Steam Deck: Valve went and made a Linux handheld gaming system

Valve just announced the Steam Deck starting at $400

Specs:
Processor:

  • 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)
  • APU power: 4-15W

RAM: 16GB LPDDR5

Storage:

  • 64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1)
  • 256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)
  • 512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)
  • All models include high-speed microSD card slot

Controls:

  • A B X Y buttons
  • D-pad
  • L & R analog triggers
  • L & R bumpers
  • View & Menu buttons
  • 4 x assignable grip buttons
  • 2 x analog sticks
  • 2 x 32.55 mm square trackpads with haptic feedback (55% better latency compared to the Steam controllers) and they’re pressure sensitive

Display

  • 1280 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio)
  • 7" diagonal display size
  • 60hz
  • Touch enabled

Connectivity

  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Dual band wi-fi

Power

  • USB C
  • 40 Whr Battery which they claim is 2-8 hours of gameplay

Size and weight

  • 298mm x 117mm x 49mm
  • 669 grams

Operating System

  • SteamOS (Arch)
  • KDE Plasma for desktop display

There is also an official dock that has HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, 3x USB B ports, and an ethernet port


Pretty exciting news! $100 more then the Switch is interesting but I think this is definitely aimed more at an older audience. The idea that this can also function as a small portable computer that you can plug into a dock and use like a desktop is kind of cool.

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The idea of a Switch that could access my entire Steam library is very appealing but “starts at $400” is the kind of asterisk that makes me wonder how bad this could get.

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It’s really interesting as a full PC with SteamOS on it. Probably not for me because of the price, but I’m listening. The inclusion of two trackpads, two sticks and a d-pad is amazing, the main weakness of the steam controller was not having a right stick.

Prices are here. Edit: I want one :frowning:

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My dream here is to run Mother 3 on emulation on this thing while doing an anime noblewoman laugh in the direction of my poor underpowered Switch.

Also, I don’t need to wait for Omori to get ported to Switch now! I could just play it whenever I want on the go.

This makes me realize that I actually have no idea how many things sitting in my forlorn “I’m not a PC gamer anymore” Steam library even run on their Linux distro

Is SteamOS, like…widely supported? I genuinely don’t know

I think that button layout looks kinda wack, but I’m interested.

Valve has a compatibility layer called Proton that runs a lot of Windows games in Linux. Probably about 80% of your library will run fine, with little to no loss of performance on similar hardware.

I tried it out on an old gaming laptop with a fairly bad video card and was pretty impressed. Sometimes for games with an actual linux port, Proton did a better job than the port.

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I kinda want one just because I can already see the weird software coming out for this thing that you normally do not see on a handheld just by the nature of it having a full desktop OS.

Also if I was still in college I think this is the tech gadget I would be dying to have? You can game on it, it has a full OS so you could run libre office to take notes in class with a wireless keyboard, and then when you go home for the day you can connect to your dock and use it for class work.

Honestly I’m really excited to see people who have never used Linux before try this and realize that while it’s the OS of nerds it’s not as obtuse as you would think.

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As someone who can’t play a Switch handheld because the button placements wreck havoc on my jacked up hands. To hold a Switch with a straighter wrist and grip to my forearms means I have to move my thumb up and down way more than is comfortable. The Steam Deck’s layout hopefully would be more ergonomic for me requiring less movement to go from stick to buttons/d-pad.

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Not interesting for me but competition is good

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It does also have full Bluetooth support for third party controllers but that would decrease the handheld value, of course.

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There have been a lot of handheld gaming PCs like this, but all of the other ones I have seen start at like $850.

I’m curious to see if this takes off because of the name recognition and lower price.

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Wouldn’t be a bad thing if this takes off and causes PC spec requirements to remain low. I might even be able to squeeze another five years from my GTX 970!

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I’ll be curious to see how at least a 150 GB model compares to some of the other handheld PC gaming ‘consoles’ on the market. Most of those are Kickstarted, so the prices are :grimacing:, but some of them have interesting feature sets.

But if the ‘has a decent amount of space’ model starts hitting 700, 800 dollars… one wonders what the benefit of this is over a gaming laptop.

Very much the same for me. When I heard this announcement I was like ‘huh, neat I guess’ and then I went through all the usual stages of ‘What if Valve did literally ANYTHING else?’

What if they supported TF2 again? What if Counterstrike wasn’t a hat market for money-laundering? What if they made a Half Life that most people could actually play? What if they made a new game for one of their beloved series of games that people are still playing?

The possibilities are endless and experimental hardware Valve is the most boring and annoying timeline.

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It’s $650, I believe, for the 512 GB model.

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Yeah, that’s the number I saw too. Which is Decidedly Not Cheap.

Is that the one I’m going to try for? …yes.

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It’d be real cool if they could show-up Nintendo and release Valley of the Gods, but Valve chose their path years ago.

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Had about a week between being happy that I wouldn’t have to shell out for a Switch Pro and seeing this and going “ah yes, try as I might, I will absolutely end up with one of these.”

The Switch already works so well for the way I like to play games, and now I can just… cut through my massive Steam backlog on something similar? It’s just inevitable.