Valve announces Steam Deck handheld, starts at $400

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(Image credit: Valve)

The rumors were true: Valve will start shipping a new handheld gaming device called Steam Deck in December 2021.

According to Valve, the device is a “Zen 2 + RDNA 2 powerhouse” which can run “the latest AAA games.” It features a 7-inch touchscreen, trackpads like the Steam Controller, and gyroscopic control.

On the software side, Steam Deck runs on a new version of SteamOS, the Linux-based operating system Valve hoped to make a living room staple back when Steam Machines were still a thing. That doesn’t mean that the Steam Deck will be limited to Linux games. Valve says that its Proton compatibility software has been “vastly improved.”

You can also tinker with it—the Steam Deck isn’t a locked box—and even use it as a regularPC by plugging it into a monitor and peripherals. “Browse the web, watch streaming video, do your normal productivity stuff, install some other game stores, whatever,” says Valve.

One potential disappointment may be the battery life. Valve says that the Steam Deck’s battery will last for “several hours” while playing most games, and that it maxes out at 8 hours in “lighter use cases like game streaming, smaller 2D games, or web browsing.”

The device starts at $399 for a 64GB version. There’s also a 256GB version for $529 and a 512GB version for $649. The more expensive versions also feature faster storage, and come with extras like a carrying case. In all three versions, storage can be increased with a microSD card.

The full details and specs can be found on the official Steam Deck website. Developing…

Tyler has spent over 1,200 hours playing Rocket League, and slightly fewer nitpicking the PC Gamer style guide. His primary news beat is game stores: Steam, Epic, and whatever launcher squeezes into our taskbars next.