Is the upgrade to OLED worth it for the Steam Deck, like the Nintendo Switch?

Valve is taking a look at Nintendo and is offering the Steam Deck in a new version with an OLED display from November 16th. In addition to the new screen, something has also changed under the hood. But for whom is it worth buying the updated version? And who should still choose the standard model?

New Steam Deck: This changes with the OLED model

This is unexpected. Out of nowhere, Valve announces that… from November 16, 2023 is launching a new Steam Deck. However, there is no Steam Deck 2 with significantly more performance – instead, Valve is following Nintendo’s strategy and missing out on its handheld console an OLED upgrade. The new console even got a small announcement trailer:


The new Steam Deck with OLED display is available in two versions: one with 512GB storage and one with 1TB storage. The more expensive model also has an exclusive start animation, in addition to the normal carrying case, a smaller and more compact inner shell that takes up less space in the backpack and an anti-reflective display.

The 512 GB version goes for 549 euros at launch (so it costs exactly the same as the 256 GB LCD version at launch), the more expensive variant with 1 TB of storage is sold for 679 euros. A limited special edition of the OLED model with a transparent housing is also available in the USA and Canada – but the collector’s item is not available to buy in this country.

Let’s get to the technical details: The new model uses an OLED screen instead of the classic LCD. This supports HDRreaches a peak brightness of 1,000 nits and offers a refresh rate of 90Hz, which ensures that games sometimes seem even smoother to play. In addition, the response time is less than 0.1 ms, which ensures that the image looks sharp even when moving quickly – provided you deactivate motion blur in your games.

The display is now 7.4 inches instead of 7 inches. But Valve hasn’t changed the resolution. And the size of the Steam Deck hasn’t changed either. Valve has only shrunk the display edges slightly. What has become even larger, however, is the built-in battery. This one offers now a capacity of 50 Wh instead of the usual 40 Wh of the LCD version and charges slightly faster. According to Valve, the OLED Steam Deck achieves one 30 to 50 percent longer battery life.


This is also thanks to the new processor. Because Valve relies on a 6 nm chip for the OLED model. A 7nm APU is installed in the LCD Steam deck. Thanks to the improved manufacturing process, the new processor achieves the same performance with lower energy consumption. This also has a positive effect on temperatures. The fans no longer have to work as hard and the Steam Deck runs a little quieter under load.

However, the chip does not offer any more performance. However, the built-in RAM is a little faster. This now clocks at 6,400 MHz instead of 5,500 MHz, which is also slightly noticeable in better performance in some games. However, you shouldn’t expect a real jump in performance.

There is also an improvement in WiFi. The new module now supports WLAN 6E, so it can even faster transfer rates to reach. There was also an upgrade when it came to Bluetooth. The OLED model now supports Bluetooth 5.3.

Despite all these improvements, Valve has managed to slightly reduce the weight of the new Steam Deck. The OLED model weighs 640 grams, the old version weighs 669 grams (source: Steam). Good to know: If you have already bought accessories for the old Steam Deck and are thinking about an upgrade – your accessories are also compatible with the new version. This also applies to cases and the like.

Steam Deck with OLED display: Who is the upgrade worth it for?

Anyone who has waited until now to buy their Steam Deck has two things to look forward to. Because not only is there now a version with an OLED display, Valve has also reduced the prices of the normal Steam Deck. The 64 GB version now only costs 369 euros, the 256 GB version is available for 419 euros and the 512 GB version costs 469 euros.

The prices for the refurbished models have also fallen even further:

Steam Deck (64GB version) refurbished for 299 euros
Steam Deck (256GB version) refurbished for 339 euros
Steam Deck (512 GB version) refurbished for 379 euros

If you buy the refurbished 64 GB version and replace the built-in memory with a compatible 1 TB SSD (look at Jacob), can be a real bargain.

On the other hand, those who particularly value the longer battery life and the better display choose the more expensive OLED model. The cheaper 512 GB version should be enough for most gamers. Finally, you can still easily expand the storage using a microSD card (see on Amazon).

For all players who already own an LCD Steam Deck, the upgrade is probably only worth it if you still have your old Steam Deck You can sell it for a solid price on eBay, classified ads or among friends.

What exactly is the difference between LCD and OLED screens? We explain this and more to you in the TECHfacts: