What has long been rumored has happened: Valve has unveiled a compact gaming console that will rival the Nintendo Switch. Interestingly, the Steam Deck announcement came just ten days after Nintendo unveiled the Switch OLED.
Like most modern game consoles, the Steam Deck is built on the AMD platform – the hardware platform is based on a 7nm APU (probably of the Van Gogh family) with four Zen 2 computing cores and eight RDNA 2 execution units (512 stream processors). The CPU supports multithreading and operates at 2.4-3.5 GHz, the GPU frequency is 1.0-1.6 GHz (performance is 1.6 TFLOPs). The TDP of the APU is 4-15W.
Despite the fact that the APU has only 8 execution units, it should work quite quickly due to the modern microarchitecture RDNA 2 and the use of fast LPDDR5 memory of 16 GB. The storage subsystem of the Steam Deck is interesting. The system storage is a rather slow 64GB eMMC module with PCIe Gen 2 x1 interface. It is complemented by a fairly fast 256GB or 512GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD. The set-top box also received support for “high-speed” microSD cards.
The screen is clearly not the strongest point of the Steam Deck. The console received a 7-inch LCD touch panel with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels with a frame rate of 60 Hz and a brightness of 400 cd / m2.
Other characteristics of the Steam Deck are two microphones and stereo speakers, a USB-C port, a 40 Wh battery (autonomy is 2-8 hours) and support for 45 W charging. The console runs on SteamOS 3.0 and supports all games from the Steam catalog. It also has a PC mode – when connected to a monitor via DisplayPort.
The cost of the basic version (only with the 64 GB eMMC module) is $ 400, the top version (with the eMMC and 512 GB SSD) – $ 650. Pre-orders are already being accepted, with real sales starting in December.