at $399 for the base model. This may be a barrier to entry for some gamers, particularly those who are used to playing games on less expensive platforms like mobile devices or consoles.
Performance limitations: The Steam Deck's hardware is not as powerful as a high-end gaming PC, which means that some games may not run as smoothly or at the highest graphics settings. This can limit the types of games that can be played on the device and may require users to adjust their expectations.
Limited battery life: The Steam Deck's battery life is estimated at 2-8 hours depending on usage, which may not be sufficient for extended gaming sessions or long trips without access to a power source.
Limited availability: The Steam Deck is currently available only through pre-orders, which may make it difficult for some users to get their hands
The Steam Deck comes in three different storage configurations: 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB.
The base model with 64GB of eMMC storage is priced at $399 USD.
The mid-range model with 256GB of NVMe SSD storage is priced at $529 USD.
The high-end model with 512GB of NVMe SSD storage is priced at $649 USD.
Overall, the pricing of the Steam Deck is competitive with other high-end gaming devices, especially considering its portability and compatibility with the large library of games on the Steam platform. However, the price may be a bit high for some users, especially for those who don't need the additional storage capacity offered by the higher-end models.
List of games compatible for steam deck
The Steam Deck can run a wide variety of games available on the Steam platform, including those that are compatible with SteamOS and those that can be played through Steam's Proton compatibility layer. Here's a list of popular games that are compatible with the Steam Deck:
Resident Evil Village
League of Legends
Grand Theft Auto V
Red Dead Redemption 2
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Rainbow Six Siege
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and there are thousands of other games available on Steam that can be played on the Steam Deck. Additionally, some games may require adjustments to graphics settings to run smoothly on the device.
Where to buy?
Steam Deck is currently available for purchase online. It was initially available for pre-order in July 2021 and began shipping in December 2021. The device can be purchased through the official Steam website or through authorized retailers such as Best Buy, GameStop, and Amazon. However, due to high demand, the device may currently be out of stock or have limited availability.
In conclusion, the Steam Deck is a highly anticipated handheld gaming device that offers a number of potential benefits for gamers. Its portability, compatibility with the vast library of games available on the Steam platform, and customizable operating system are all attractive features. However, some users may be put off by the device's relatively high price tag, especially for the higher-end models. Additionally, the device's hardware specs may limit its ability to run some of the most demanding games at the highest settings. Ultimately, whether the Steam Deck is worth the investment will depend on each individual user's needs and preferences.