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Valve’s Steam Deck handheld PC arrives in December

Valve today officially announced the existence and launch window for the long-rumored Steam Deck.

Coming this December, the Steam Deck is a portable gaming PC rocking a custom AMD APU (Zen2, RDNA2).

It looks fantastic – if only because it bears a striking resemblance to the greatest handheld gaming console ever, the Nintendo Switch.

In all fairness, it appears to be quite a bit fancier than a Switch. It has four triggers and four ‘grip buttons’, two touch pads, two thumb sticks, and a full suite of buttons.

Specifications are pretty thin right now, but we were able to grab a few details from the Steam Deck website.

Features

  • Price: Starting at $399
  • Ships: December 2021
  • CPU: Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)
  • GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32)
  • RAM: 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM (5500 MT/s)
  • Screen: 7-inch diagonal 1280 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio) capacative touch screen
  • Onboard storage: 64GB eMMC, 256GB NVMe SSD, or 512GB NVMe SSD
  • Battery: 40 watt, Steam says it’ll provide approximately 2-8 hours of juice
  • Wireless: Bluetooth and WiFi
  • Ports: A single USB-C port for charging/peripherals, MicroUSB slot, 3.5mm headphone jack

The Steam Deck will also get an official dock (sold separately):

A dock for the Steam Deck

Quick take: Hallelujah, oh happy day, and give it to me now! I game on every platform I can possibly afford and, at the end of the day, almost nothing beats the convenience of the Nintendo Switch. Unfortunately, the bulk of the games I actually own are on Steam. It’s nice to play Zelda on the bus or Smash Bros in bed, but having my entire Steam game library available to me on what appears to be a high-quality gaming device that apes the Switch is a big deal.

All we need now is Microsoft and Steam to come to terms on bringing Xbox Game Pass to the device, and we could very well be about to enter a second Golden Age for gaming handhelds.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a Steam Deck this holiday season. You can reserve one here.

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