Valve is an amazing new challenge coming into the gaming space of the handheld console with the announcement of the Steam Deck, a handheld PC that will launch in December. This SteamOS device isn’t the first gaming laptop (remember GDP Win Max, SMACH Z, or Nvidia Shield?), But it’s the first to find the price-power balance that has often prevented gaming laptops. become computers. main current. With this news, gaming laptops have gone from being expensive and niche hardware to a device I can potentially recommend to my brother via a Nintendo Switch.
An AMD APU with a Zen 2 CPU and an RDNA 2 GPU with 8 computing units power the Steam Deck, placing it in the same territory as a PS4 or Xbox One. Comparing GPUs, we think the best budget AMD RX550, which came out in 2019 for about $ 145 and is a popular card for low-cost gaming computers at 1080p, is the best comparison.
“For total APU power combined, it’s two teraflops,” said Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais he told IGN, "That should allow people to play the games they have in the library seamlessly at 720p and that provides a lot of power for that purpose."
Valve said the Steam Deck will have lightning tracking and variable speed shading. And since it’s essentially a small gaming PC, you can go in and modify the graphical settings as you would any PC game.
The videos provided by Valve show us different types of games that work quite smoothly, including Death Stranding, Doom Eternal, and Jedi: Fallen Order. Bluetooth compatibility means you can pair your wireless headphones or even a wireless gamepad in case you don’t vibrate with trackpads or awkward button design.
But, as with all portable technology, if you try to have it all, you’ll end up with it absurd Frankensteins that no one really wants. Valve cleverly avoids the design approach of the entire kitchen, although it appears as an upgrade to the market leader, the Nintendo Switch.
The cheapest Steam Deck model is only $ 50 more expensive than the recently announced $ 350 OLED Nintendo Switch. It’s easy to compare it to Nintendo, as the Steam Deck looks like the Switch Pro that most Nintendo fans still order. It already has a lot of quality-of-life features you won’t find on the switch, such as Bluetooth support, SSD storage (NVMe on 256GB and 512GB models) and the ability to launch your games on a screen without a docking station. coupling, via USB-C. Even Gabe Newell himself admits that blocking the surprisingly low price was “painful”.
I recently said that laptop makers should take a second and see what they can do to make their systems more competitively priced when Nintendo announced the OLED Switch model. Valve has shown us that it is possible to do everything while keeping things simple and affordable.