Valve, a renowned organization that manages computer gaming’s popular storefront, Steam, recently announced their entry into the portable PC gaming industry with a Steam Deck. The new portable gaming device would retail for between £287.7 and £468.
Also, Reservations that come at an additional cost started being made on Friday for the expected December 2021 release in the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, and the United States. The form factor appears the same as the traditional Sega Game Gear portable since the 1990s; with 2 touchpads on both sides of the screen to be the same as using a mouse.
The new device usually comes with a seven-inch screen, exactly the same as Nintendo’s newly released Switch OLED Model. Essentially, Valve stated that the Steam Deck has been well optimized as a smartphone and promises a battery life that would last for between 2 and 8 hours for continuous play.
Furthermore, the LCD screen will have an 800p resolution, slightly sharper than the Switch OLED Model with a 720p resolution. The handheld device will sport a 60hz refresh rate that would guarantee high-performance games to run at about 60 frames per second. Also, it will include a gyroscopic motion and haptic feedback.
In the same way as Switch, Valve stated that it was planning for a dock. At the moment, the Steam Deck would have a USB-C that will be plugged in as the TV device. Also, Valve claims that the Deck is typically a handheld PC, so you can easily install the Windows, check your email, and do everything you can do with a laptop or desktop.
Fans of Nintendo have been worried after news of the “Switch Pro” even though such a device hasn’t been confirmed to exist. Steam Deck’s base model will cost £36 more than the new OLED Switch console. And if the steam games will not appear in the 4K resolutions, the PC games can easily be scaled upwards to look sharper on the lower screen resolutions.
And this is beyond the attraction of playing highly demanding high-powered titles such as “Final Fantasy XIV” or “No Man’s Sky” on the handheld device.
Theoretically, everything about this device seems like everything Steam has always wanted. PC gamers have complained about having to carry around laptops with noisy fans to be able to enjoy playing games while on the game. Alienware released the new concept of portable machines in 2020 as well; this highlights the sizable space in the market that Apple and Nintendo haven’t addressed.
Nevertheless, Valve has over the years released hardware and failed to support it. For instance, back in 2013, Valve announced their Steam Machine effort to crate its OS with premade PCs built like the consoles.
Now that mobile and portable gaming has become increasingly popular and perhaps larger than the PC market, more eyes will be on how Valve can support its new hardware.
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Nast, C. (2021, July 15). Valve’s steam deck will take PC games on the go this December. Wired. https://www.wired.com/story/valve-steam-deck-pc-games-december/
Smartphones overtake laptops as favoured internet device. (2015, August 6). BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-33784362