Valves steam bridge is a portable gaming computer with a 7-inch screen, an AMD processor with RDNA 2 graphics and integrated game controllers. First announced last summer, the Steam Deck is priced at $399+ and Valve has started taking reservations for July 2021.
Now Valve has revealed that it will begin shipping the Steam Deck to customers on February 28, 2022.
Valve had originally hoped to start shipping the Steam Deck by the end of 2021, but global supply chain issues had something to say about that. So the company pushed the release date back a few months and now Valve says it will start notifying customers that their orders are ready on Friday, February 25, and people who paid $5 to reserve one will have 72 hours. to pay the rest of the purchase price for the model they reserved in order to have one shipped the following Monday, or Valve will go down the reservation list and offer someone else the chance to purchase one.
People who haven’t already reserved a Steam Deck can still do so, but new reservations shouldn’t be filled until the end of the year (Valve says “after the second quarter of 2022, which probably means July or later).
The Steam Deck is essentially a full-fledged computer, but it’s designed for gaming on the go. It’s a combination of hardware and software that sets it apart from other gaming PCs, including other handhelds from companies like GPD, One Netbook, and AYA.
The tiny computer will have the most powerful graphics of any device in this category to date – even if you opt for the entry-level model which costs many less than the competition at just $399. All models have 16GB of 5500MHz LPDDR5 memory, but the entry-level version only has 64GB of eMMC storage, while more expensive models have up to 512GB of PCIe NVMe solid-state storage Gen 3.
Valve’s game controllers include two analog sticks with capacitive touch, the usual action buttons, the D-Pad, and analog sticks and shoulder bumpers, but there are also four assignable grip buttons, two square trackpads with haptic feedback and a 6-axis gyroscope, all of which should help play a variety of games – even games designed for keyboard and mouse input rather than game controllers.
The Steam Deck also comes with a custom Linux distribution called Steam OS that puts gaming front and center with a user interface optimized for small screens and controller input. And while there are still PC games that may be Windows-only, Valve has been working hard to bring Windows game support to Linux in recent years and the company says many of the most popular games will work. on Steam OS.
Since the Steam Deck has the innards of a general-purpose computer, there’s nothing stopping users from installing Windows if they want to.
Any advantage to sticking with Steam OS? Valve knows that people use mobile gaming devices differently than gaming PCs and home consoles. You might want to grab a Steam Deck, play around for a bit, then quickly put it away without taking the time to save and quit a game and quit it first. So the company added a Dynamic Cloud Sync feature that automatically uploads your game data to the cloud when you suspend the Steam Deck without quitting a game.
This means that not only will you be able to pick up where you left off the next time you turn on the Steam Deck, but your data must be synced to your Steam account, which means you can also continue playing on another PC.
At least that’s the idea. In practice, this might not work perfectly all the time – developers will need to enable support for Dynamic Cloud Sync in their games, so some titles may support the feature while others may not. . And I also wouldn’t expect cloud saves to work if you turn off your Steam Deck when it’s in airplane mode or somewhere you don’t have a signal.
Still, in a time when rival portable gaming PCs are debuting with price tags of over $1,000, it’s exciting to see if Valve’s Steam Deck can shake up the market.
|Specifications of the Vapor Bridge Valve|
|CPU||AMD Zen 2
|GPUs||AMD RDNA 2
|Other buttons and switches||
|Webcam and microphone||Microphone only|
|SE||Steam operating system (Arch Linux with KDE Plasma)|
|Dimensions||298mm x 117mm x 49mm
11.7″ x 4.6″ x 1.9″