KEY POINTS

  • The Steam Deck is Valve's own handheld portable PC 
  • The device is able to run AAA games smoothly in 720p resolution
  • The Steam Deck features superior hardware over the Nintendo Switch

Valve recently revealed the Steam Deck, a handheld gaming PC that can reportedly run every game in the Steam catalog. This portable device boasts an impressive set of specs that may just throttle it forward as the best handheld gaming platform in the future.

The Steam Deck is built specifically for high-performance gaming, from its controller layout to the nitty-gritty details of its internal workings. Valve partnered with AMD to create a portable gaming device that can rival many modern PCs, with the Steam Deck being able to run AAA titles smoothly.

In an attempt to benchmark the Steam Deck’s performance, The Verge conducted a test where it pitted the device against the Switch and the latest generation of consoles. Outside of having the same OLED screen, the Nintendo Switch is heavily outclassed by the Steam Deck in terms of GPU and CPU performance.

The Switch uses a notably older Tegra X1 chipset compared to the Steam Deck’s new AMD Zen 2 processor and RDNA 2 GPU architecture, which allows the latter system to play modern PC games with ease at 720p. The Steam Deck is able to play games like “Doom Eternal” and “Death Stranding” without any performance or temperature issues.

steam Steam is the biggest marketplace in PC gaming. Photo: Valve

However, when compared to consoles, the Steam Deck falls a little bit behind. It uses the same CPU and GPU as the Xbox Series X|S and the PS5, albeit they’re significantly weaker for portability’s sake. The Verge noted that the Steam Deck’s graphical performance is closer to that of the PS4 and the Xbox One S.

Arguably, the best part of the Steam Deck is its ability to play games directly from Steam itself. This means that anyone who owns any game on Steam won’t have to buy said games again. Additionally, users can also install other apps on the device, according to PC Gamer.

So far, it seems like the only drawback of the Steam Deck is its battery life. The device can run for anywhere between 2 to 8 hours, according to IGN, and battery life heavily depends on performance settings and what game players are playing.

The Steam Deck is available in 64GB eMMC, 256GB NVMe SSD and 512 NVMe SSD variants, and units will be available in stores by December.