Since Valve announced its portable Steam Deck console back in the summer of 2021, gamers have been eager to get their hands on the hefty new handheld. Now, Valve has confirmed that Steam Decks will begin shipping out to buyers at the end of next month.
“We’re on track to ship Steam Deck on time. Global pandemic, supply issues, and shipping issues notwithstanding, it looks like we’ll be able to start getting these out the door by the end of February,” Valve wrote on its website yesterday.
Back in September, Valve shipped out Steam Decks so that game developers could test their PC titles out on the handheld console to receive a green “verified” checkmark next to their games on the Steam Store. Games with the green check are guaranteed to run fabulously on the Steam Deck, while “playable” titles will receive a yellow exclamation point instead of a check.
“Playable” titles may need some graphics settings tweaks or other changes in order to be optimized for the Steam Deck console. Not all Steam games will work on the Steam Deck — there’s the chance that some titles will continue to be “unsupported” or “unknown” after the Deck’s release.
Pricing — There are three versions of the Steam Deck available — a 64 GB, 256GB and a 512GB. For gamers will a lot of AAA titles on their PCs, a larger size will be essential — unless you only want to be able to access a game or two at a time. The 64GB will cost $399, the 256GB will cost $529 and the 512GB will cost $649.
Size matters — The two larger storage options come with ultra-fast NVMe SSDs, while the 64GB size comes with an eMMC. Because the eMMC won’t perform as well as the NVMe SSDs, the eMMC option is probably fine for gamers who want smaller indie titles and don’t need the powerful punch that an NVMe drive can provide for AAA shooters and open-world games.
On a big screen — In case you were wondering, the Steam Deck will be like a super-powered version of the Nintendo Switch in every way. Not only will Steam Deck owners have access to their entire Steam Store libraries on the go, but they’ll also be able to play their Steam games on monitors or TVs with a dock.
Not much is known about the dock yet, but it will have USB, DisplayPort and HDMI capabilities. This means you’ll be able to connect headphones, microphones, keyboards, mice or even an external USB-C hub through the USB ports.
In a nutshell — This handheld looks very promising for PC gamers who travel or want to share games with friends and family, so it makes sense that its most powerful model costs about the same as an entry-level laptop.
The pricing will surely turn some gamers away, but the Steam Deck’s multi-functionality and seemingly high performance may give it an edge over the PCs it aims to challenge.