Steam competes with Switch with a handheld console

While it was conceivable that Steam would not give up the console market despite previous failures, it was likely that few expected the computer game company to try their luck again with a handheld console. Steam Deck is trying to overtake the Japanese company on the very popular path trodden by the recently upgraded Nintendo Switch. Steam seems to have everything in store for this, as the custom hardware is accompanied by custom software, and based on the specifications, the portable gaming machine looks promising.

The console is based on AMD’s x86 system chip, which probably covers the company’s development codenamed Van Gogh. It is not yet possible to know every detail about the processor, but it has already been revealed that it contains four Zen 2 processor cores and 512 RDNA2 graphics executables. The CPU has a base range of 2.4 and a turbo of 3.5 GHz, while the GPU frequency can range from 1.1 to 1.6 GHz during gameplay, depending on load. The processor comes with a total of 16 gigabytes of LPDDR5 system memory. Depending on the mass storage model, it can be a 64 GB eMMC or a 256 or 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD, which can be expanded with a microSDXC / SDHC card as needed.

Of course, the handheld also includes dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11ac) and a Bluetooth 5.0 module, and a dedicated DSP is responsible for good sound. The type of 7-inch display is not yet known, so it is not known whether it is a VA or IPS type. What is certain is that the panel is capable of 1280×800 (16:10) resolution with 60 Hz image refresh rate at up to 400 nits of brightness.

With the help of the dedicated dock, the console can also be connected to an external display with a resolution of up to 8K via the DisplayPort 1.4 socket. However, with such a setting, you will certainly only be able to run a few simpler games, given the limited computing power of the system chip. The 669-gram console has a 40-watt-hour built-in battery that can provide power for 2-8 hours of gaming, depending on load. The battery can be recharged with a 45-watt USB Type-C PD3.0 adapter.

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The reincarnated version of SteamOS 3.0 has been added to the strong hardware that is interesting for first reading and capable of its size. Not much is known yet about the latest major version of the Arch Linux-based operating system. Steam is believed to be confident that this time the software will break Windows ’monopoly on the PC gaming market. This is aided by a software solution called Proton. This is a modified version of Wine that integrates with other compatibility tools to run games written for Windows on SteamOS. Whether all this will convince the target audience can be found out in December at the earliest, when the company will start delivering the Pre-order Decks from today. Steam is asking for 419 euros for the smallest 64 gigabyte version of the handheld console, 549 euros for the 256 gigabytes, and 679 euros for the 512 gigabytes. In contrast, the now-competing Nintendo wants to get $ 350 net for the upgraded 64-gigabyte Switch.


Source: HWSW Informatikai Hírmagazin by www.hwsw.hu.

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