Excellent news, cellular gaming vacation consumers: Valve has simply dropped a pleasing shock. The greater than a 12 months previous Steam Deck has a brand new model with a bigger OLED show, arriving on November 16. I’ve been utilizing it for the previous couple of days and it’s now in use. really good.
Handheld gaming consoles have been again on the rise recently, not simply with the Nintendo Change, standalone handhelds, and the upcoming PlayStation Portal, however in PC gaming as properly. To compete with the Steam Deck, the Asus Rog Ally and Lenovo Legion Go give players utilizing Home windows machines extra choices. The brand new OLED Steam Deck refresh begins at $549, and the unique LCD-based fashions stay on sale at discounted costs beginning at $349.
Evaluating the brand new OLED Steam Deck to the unique one at residence, I noticed some clear benefits. The brand new Steam Deck has a 7.4-inch HDR OLED show, which, though nonetheless the identical 1,200 x 800 pixel decision, appears extra vibrant and colourful. Taking part in video games on the OLED Steam Deck offers me the identical feeling as taking part in on the Nintendo Change OLED: I do not wish to return to the unique display and its LCD show. The bigger display additionally leads to a sleeker, slimmer bezel on a equally sized physique.
The brand new OLED Steam Deck additionally has a bigger battery, rising battery life by as much as 50%. I have not examined what this really provides to every day use but, however that is welcome information. What’s much more shocking is that the cellular system is somewhat lighter. Storage configurations have been beefed up too: there’s now a 1TB Steam Deck possibility, in addition to a 512GB mannequin. The 512GB model is priced at $549, whereas the 1TB model is $649 — which is fairly nice, provided that these have been primarily the costs of the higher-configured Steam Deck fashions beforehand. Now $649 will get you twice the storage, an OLED show, a greater battery, and loads of different enhancements.
Valve is promoting earlier LCD fashions at a reduction any more, with many of the financial savings on high-end configurations. The 64GB model drops to $349 ($50 off), the 256GB mannequin is now $399 ($130 off) and the 512GB mannequin is $449 ($200 off).
There’s additionally a restricted version, clear 1TB OLED mannequin for $679, which appears good, nevertheless it’s the identical system because the $649 1TB OLED mannequin.
Enhancements in all areas
Valve has added a variety of different fine-tuning to the Steam Deck within the new mannequin: a shocking quantity, actually. The laundry listing is intensive, however this is what Valve guarantees:
- 7.4-inch HDR OLED show (1200 x 800 decision); Most brightness 1000 nits in HDR; 90 Hz most refresh charge.
- Responsive contact display.
- Higher haptics on the Steam Deck and touchpads.
- The grip of the analog sticks has been improved.
- 50 WHr battery (up from 40 WHr).
- About 1 ounce lighter.
- Wi-Fi 6E.
- AMD APU processor is extra energy environment friendly (6nm as a substitute of 7nm).
- Bluetooth 5.3 (controllers can activate Steam Deck).
- Louder audio system.
- Microphone and headphones can be utilized concurrently.
- Longer charging cable, quicker charging (45 minutes for 20-80% cost), and LED charging indicator on deck.
- Greater followers, promise higher cooling.
- The inside design and screws have been modified to make restore simpler.
- The included onerous case now has a smaller journey sleeve inside to make it simpler to slot in the bag.
What I’ve observed most to this point, apart from the show, are the touchscreen enhancements. The unique Steam Deck was high quality, however responsiveness is now higher, nearer to that of a telephone or pill. Haptic faucets on the touchpad have been improved: Haptic “clicks” now look extra like regular on a regular basis faucets on the touchpad, however are much less noticeable as a vibration impact.
The 1TB OLED mannequin nonetheless has a matte glass show, which makes video games pop somewhat extra in my eyes. It is an incredible display, and the Steam Deck OLED would have been a welcome improve only for that goal alone.
I like that the general “controller” really feel of the Steam Deck is best now. I recognize the brand new inside smooth case of the included onerous case. Now you may pull out the onerous case and journey with a lighter case as a substitute.
The Steam Deck nonetheless helps microSD playing cards to develop storage additional, and there is nonetheless 16GB of RAM on board. This is not “Steam Deck 2”, however by way of its general upgrades, it looks like Steam Deck 1.5.
Steam Deck OLED vs. Home windows Laptop computer Competitors
The Steam Deck nonetheless feels giant to carry and use, nevertheless it’s not as giant as some rivals. The Lenovo Legion Go, which I additionally began utilizing, is big by comparability, with a bigger, higher-resolution 8.8-inch display, and detachable controllers.
The advantages of transportable Home windows gaming consoles are you can simply run all of Home windows on them, together with Microsoft’s Sport Cross and streaming choices, in addition to Steam. Steam Decks runs its personal Linux-based working system that is totally optimized for Steam video games, although it may be hacked if in case you have the curiosity or persistence. Out of the field, the Steam Deck looks like a full console expertise, though not all Steam video games play on the Steam Deck.
With these new updates and no worth improve, it is welcome information for anybody looking for one. I do not know for those who’ll have to improve from the unique Steam Deck simply to get these modifications, however the collective enhancements are supposed to make this a must-buy possibility over the LCD fashions, if in case you have the price range.
Valve has already made me a believer in handheld gaming, and the Steam Deck enhancements elevate it on the proper time as PC gaming feels extra conscious of the hand-held panorama. Valve beforehand steered that the true Steam Deck 2 will not be round for some time, so this looks like your greatest wager within the meantime.