Valve Reveals New Steam Deck Handheld PC, Starting at $399

With three different models available to choose from

Valve officially has unveiled the Steam Deck, the company’s latest attempt to revolutionize how you play PC games.

After months of rumors and speculation, Valve has revealed the Steam Deck, a new handheld gaming PC. Well-known gaming news insider Wario64 was one of the first to break the news on Twitter, sharing screenshots from the handheld’s official store page. The new system will offer a Switch-like design, including an optional dock that users can use to connect the system to a monitor or TV.

the steam deck handheld pc

Valve / Steam

The Steam Deck will feature an AMD Zen 2 CPU, which runs at 2.4-3.5GHz, with support for up to 448 GFlops of power. Additionally, the built-in graphics processing unit (GPU) will be powered by 8 RDNA CUs with up to 1.6TFlops of power. The Steam Deck will start at $399 for the base model, which includes a 64GB eMMC PCIe Gen 2x1 storage drive.

Additional models will be available with support for 256GB and 512GB of storage. Those versions will retail for $529 and $649, respectively. All models will offer a high-speed microSD card slot for expandable storage.

The 7-inch display included in the Steam Deck will top out at a resolution of 1280 x 800, so don’t expect 4K gaming from this handheld. However, lowering the resolution of the system should allow it to run games at much higher animation settings, as it will not need to output those visuals at anything higher than basic high definition. The display is also rated to run at 60 frames per second for smooth gameplay.

Specs aside, one of the most notable things about the Steam Deck is how Valve is approaching the preorder and reservation system. Unlike the under-supplied launch of the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5, Valve has a reservation system in place that includes a fee to reserve your Steam Deck. You only can reserve a Steam Deck within the first 48 hours if you have made a purchase on Steam prior to June 2021. Valve says it made this decision to help ensure that unauthorized resellers aren't taking up all the reservation slots.

If the idea of paying a reservation fee does not seem enticing, Valve says the main reason that it has instituted the charge is to ensure “an orderly and fair ordering process for customers when Steam Deck inventory becomes available.”

The company claims the reservation fee will help give a better idea of a consumer’s intent to purchase, which allows it to better balance the supplies and inventory it needs to keep up with orders at launch. The fee will be applied to your Steam Deck’s full purchase price, so you’ll owe less money to finalize the purchase when orders open later this year.

Steam Deck in front of laptop with library open

Valve / Steam

At the moment, the Steam Deck is only available to reserve for consumers within the United States, Canada, European Union, and United Kingdom. Valve says information about expanded availability will be available sometime in the future.

Valve also is limiting reservations of the Steam Deck to one per customer, and the company says that users who aren’t interested in reserving right now can always add the device to their wishlist for a reminder when it becomes available to order outright. Reservations will open on Friday, July 16 at 10 am PT. The device, itself, will start shipping in December.

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