Valve has officially revealed its long-rumoured Nintendo Switch-esque portable gaming PC, the Steam Deck.
Set to release this December in Canada, the U.S. and other markets, the Steam Deck will offer the entire Steam catalogue in handheld form. In a reveal trailer, Steam games like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Control and Hades can be seen on the Steam Deck.
Specs-wise, the Steam Deck has a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixel resolution (16:10 aspect ratio). It runs a custom AMD APU, which Valve says is “optimized” for handheld gaming. Further, it sports Zen 2 + RDNA 2 so it can run AAA games. The Steam Deck also has Bluetooth support for controllers and headphones and a USB-C charging port.
The gamepad itself is where it’s most like the Switch, with two analogue sticks, ‘X,’ ‘A,’ ‘B’ and ‘Y’ buttons and triggers on the front. But there will also be two trackpads to give the handheld PC-like functionality.
It’s important to note that Valve will offer a Switch dock to connect to external displays, although this will be sold separately. Specific pricing and release information for the dock has yet to be revealed.
Beyond that, Valve says the Steam Deck runs SteamOS 3.0 which includes Proton, a tool to get Windows games running on Linux-based operating systems. What this means is that developers “will likely” be able to get their games working “right out of the box” on the Steam Deck, according to Valve.
The Steam integration also means that in addition to Steam libraries, Steam features like friends, remote play and cloud saves will carry over from PCs to the Steam Deck.
The Steam Deck will be offered in three models, but Valve says there won’t be any graphical or framerate differences between them. Instead, you’ll get more storage and accessories depending on which one you buy.
Introducing Steam Deck: powerful, portable PC gaming starting at $399. Designed by Valve, powered by Steam. Shipping December 2021.
— Steam (@Steam) July 15, 2021
The base model will cost $499 and only offer 64GB eMMC internal storage and a carrying case. The second model, meanwhile, will be priced at $659 and feature 256GB NVMe SSD internal storage, faster storage, an exclusive Steam Community profile bundle and a carrying case. Finally, the highest-end Steam Deck will set you back $819 and sport 512GB NVMe SSD internal storage, premium anti-glare etched glass and an exclusive carrying case, Steam Community Profile bundle and virtual keyboard theme.
Reservations for the Steam Deck will open on Friday, July 16th at 10am PT/1pm ET on Steam’s website.
Image credit: Valve