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7 questions and solutions we now have about Valve’s Steam Deck


There's still a lot to know about the Steam Deck

There’s nonetheless quite a bit to know concerning the Steam Deck.


Valve

Valve’s Steam Deck might not have been prepared earlier than the 2021 vacation season, however after a vital delay on account of international provide chain points and materials shortages, the Steam Deck is on observe to be launched in February. The moveable PC gaming machine was beforehand anticipated to ship in December final yr.

Regardless of the delay, it is already a sizzling commodity. Valve launched its Nintendo Change-like moveable PC gaming machine on July 15, and the subsequent day, its web site was bombarded by individuals attempting to snag reservations

Since this was a shock announcement by Valve, there are nonetheless a variety of questions concerning the machine. We’re right here to reply a few of these questions you may need. 

When will Valve’s Steam Deck be launched?

In case you already reserved a Steam Deck, you should not count on the machine till February 2022. Valve despatched an e mail to clients on Nov. 10 saying the moveable PC gaming console has been delayed two months. Valve additionally up to date its FAQ web page to verify the delay. 

“We’re sorry about this-we did our greatest to work across the international provide chain points, however on account of materials shortages, parts aren’t reaching our manufacturing services in time for us to fulfill our preliminary launch dates,” Valve mentioned within the e mail. 

How lengthy does the Steam Deck battery final? 

Valve says the Steam Deck battery will final for seven to eight hours, relying on what video games you play. Extra graphics-intensive video games require extra energy, particularly in the event that they’re set at a better graphics setting.

The sport Portal 2, for instance, will be performed for 4 hours at 60 frames per second. However if you happen to drop the FPS right down to 30, it’s going to final for six hours, in line with Valve. 

How lengthy the battery will final for nongaming actions remains to be unknown. 


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Can I increase the storage of the Steam Deck? 

Yes. The Steam Deck has a microSD slot allowing for upgraded storage. What we don’t know yet is what kind of microSD cards are required. Some cards have faster read and write speeds than others. 

We’re also unsure if it will support the largest microSD cards out there, such as a 1TB card, which can cost almost $200

Can I use an Xbox or PlayStation controller with a Steam Deck?

Thanks to Bluetooth, a variety of devices can work with the Steam Deck. These include Bluetooth controllers and earbuds, to name just a couple. 

Does the Steam Deck output 4K to a TV? 

The Steam Deck can actually go up to 8K through its USB-C port. It supports 8K at 60Hz or 4K at 120Hz.

Can I use the Steam Deck as my desktop PC?

Sure. The Steam Deck is itself a portable PC. It uses Valve’s SteamOS, which is based on Linux, so if you’re familiar with that system you can jump right into using it as a PC. 

If you aren’t familiar with Linux, Valve says you can install Windows. But it’s not yet clear whether the Windows experience on a Steam Deck will be the same as it is on your desktop or laptop.

Should I risk buying from Valve who doesn’t have the best hardware track record?

This depends on whether you want to put your money behind a company that’s done amazing things with its software but has made some questionable decisions with its hardware. 

In 2014, Valve revealed it was getting into the hardware business with its Steam Machines. Excitement for the Steam-focused gaming devices was initially high but petered out when it became clear they would only come with SteamOS and not the typical Windows operating system, thus making the devices unable to play even the newest games because they weren’t compatible with the operating system. 

With the Steam Machine came the Steam Controller, a customizable controller that could work with a variety of games, but it had a steep learning curve, making it unpopular among gamers. In 2019, Valve sold the Steam Controller for just $5 during one of its sales, seemingly to clear out its inventory. 

Steam Link was another device from Valve that was designed to stream computer games to your TV. While it did work, a gaming PC still had to be part of the equation, and there was an issue with input lag. Valve eventually replaced the hardware with its Steam Link app, but it’s still not the smoothest experience. 

While Valve’s track record might not be ideal, portable gaming devices are of interest to hardware companies, thanks to the success of the Nintendo Switch. The Razer Edge and Nvidia Shield were the first attempts at this design back in 2013. Last year, Dell tried its hand with the Alienware Concept UFO prototype

Considering the Steam Deck reservation platform bogged down Valve’s site when it first went live, there is a clear demand for portable gaming devices to play PC games. 

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