Though the Steam Deck is out in other countries, with gameplay available all over the internet, Aussies still have to wait a little while for the console to come down under.
Does it provide a terrific gaming experience, though? Some of us need confirmation beyond hype: proof that it can play games well, beyond Valve’s B-roll of hand models playing the Switch-like device.
Well, we’re going to be focusing on Steam Deck gameplay in this article, including specs, gameplay footage from sources other than Valve and what you can expect from the Steam Deck console (and what’s unreasonable to expect).
To start off, here’s Valve’s video on the Steam Deck.
Steam Deck Gameplay
With the Steam Deck out in the wild, we’re now spoiled for choice when it comes to gameplay.
While we haven’t gone hands-on with Valve’s handheld just yet, our colleague in the U.S. has. This is a snippet of his review:
Valve is rushing to fix bugs, add features, and improve the performance of its software before the Steam Deck lands in customers’ hands. Even today, after weeks of pushing out updates, the software very much remains a work in progress. You should be somewhat relieved knowing things are moving in the right direction. I’m a fan of the overall SteamOS interface.
To give you a good idea of what to expect, TheRelaxingEnd has produced a gameplay overview of the Steam Deck, including performance stats on-screen. We believe his content overview does a pretty good job of showcasing the device. Below, we’ll be linking to different parts of a single video, including Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay, Grand Theft Auto V gameplay and Elden Ring gameplay on the Steam Deck.
Grand Theft Auto V
Valve is in the process of verifying games for the Deck. If you’d like to know what games are currently optimised for the Steam Deck, we’ve got a running list of what you can expect to play over here.
The Steam Deck is capable of a wide range of gameplay, including handheld, TV/monitor gameplay, cloud gaming with cloud saving and gaming off a microSD card. That being said, while gameplay appears to be quite impressive, know that cloud gaming is quite difficult to pull off in Australia. Expect an uncomfortable amount of lag if you choose to play games on the cloud, even if it’s available. Cloud gaming aside, it’s an impressive piece of kit.
Additionally, Steam Deck beta participants recently got customisable refresh rate support, including a refresh rate choice between 40hz and 60hz. Valve is keeping a running update and news hub of the Steam Deck here.
Steam Deck specs
Of course, the Steam Deck’s gameplay is nothing without specs. Split up between three models (64GB, 256GB and 512GB) the Steam Deck offers portably gameplay equivalent to that of a low-end gaming PC, backed up by Valve’s SteamOS Linux operating system with a Windows compatibility layer inbuilt (allowing Windows-optimised games to work on it).
If you’re after specs, you can expect an AMD Zen 2 CPU, 8 RDNA 2 CUs for the GPU, 16GB DDR5 RAM, a 7-inch display with 1280 x 800 dimensions, a USB-C charging port and a 40Whr battery, capable of handheld and TV/monitor gameplay, like a Switch (except without needing a dock).
If you want to compare it to a gaming PC, it’s a bit tough to tell right now what the best comparison is, but as PCMag has reported, Valve reckons it’s pretty close to a mini PC you can buy on Amazon, which features an AMD Ryzen 7 3750H CPU, a Radeon RX Vega 10 GPU, and 16GB of DDR4 RAM.
Steam Deck release date
Though the Steam Deck is available in other markets, there is no Australian release date just yet, but you can try to order one if you want to perform some wizardry.
This article has been updated since it was first published.