Valve, the publisher behind the popular game streaming platform Steam, is releasing its own handheld game console. The thing gets the name Steam Deck and looks a bit like a Switch.
A portable console for PC games. That’s basically what the Steam Deck should be. Inside is a Linux PC on which you can put your Steam games, among other things, and the thing comes in three versions with different storage capacities. Which one you need depends, among other things, on your preference for very heavy games or perhaps the size of your Steam library.
The Steam Deck is a long rectangle with a screen in the middle and controls on the side, so let’s compare it directly to the Switch, Nintendo’s hugely popular handheld console. With its 298x117x49mm, Steam’s console is slightly larger than the Switch, which comes out at about 24 cm long. Unfortunately, the thing is also a bit heavier, at 670 grams (the Switch weighs just under 400g).
The big difference is, of course, that you play Steam games on it. Valve says your entire Steam library will show up as it does on any other PC. The console itself runs on SteamOS, a distribution of Linux. Valve’s own Proton layer has been placed over this, ensuring that the many Windows games from the library run neatly on the device.
However, it would also be possible to erase the console and put your own operating system on it. So it’s not about a boarded-up console, and whoever likes that sort of thing might as well put the game store of competitor Epic on it.