Introducing Valve’s New Steam Deck Portable

By Ben Hamill - July 19 2021
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Introducing Valve’s New Steam Deck Portable

Valve is without a doubt the biggest company in PC gaming. If there is a PC gamer out there, chances are overwhelming that they also have a Steam account. Steam being the Valve-owned company that acts as an online PC game marketplace. But, beyond dominating the game market, occasionally Valve also pushes to get into the hardware market. The behemoth corporation has officially announced the portable Steam Deck, due to start shipping in December.

A quick look at the Steam Deck will instantly conjure images of the highly popular Nintendo Switch. Some might even say that the Valve produced hardware it is a rather blatant imitation. The Steam Deck, much like the Switch, includes a touchscreen between 2 thumb operated control arrays. But, unlike the Switch, the Deck does not support any Nintendo games. What it does offer, however, is significantly more powerful hardware, capable of running virtually any game available on the marketplace, according to Valve.

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Remembering The Steam Machine

Those familiar with Valve may remember a previous hardware release, the Steam Machine. 6 years ago, the company put out a Linux based console, only to see it flop so badly as to be a disaster. It turned out that, a fact that might seem obvious to some, those who are focused on PC gaming aren’t also particularly interested in consoles, regardless of familiar branding. But then again, the Steam Index virtual reality headset was far more successful. The biggest problem with the Index is the price, which is far beyond the range of most gamers.

With all that being said, the Steam Deck seems much more likely to see some sort of success. The starting price is $399, only marginally higher than the Nintendo Switch at $350, but with far more capability. All in all, this is a portable device with potential.

Specs

Simply put, the new portable will be significantly more powerful than a Switch. This isn’t surprising, given that Nintendo’s hardware is now 4 years old. But what is surprising is that an RDNA 2 GPU is being utilised. For those that don’t keep track of technobabble, the same generation of GPU is in use in the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

This doesn’t mean that the portable system will be the equivalent of a next generation console but does mean that there is simply no other portable device that comes even close in terms of raw capability.

Those interested will be eagerly awaiting December.

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