In July 2021, Valve revealed the Steam Deck, a Switch-like handheld device packed with features including a huge variety of control options, a 7-inch touchscreen, the ability to connect to external displays, and a quick suspend / resume feature. The device began shipping in February 2022, starting at $399.
With an unprecedented degree of support from Valve and the help of the gaming community, it progressed from being a “glorious mess” in our initial review to becoming one of The Verge’s favorite gadgets of 2022 and something other companies couldn’t really match. More than two years after the Steam Deck launched, the landscape is very different now that new competition has arrived in the form of Windows-powered handhelds like the Asus ROG Ally and Ayaneo’s assorted decks.
Now Valve’s new revision of the Steam Deck adds an OLED screen along with tons of other improvements that Sean Hollister says make it “everything the original should have been.”
We’ve been keeping a close eye on the Steam Deck, and you can read all of our coverage of it and upcoming rivals here.
The ability to dual-boot Windows is still ‘high on the list’ of Steam Deck priorities.
Now, Valve designer Lawrence Yang told IGN in an email that “Dual-boot support (and SteamOS general install) is very high on the list for folks working on SteamOS.” However, those OS folks have been working on the new OLED version. Now that it’s here, players should expect “meaningful updates” in the coming year.
Good things often come to gamers who wait. There’s always a slimmer, more power-efficient PlayStation or Xbox on the way. Nintendo has long hammered out attractive new combos of size, screen, color, and battery life for its Game Boy, DS, and Switch.
But Valve, with the new Steam Deck OLED, may have created the best console revision ever.
A $400 Steam Deck still exists.
Valve just announced the $549 Steam Deck OLED — but the Steam Deck will still start at $399 if you’re willing to settle for the old LCD screen, less efficient chip, and smaller battery. You do get 256GB of NVMe storage for $399 now, up from 64GB eMMC!
The 64GB and 512GB LCD models are discontinued, though you may still be able to find them on closeout for $349 and $449 respectively.
Here is Valve’s own transparent Steam Deck.
It’s a limited-edition $679 1TB model of the just-announced Steam Deck OLED, and this one’s only for sale in the US and Canada.
Valve says it’s an experiment and is hopeful it can do more colorways in the future. It’ll come with an exclusive case, too, based on the new case within a case that ships with the $649 version.