When the Steam digital game store and the Counter-Strikerespectively Half-Life-games, Valve launched the Steam Deck, a handheld console running PC games, at the beginning of 2022, many doubted whether such a machine had a future.
The Steam Deck, which can be called the PC equivalent of the Nintendo Switch, then refuted the doubters, according to Valve’s claim, millions of them were sold, which is also supported by the fact that in 2023, two major hardware manufacturers, Asus and Lenovo, entered this type of portable machines a few years ago into its not-yet-existing segment: the former debuted in the summer with a gadget called ROG Ally (read our test here), while the latter with a solution named Lenovo Go, which went on sale on November 1.
While the competitors were catching up, Valve was not idle either, and on November 10, they gave a nice boost to the handheld console market with the – one might say unexpected – announcement of the updated Steam Deck handheld gadget.
The new model is not yet the next step, but rather a shape adjustment similar to the Nintendo Switch OLED, since the most important change is that the models equipped with 512 gigabytes and 1 terabyte of storage will now be sold with a 7.4-inch OLED panel instead of the previous 7-inch LCD touchscreen. . The resolution is still a maximum of 1280×800 pixels, but the OLED panels are now able to refresh at 90 Hz instead of 60, and due to the panel technology, the color fidelity is better and the brightness is also higher.
It is also important that, although the hardware specifications under the hood have not fundamentally changed, AMD’s system chip has been made with 6 nanometer manufacturing technology instead of 7, thanks to which heat dissipation and consumption have been reduced. At the same time, instead of the 40 watt-hour battery, the machine is now powered by a 50-watt-hour battery, which, according to Valve’s promise, provides 3-12 hours of operating time instead of the previous 2-8 hours.
It is also not to be overlooked that the new models now have Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 instead of Wi-Fi 5, and the sound quality provided by the speakers has also improved.
And the most important thing is that Valve’s machine is still the cheapest handheld console of its kind on the market. Models equipped with an OLED display will be available to order from 7:00 p.m. on November 16, 2023. The 512 gigabyte model costs 569 euros (~215,000 forints), while the 1 terabyte version costs 679 euros (~256,000 forints). Of the LCD display version, Valve keeps the 256 gigabyte version for further distribution, the price of which is 419 euros (~158 thousand forints), but this does not include the new features of the OLED models.
It’s also worth knowing that the other old models are sold by Valve, they stop production, so you can still buy the stock in stock, and at a reduced price. The 64 gigabyte version is now 369 euros (~139 thousand forints), and the 512 gigabyte LCD display variant is 469 euros (~177 thousand forints).