Valve has presented by surprise its new Steam Deck console that has a powerful AMD Ryzen APU with Zen 2 cores and an integrated GPU with RDNA2 technology designed exclusively for it.
The new Steam Deck offers us an interesting hardware, on the one hand we have an AMD Ryzen Zen2 + RDNA 2 APU that we have not yet seen on PC and on the other hand a portable design that integrates the benefits of the Stream Controller integrated. A device that has a high weight, 670 g, almost twice as much as a Nintendo Switch and also quite large dimensions, something that will make us consider its use in long sessions.
As we can see in the list of Steam Deck specifications, Valve has gotten a new AMD Zen2 APU exclusively that we are still waiting for current desktop PCs and laptops. The RDNA2 GPU technology that we can find in the next gen PS5 and Xbox Series consoles is a nice performance jump over the current 3000/4000 APUs with RDNA1 GPU that we still have, plus it supports Unreal Engine 5 and Direct X12 Ultimate.
Logically being in portable format we have a limitation in the core speed to not ruin the autonomy, but it is still powerful, since its TDP ranges only from 4 W to 15 W. It should be noted that it also “only” has to move a 1280×800@60Hhz resolution on its 7″ LCD touch screen with 400 nits, but we have no dedicated video memory and uses the system RAM, something that also detracts performance.
On the other hand in the console we have what could be a Steam Controller 2.0, we have four front buttons, two rear buttons with two triggers, menu buttons and view (start / select) and also four rear buttons, plus two classic analog directional controls. We also have two pressure-sensitive touch zones that can be used as a mouse in many games, the system has vibration and 6-axis sensor to capture movement.
Additionally, we can purchase separately a Dock with different USB ports, Ethernet network connector, power outlet and HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs to connect the Steam Deck to any monitor or TV.
Undoubtedly a big step by Valve in the hardware sector that sets a standard for gaming companies, we would not be surprised if the next move of this company would be a classic console with similar hardware and a Steam Controller 2 included to control it in the same way as this portable console.
Price and availability
- Steam Deck with 64 GB eMMC storage (expandable by microSD) for $399 / 419€
- Steam Deck with 256 GB NVMe storage for $529 / 549€
- Steam Deck with 512 GB NVMe storage for $649 / 679€
- For now it will only be sold by invitation to Steam users who have a purchase made before June to avoid price increases due to speculation. Shipments will start in December.