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Valve’s Steam Deck in our hands

Switch-like Steam portable is coming this December


two people playing co-op with two Steam Deck units



The Steam Deck is a new handheld device from Valve for playing PC games on the go, the company announced Thursday. The Nintendo Switch-like device is set for release in December starting at $399.

Previously rumored as the “SteamPal,” the Steam Deck is a portable PC that’s slightly larger than the Nintendo Switch. It features a 7-inch touchscreen, two thumbsticks, a D-pad, and a four-button layout. There are also two trackpads — one on either side of the machine, under the thumbsticks — to allow for increased precision. The Steam Deck has eight triggers on its back: four on the device’s shoulders and four more where the ring and pinky fingers rest.

The Steam Deck will run games from players’ existing Steam libraries. Players will simply log into their account, and their friends and catalog should follow them onto the handheld. The Steam Deck is capable of running PC games on its own hardware, without the power of the cloud. Videos released by Valve show people using the Steam Deck to natively play games such as Baldur’s Gate 3, Crusader Kings 3, Disco Elysium, Hades, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Players can also purchase a dock that allows the Steam Deck to run on a TV.



Inside, the Steam Deck boasts an accelerated processing unit (APU) built by AMD. Its CPU is based on the company’s Zen 2 microarchitecture and tops out at 3.5 GHz. The GPU contains eight RDNA 2 compute units running at up to 1.6 GHz, delivering peak performance of 1.6 teraflops. The system packs 16 GB of RAM and a microSD card slot, allowing users to expand upon the built-in storage. The Steam Deck’s 7-inch screen is an LCD with a 16:10 aspect ratio and a 60 Hz refresh rate at a 720p resolution of 1280x800. The Steam Deck also features a dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi radio — it’s compatible with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks — and Bluetooth 5.0 for controllers, accessories, and (unlike the Switch) audio.


At launch, the Steam Deck will be available in three models with different storage options. Valve says there are no performance differences between the three versions — aside from the speed of the flash memory, which will provide varying read and write speeds.

The $399 base model offers 64 GB of storage in the eMMC format. The next model up costs $529, and packs faster storage courtesy of a 256 GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD; it also comes with an “exclusive Steam Community profile bundle.” The top-tier Steam Deck, at $649, includes a 512 GB NVMe SSD that Valve refers to as “high-speed,” although it is still a PCIe 3.0 drive. In addition, this model’s screen features “premium anti-glare etched glass.” The unit comes with an exclusive carrying case and exclusive virtual keyboard theme, on top of the cheaper models’ bonuses.

Steam users will be able to reserve any of the three Steam Deck models (for a fee) starting at 1 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 16 — as long as they made a purchase on the Steam Store at some point before June 2021. If not, they’ll have to wait until 48 hours later.
 
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Necrokiller

Expert
Apr 16, 2009
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kis cheez ka version?
Hopefully the next version has a 4K, 120Hz, OLED VRR display and hopefully it can run next-gen games maxed out and have a 24hrs battery life, and is easily pocketable and weighs lighter than an A4 paper, all while costing $200 or less. It might be worth buying then. Hopefully. Maybe.
 
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NaNoW

Administrator
ADMIN
Feb 5, 2008
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https://steamcommunity.com/games/1675200/announcements/detail/3297210455204349336


Refresh Rate

Players now have the option to adjust the in-game screen refresh rate on the fly. The default is 60Hz (which can be frame-limited to 60, 30, and 15fps), but you can now slide it down to 40Hz (with frame limits at 40, 20, and 10fps). Or any number (integer) between those two settings. This feature is great for finding that perfect balance between framerate, game quality, and battery life. Pro-tip, we have found that 40Hz tends to be a sweet spot for responsiveness, consistency, and smoothness
*
. And of course, you can save this setting on a per-game basis.

Fan Behavior

The team has been hard at work on Steam Deck's fan behavior, and this update has an all-new OS-controlled fan curve. This means that overall it's smarter, more responsive to what's happening on and inside Steam Deck, and
quieter
- especially in low usage situations. This has been tested extensively, and we're continuing to work on improvements - so please let us know what you think. If you prefer the way the fan used to work, you can always switch back to the old (BIOS-controlled) fan behavior in System > Settings.

Other bits and bobs

SteamOS 3.2 also includes more internal screen resolution options for games to choose from, quick formats for microSD cards, and audio improvements - max speaker volume now goes even higher!

Big thanks to the community for helping us test all these changes in the OS Beta channel. For more info about this update, view the full patch notes here.

Remote Play Together

This feature isn't actually part of the SteamOS 3.2 update (it's a Steam Client update), but it's still a big deal, and is also something that we shipped today. Remote Play Together (the feature that allows a friend to join your game remotely as if they are sitting on a couch next to you) is now completely functional on Steam Deck. This includes both hosting and joining Remote Play Together sessions. Try out a supported game and open the Quick Access Menu to get started. Details about this, and all the other Steam Client updates can be found here.





*

More nerdy details about the refresh rate change.
So 30hz = 33.33 ms/frame, and 60hz = 16.66ms/frame. Meanwhile, 40hz is 25 ms/frame. So while it might seem a bit counter intuitive,
40fps is exactly half-way between 30 fps and 60 fps in terms of update speed
, and as such looks and feels far more responsive than 30fps. Generally speaking you always want a very stable frame pacing. So having a rock solid 40hz is better than oscillating between 42 and 48 hz, especially if your screen refresh is 60hz. This is because you're only actually getting a new frame each 1/60th of a second, so every time you miss, you get a double frame, leading to judder.

So a rock solid 40fps in game, with a 40hz updating screen, means every frame is a new frame and as a result it can feel smoother than an inconsistent framerate with a higher screen refresh. In addition, locking framerate lower puts less demand on the system and thus saves battery. While 40hz will use more battery than 30hz, it will use less than a game capped at a higher refresh, while still giving a subjectively far higher quality of an experience comparitively.
 

Exabyte999

Newbie
Mar 29, 2022
17
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Hopefully the next version has a 4K, 120Hz, OLED VRR display and hopefully it can run next-gen games maxed out and have a 24hrs battery life, and is easily pocketable and weighs lighter than an A4 paper, all while costing $200 or less. It might be worth buying then. Hopefully. Maybe.
no no no! we Pakistanis need a cheaper version! They should make a 1080p 120hz OLED one and sell it for 10 rupees! the rest youve said is accurate tho!
 
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Radical

R e |3 e L
Jan 25, 2009
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Dunno man, all I did was mention an improved version of this, in a hand ful of words :p
 
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Necrokiller

Expert
Apr 16, 2009
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"Hope it comes to Switch." We've all seen or said or thought this countless times while finding interesting and experimental PC games that would feel great on a handheld. And developers have obliged us, transforming the Switch into a flourishing home for smaller, less hardware-intensive games. The one drawback has typically been the wait, as these games often would hit PC first and come to Switch months or even years later. That's still the case today, which is why owning a Steam Deck has made recent Nintendo Direct presentations feel a lot less exciting for me than they used to be.
This isn't to say that the Nintendo Direct wasn't entertaining and full of great games. Nintendo is a big publisher, and lots of developers like to show off their wares on a Nintendo Direct first. There were plenty of games I wasn't even aware of that were shown at today's Direct. I'm just coming to terms with the fact that Steam Deck has rendered Switch an exclusives-only console--for everything else, I'll likely play on Steam Deck sooner and/or cheaper.

hehehe 🤷‍♂️
 

CerebralTiger

Expert
Apr 12, 2007
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Islamabad
I'm just coming to terms with the fact that Steam Deck has rendered Switch an exclusives-only console
Newsflash: exclusives are what most Switch owners are playing (irrespective of the Steam Deck), and there are tons of them each year hehehe 🤷‍♂️
 
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CerebralTiger

Expert
Apr 12, 2007
18,322
5,406
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Islamabad
Indies do well, despite being nowhere near the main reason for buying one. The Switch is just massive like that 🤷‍♂️ :LOL:

Speaking of U-turns, the biggest supporter of wrgb oleds on PG doesn't care that the Deck doesn't come with one 🤣

 

Necrokiller

Expert
Apr 16, 2009
11,203
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There is no u-turn, because Switch OLED doesn't do HDR 🤷‍♂️🤣

And most importantly, it lacks Steam's library so its a worthless piece of hardware for meeeee 🥴
 
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    Necrokiller Necrokiller: Agreed (y):ROFLMAO: