During the summer months, Valve lifted the veil of a handheld device, which could be seen as its own interpretation of the Nintendo Switch. However, this is not a completely closed ecosystem, but in terms of hardware, it is a regular computer with a system circuit from AMD and the Linux-based operating system Steam OS 3.0.
The launch, which was supposed to take place in December, was postponed due to component shortages until February 2022. The development of Steam Deck is in full swing and now visar Valve the final prototype, Design Validation (DV), which is intended to be the unit that goes into large-scale production and is eventually sent out to all the customers who have pre-booked.
In addition to Valve now feeling finished with the design itself, they are now in the process of testing something as basic, but still as important, as the packaging. The box is a seemingly anonymous one, which according to Valve should not be used as an umbrella, thrown on the ground or exposed to a strong magnet. On the inside, Valve writes in different languages where the device can be used, for example on the porcelain throne, the subway, the Ferris wheel or why not next trip to the moon?
Inside is a region-specific AC adapter and the game console itself, housed in a protective case with the Steam Deck logo. Interestingly enough, it appears that the case in the picture will only be delivered with Steam Deck with 64 GB and 256 GB storage, which means that the most lavish 512 GB variant gets another case.
On the hardware front, Steam Deck has a 7-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 1,280 × 800 pixels with a refresh rate of 60 Hz. This is powered by a system circuit from AMD called “Van Gogh”, by Steam “Aerith”, with four cores Zen 2 with support for Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) for a total of eight threads. The clock frequency for these starts at for the handheld format relatively high 2.5 GHz and can step up to 3.5 GHz at turbo.
The graphics part is AMD’s latest architecture RDNA 2 with eight computing units with a clock frequency of 1.0–1.6 GHz. The whole thing is flanked by a 128-bit memory bus and a large 16 GB LPDDR5. On the storage side, the entry-level model with a capacity of 64 GB has fixed EMC memory, while the 256 GB and 512 GB models have SSDs connected via PCI Express 3.0
The system circuit in question has a power output of 4–15 watts and in terms of battery life, the range is between the highest and lowest. At most, Steam Deck should be able to operate for a respectable eight hours and at least it is only two hours. The package is powered by a battery of 40 watt hours (Wh) and fast charging of up to 45 watts can be done through a USB Type-C connection.
Valve also announces that the game console in its final version will soon be sent out to game developers and that more news is to be expected.
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