Steam Deck: What’s known so far about the handheld console

Steam Deck is Valve’s mobile gaming PC. The device is compatible with games from the Steam library, has a 2.4 GHz processor, and runs on the Linux-based SteamOS operating system. The manufacturer promises a fully open platform that allows you to browse the web, watch streams and install software, in addition to the games themselves. The device features a battery life of up to eight hours and will not have native Fortnite support, due to Epic Games’ anti-fraud policy.

The Steam Deck comes to the market in three different models, with prices starting at $399. Check out, below, all the details about Valve’s new handheld console.

1. Launch confirmed for February


Valve’s announcement, made at the end of January, set February 28th as the official launch date for Steam Deck. The event will take place two months after the manufacturer’s initial plan, which justified the delay with delays in the global supply chain that prevented components from arriving at factories on time.

Customers who have made pre-orders for the device should have received an email starting February 25 and will have 72 hours to decide on their purchase. Otherwise, the chance passes to the next in line. The first Steam Deck units will ship as early as the 28th. For now, the pre-order is only available to customers located in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.

2. Battery Life

Steam Deck

The Steam Deck features a 40 Wh battery and promises to run for up to 8 hours of light use. Valve’s announcement guarantees a minimum battery life of 2 hours, but some YouTubers have found lower performance when testing the device. When the “Control game” is played with the game’s graphics settings at a minimum and Vsync disabled, the Steam Deck’s battery lasted approximately 90 minutes, delivering frame rates at 90 fps.

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3. Loading games on MicroSD

Steam Deck

The performance of Steam Deck’s microSD in some games resembles SSD. For titles like Dead Cells and Street Fighter V, the microSD’s biggest lag compared to the SSD was two seconds. The games Portal 2 and Ghostrunner, on the other hand, took longer and showed a difference of about 17 seconds on the microSD. Remember that the number of games available for testing on Steam Deck is still limited, and probably this group has the best optimization games on the device.

4. Fortnite will not have native support

Steam Deck

The launch of Steam Deck is expected to come along with over 100 verified games, but Fortnite does not make it onto that list. The news is not surprising, since Valve is Epic Games’ big rival. According to Tim Sweeney, Epic’s CEO, Battle Royale will not be upgraded to Proton, the system that makes Windows-based applications compatible with Linux and an essential article for the game to have native support on Steam Deck.

On Twitter, Sweeney added that Epic’s big concern is how to control Fortnite’s anti-fraud policy on such a large scale. Fans of the title are left to customize the Deck, as the device’s open-source code allows the installation of games outside of Steam’s library.

5. Steam Deck’s measurements are impressive

Steam Deck

Despite its portable design, the Steam Deck is much larger than its rivals in the category. The screen is seven inches wide and the device is 29.8 cm wide, 11.7 cm tall, and 4.9 cm thick. The Steam Deck is larger and thinner than the Nintendo Switch (17.3 cm x 10.4 cm x 5.4 cm), but weighs almost twice as much as its competitor: 669 grams versus 326 grams.

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6. The Handheld Console has three versions

Steam Deck

The Steam Deck will be sold in three different models, all accompanied by a carrying case. The 64 GB storage version has the slowest performance of the trio and eMMC storage, reaching a maximum of 500 MB/s. The entry-level model costs $399, while the mid-range version features 4 times more storage (256 GB), an exclusive Steam community profile pack, and NVMe SSD, which achieves 4 GB/s. The final value reaches $529.

Finally, the best-equipped model offers 512 GB of storage, an exclusive Steam community profile pack, an NVMe SSD, as well as an exclusive keyboard theme, and an anti-reflective glass display, which provides a high-quality image and promises to last longer. This version hits the market for $649.

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