Valve announces the Steam Deck, a handheld gaming PC starting at $399

Valve says the Steam Deck is comparable to a gaming laptop and has the ability to run the latest AAA games. With it, the company says you’ll be able to play your Steam library wherever and whenever you want. And, since it’s a true PC, you can also install software and connect hardware as you would with any PC. It’ll ship running SteamOS 3.0, we’re told.

The developer, publisher and digital distribution platform has formally introduced the Steam Deck.

The system, previously referred to as the SteamPal, is a Nintendo Switch-style handheld PC powered by a custom AMD APU consisting of a quad-core (eight threads) Zen 2 CPU alongside eight RDNA 2 compute units. Collectively, the APU is rated to sip between four and 15 watts of juice.

There’s also 16GB of LPDDR5 memory and a 7-inch touchscreen display that operates at 1,280 x 800 pixels (16:10 aspect ratio) with a 60Hz refresh rate and up to 400 nits of brightness. It additionally boasts dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 and ships with a 40whr battery that’s good for up to two to eight hours of runtime between charges.

Models will be offered with 64GB of eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1), 256GB of NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4) or 512GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4) storage configurations. All models will also include a high-speed microSD card slot for additional storage.

The Steam Deck looks to be a full-on PC gaming console and Switch rival, as it will also get a dock so you can play your PC games on a monitor or TV. With more details to follow about that.

Valve’s Steam Deck starts at $399 for the 64GB variant and scales up to $529 for 256GB and $649 for the 512GB model. It is scheduled to ship in December 2021 in the US, Canada, the European Union and the United Kingdom, hopefully in time for the holidays.

More regions will be added to the mix in 2022. Interested parties can reserve theirs over on the Steam Deck website.