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Valve Unleashes Steam Deck: The Handheld PC

by sam.h

Valve announces the new original product Steam Deck, set to launch by the end of 2021

At one glance, the Steam Deck is an all-in-one portable PC gaming device that brings the features and games from Steam and packs it into a new powerful and convenient form factor that you can take with you wherever you go. It runs a modified version of Valve’s SteamOS, complete with a console-like interface, and has 7-inch LCD screen. 

Much like the Nintendo Switch, the Steam Deck can also be docked and output to a TV or monitor using its USB Type-C port. Valve plans to sell its own dock separately at a later date, but you can use existing USB Type-C docks without worry. 

The Steam Deck will be available in three-tiered storage options

The Steam Deck may look rather ungainly, but Valve says it’s been designed for comfortable, extended play sessions, and it has full-fidelity control so you can play your favorite games without any compromises.

In addition to the usual controller installations to be expected which are the drift stick, d-pads, left and right trigger, and buttons, there are a few additions:

  • Valve’s very own trackpads that was once featured in the Steam Controller
  • Built-in gyro control
  • Grip buttons at the back of the device

Valve’s Steam OS will allow for mapping of the buttons to user’s desired input, therefore the addition of the grip buttons may allow for the playability of many traditional mouse and keyboard games on Valve’s new device.

Steam Deck General Reaction

Unsurprisingly, people were quick to draw the comparison between the Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch. There is a distinct difference between the two, being that the Switch is a primarily exclusives platform of cult-classics made my Nintendo, this is party games like Mario Party, Super Smash built for the party play support of Nintendo, which is not what the Steam Deck is for.

Game Prices & Cloud Sync

The main sell of the Steam Deck is easily the cheaper games on its market compared to Nintendo. Users with an already populated Steam library will also have them directly in the Steam Deck to play instead of having to buy new games. Valve has also announced cloud-sync features that will sync save data between PC and Steam Deck of the same user profile.


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