Earlier this week, Valve took the world of gaming by surprise yet again, when it finally unveiled the Steam Deck: its long-rumoured handheld gaming PC, all crammed into a form factor slightly larger than the Nintendo Switch. The concept is apparently so brilliant, Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, took to social media to praise it.
As per Sweeney’s official tweet, the man described the Steam Deck as an “amazing move” by Valve, which is undeniably a little awkward, given his indirect war with the Newell-owned brand and its digital distribution platform, Steam. However, it is also quite plain to see that Sweeney’s tweet has all the trappings of an ulterior motive.
As per the Steam Deck’s official specs sheet, the console is actually a Linux-based PC that runs on SteamOS 3.0, along with a KDE Plasma overlay for its UI. To Sweeney, this means that Valve’s handheld gaming machine uses an “open platform”, which in turn means that the Deck could install and run whatever software they choose. Technically speaking, of course.
Amazing move by Valve! A handheld PC/console hybrid running the SteamOS fork of Arch Linux, and it’s an open platform where users are free to install software or their choosing – including Windows and other stores. https://t.co/jf5TWUWGP5
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) July 15, 2021
Other hardware specifications include a 4-cores, 8-threads AMD APU based on the chipmaker’s Zen 2 architecture, running between 2.4GHz and 3.5GHz; eight RDNA2 Compute Units (CUs) operating between 1GHz and 1.6GHz, and 16GB LPDDR5 RAM. For storage, the console comes with three SKUs; 64GB eMMC, 256GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD, and a 512GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD.
Additionally, the Steam Deck’s 7-inch display has a native resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16:10. Powering the entire machine is a 40WHr battery that Valve’s engineers say should provide between two to eight hours of gaming, depending on the title being run on it.