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Introducing the Steam Deck - Starting at $399 and coming in December


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Steam Deck details:

· Powerful, custom APU developed with AMD
· Optimized for hand-held gaming
· Full-sized controls
· 7" touchscreen
· WiFi and Bluetooth ready
· USB-C port for accessories
· microSD slot for storage expansion
· 3 different storage options available

 

The website:

 

https://www.steamdeck.com/en/

 

There are three storage options ranging from:

 

64GB eMMC Internal Storage - $399

256 NVMe SSD - $549

512GB NVMe SSD - $649

 

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So much to consider here, but one of the first things I noticed was the very usable looking touch pads for games that focus on mouse controls. 

 

Quote

2 x 32.5mm square trackpads with haptic feedback
55% better latency compared to Steam Controller
Pressure-sensitivity for configurable click strength

 

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That...looks interesting.  With the dock in there, that becomes a pretty neat option for a small gaming PC, and if it's capable, then it could be a winner.  I did see mention of other stores being available on there-I wonder whether MS will get into that mix and be able to offer PC Gamepass on it?  That would definitely change the economics of a device like this.

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33 minutes ago, ChrisBardon said:

That...looks interesting.  With the dock in there, that becomes a pretty neat option for a small gaming PC, and if it's capable, then it could be a winner.  I did see mention of other stores being available on there-I wonder whether MS will get into that mix and be able to offer PC Gamepass on it?  That would definitely change the economics of a device like this.

 

You can literally just wipe Steam OS off and install Windows if you want. They say in the video that they are not looking to lock the device down and for all intents and purposes, it's a PC. Even despite that, this seems like the perfect device for Microsoft to expand efforts like xCloud and Game Pass to if the unit gets a real install base.

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2 hours ago, Romier S said:

You can literally just wipe Steam OS off and install Windows if you want. They say in the video that they are not looking to lock the device down and for all intents and purposes, it's a PC. Even despite that, this seems like the perfect device for Microsoft to expand efforts like xCloud and Game Pass to if the unit gets a real install base.

True, it'll be interesting to see how fast someone has windows 10/steam up on it, and what the benchmarks look like for a windows vs linux loadout.  Nice to see that standard docks will work as well-I wonder if it'd work on the one I use for my laptop? 

 

This also looks like it could be a killer emulation machine. 

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Man I’m really impressed by this thing and that is in itself unexpected for me. From that first image I didn’t even think the games were playing on it and that this was more of a Steam Link + Switch-alike but, it really is a great little portable PC that can game all on its own. I have to say I’m a little tempted myself to grab one as a 2nd game PC / portable 😊 and I also think the 256GB model is the sweet spot. That is a great price+features+performance combo. 

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I really like the d-pad/left analog stick and right analog stick/ABXY buttons being next to each other instead of on top of each other like the Switch/Switch Lite. The extra buttons on the back and built-in grips are nice too. With AAA PC games being so huge though, the internal SSD size seems kind of limiting, especially with no physical media alternative. Being able to install other OSes/game stores/Xbox Game Pass/emulators without hacking it is a great feature.

 

It seems less like a Switch killer and more like a GPD Win 3 killer (which is like 2-3 times more expensive).

 

I don't really have an interest in it but hopefully, it gives Nintendo some more data about what works/doesn't work for making a more powerful version of the Switch in the future.

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7 minutes ago, MastaRedSnappa said:

the internal SSD size seems kind of limiting, especially with no physical media alternative


It has an SD card slot, and I’m sure you could plug in other storage also. 

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The physical media alternative I was referring to were game cartridges (which I should have been clearer about). Like on the Switch, you can choose to buy either physical or digital (for many AAA games), each with their own pros and cons. Obviously, this device can't have this option but I suppose a large SD card (or multiple SD cards) could be used to either run the games from or swap between the internal SSD.

 

The other thing that stuck out to me is the weight. It weighs 1.48 lbs. The Switch weighs 0.88 lbs and the Switch Lite weighs 0.61 lbs so the Steam Deck weighs almost exactly the same as both of them combined. That might be an issue to some.

 

I didn't see any info on this but I wonder if the official Steam Deck dock will boost the performance so games outputted to a TV/monitor will perform the same or better compared to in handheld mode.

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1 hour ago, MastaRedSnappa said:

The physical media alternative I was referring to were game cartridges (which I should have been clearer about). Like on the Switch, you can choose to buy either physical or digital (for many AAA games),

Oh, I understand now. Since this is a portable PC for playing games and not a game console, the thought of a cartridge didn’t even occur to me since PCs don’t have cartridges. 

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Cartridges are essentially custom SD cards anyway, and since the whole selling point of this is “the Switch where instead of re-buying Zelda and Mario once again, your entire Steam library is already on there for no extra charge” I can’t see Valve ever wanting to somehow integrate locked-down cards 

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36 minutes ago, kelley said:

I’m very interested as well, seems like a really neat piece of kit. What I love is they are doing a reservation system, first in, first out. None of this waiting on stock to drop, monitoring Twitter, hoping to beat the bots. 

The $5 deposit and requirement that you've made a purchase on steam before 2021 is also brilliant. 

 

I kind of want to get one, but then again, I don't need a new handheld (not traveling much), so it would probably stay docked most of the time, and I don't get the impression that it'll be a powerhouse docked PC either.  Then again, it's a new gadget, and it'd be a neat thing to add to the collection of weird PCs that I have. 

 

Something I do have to wonder though-how are most PC games at UI scaling these days?  Something that's readable on a 23" monitor might be tiny on a 7" handheld.  I was thinking of trying to play something like Civ or Xcom on this, and the trackpads (plus touchscreen) would probably be fine from a control standpoint, but I'm not sure about text etc. 

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