The Steam Deck from games specialists Valve could be a hit! Because the device promises what video game fans have been dreaming of for years. It should finally make video games as mobile as a cell phone. BILD explains the gamer dream.
Inspired by Nintendo’s Switch
At first glance, Steam Deck looks like a copy of Nintendo’s Switch mobile game console. Game controller elements are arranged around a 7-inch display, behind the screen are chips, memory and a battery that allows the device to be used on the go.
But Steam Deck seems to be more than a cheap copy. With Steam, developer Valve operates the world’s largest marketplace for computer games – so it should know what players want and what they can do without.
So Steam Deck is packed with gaming hardware. In addition to mini-joysticks, there is a trackpad for both thumbs, which is intended to replace the fine movements of a computer mouse while on the move. On the back there are four shoulder buttons plus four additional buttons – and a USB-C connector can be used to connect a mouse, keyboard or any other control device to the Steam Deck.
For gaming on the go, Valve promises battery runtimes between two and eight hours. The wide range probably results from the very different hardware requirements of the titles. Older games that hardly demand any performance from the graphics and processing unit should run for a very long time. Current 3D titles could even empty the battery in under two hours – if Steam Deck can play them at all.
Out of stock again
Whether the device will be a success or not essentially depends on which games will run on the system. Because unlike Nintendo’s Switch, where every title is also optimized for mobile use, not all PC games will be playable on Steam Deck. The built-in mobile hardware will not be sufficient for current top titles – even if at most the “small HD resolution” with 1280×720 pixels is shown on the Steam Deck display.
However, if the hits of the past few years are stable on Steam Deck, the console could still be of interest to many gamers. Because unlike the Switch, you don’t have to buy any new games for Steam Deck. Valve’s console has direct access to all of the titles in the players’ Steam library. So if a title is running on the Steam Deck in addition to the PC, that’s a bonus for gamers. If not, it’s not a catastrophe, since you can still play it on your PC.
Steam Deck – the technical data
CPU: AMD Zen with up to 3.5 gigahertz
GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUus with up to 1.6 gigahertz
R.A.M: 16 gigabytes
Storage: 64, 256 or 512 gigabytes, expandable via microSD
Display: 7-inch IPS-LCD with 1280×800 pixels, 60 Hertz, 400 nits
Wireless: Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi with 2.4 and 5 gigahertz (a / b / g / n / ac standard)
Size: 29.8 x 11.7 x 4.9 centimeters
Weight: 669 grams
Operating system: SteamOS 3.0 (based on Linux, but Steam Deck should also be able to use Windows 10 and 11)
The fact that Valve has hit the nerve of gamers with Steam Deck can already be seen from the fact that the first wave of pre-orders was sold out within a very short time. Regardless of whether it is the small version with 64 gigabytes (419 euros), the medium version with 256 GB (549 euros) or the large 512 GB Steam deck for 679 euros: If you pre-order one of the devices today, you will probably not get it in time get for christmas. Valve itself assumes that devices reserved today will probably only be able to be delivered in the second half of 2022.
Until then, it should be foreseeable whether the concept of the mobile gaming PC will work. As exciting as Steam Deck looks, Valve had already tried to change the gaming market with its own hardware in the past – but it had always failed so far.