Steam Deck official photo showing the device from up close

[Update]: Valve has pushed back the launch of the Steam Deck to February 2022.

Given the popularity of the Nintendo Switch, and Valve's fascinating obsession with hardware development, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to hear that Valve is now working on their very own handheld gaming PC - the Steam Deck. As the name would suggest the Steam Deck will allow you to play all of your Steam games on the go, while still serving as a standard gaming PC while plugged in.

Judging by the technical specs it seems like the Steam Deck will be fairly a powerful device, though obviously nowhere close to an actual gaming PC. This was to be expected given that the Steam Deck ranges in price from ~420€ to ~680€ while a modern graphics card will set you back that much on its own. So if you plan on getting a Steam Deck purely to play the newest and fanciest games out there, expect to make some hefty graphical sacrifices in order to get them to run smoothly.

Still, the portability does offer a lot of benefits, as does the ability to simply download any of the Steam games you already own. So unlike classic consoles where you'd have to buy a whole suite of new games in order to have anything to play, the Steam Deck should in theory be able to run your entire library without too much trouble.

The reason I'm slightly weary about that claim is because the Steam Deck is using SteamOS, a Linux operating system. As such, any game that isn't specifically made to function on Linux will have to go through a compatibility software called Proton in order to function. Usually this isn't too big of an issue, but older games and some of the newer multiplayer focused ones can be really finicky to try to properly run through Proton.

However, despite seeing some minor problems like this, or the fact that the in-build memory is comically small, I can't help but feel like the Steam Deck will fare far better than the previous Steam Machines. The Steam Deck is not only being made exclusively by Valve themselves, but it's also a unified system rather than a mishmash of different ideas and price points, so it should also be a lot easier for Valve to support moving forward. At least that's the hope anyway!

If all of this sounds like a solid offer to you, then you should you know that the pre-orders are already live and are expected to ship at some point in December, 2021. You can learn more about the whole process, as well as check out a few more tidbits of information about the Steam Deck, over at the official website.