Steam Deck by Valve: What We Know


In this post we will be covering information relating to the newly announced Steam Deck by Valve. It marks Valve’s entry into the handheld gaming business, competing directly with the Nintendo Switch. By the end of the analysis, however, you may find that the Steam Deck is marketed at a different audience than the Switch.



Specs and Price

The device features an AMD Zen 2 CPU, with 4 cores and 8 threads. The CPU clock speed ranges from 2.4-3.5GHZ. The GPU is AMD’s RDNA 2, with 8 compute units. There will be 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM in the Steam Deck, which is unparalleled for a device of its kind. A 7-inch LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 1280×800 and a refresh rate of 60Hz will be included as well. USB Type-C port will also be incorporated with DisplayPort 1.4 support, and a weight of roughly 1.47 lbs.

There are three models of the Steam Deck announced at this time.

  • 64GB version for $399 USD
  • 256GB for $529 USD
  • 512GB for $649 USD

The more expensive models feature NVME SSD storage, which is significantly faster than eMMC storage which is featured on the 64GB version. We assume that there will be expansion storage on the device as well, but customers will have to be mindful that the MicroSD cards have significantly slower loading times than their internal SSD counterparts.

Release Date

The Steam Deck will ship in December of 2021. However, Valve expects there to be availability of the Steam Deck in the US and Canada to be the second quarter of 2022. At this time, there is a reservation system for the device, using Steam accounts to put a deposit down. The Steam Deck can be reserved a $5 deposit is put down, and the servers became overloaded when the reservation system went live. The deposit will go toward the cost of the Steam Deck, but can also be refunded if you cancel the reservation. Valve stated that they will contact customers when inventory is available and they are able to purchase the product.

Customers were initially met with many errors and timeout messages on the reservation page, but that seems to be corrected now.


Valve is targeting this product to customers already using their Steam marketplace. This product is likely meant for someone more in tune with AAA games with more intense graphics than let’s say Animal Crossing for the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo set their place in the market with a lower powered device. However, the games supported by the Switch often do not need high computing power. A few games have had issues reaching 30 FPS, but all in all the Steam Deck seems like it will be a whole different beast.

At this time the Steam Deck does not appear to have a kickstand, unlike the Switch. The Steam Deck is intended to be an open platform, and will allow us to do things like install Windows and run other things on the Steam Deck than it was initially intended for. This flexibility is something consumers will like.

Thanks for Reading!

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