Valve Announces New Steam Deck with OLED Screen

When it launched last year, Valve’s Steam Deck rolled onto the handheld gaming scene and changed everything forever: gamers now had a built-for-purpose, portable – albeit huge by handheld standards – mini gaming PC with enough power to play AAA games on the go  which was also simple to use and affordably priced.

Valve has just announced an upgraded Steam Deck that is 30g lighter and features a bigger, brighter OLED screen, better battery life (up to 50%, content dependent), improved connectivity with Wi-Fi 6E, and a new cooling system to keep players gaming for longer. The new device is set to start shipping next week, November 16.

Whilst welcomed, we should clarify: this isn’t a Steam Deck “2.0”. The improvements are functional and for aesthetics, but there are no major system or software changes. Still, one thing many original Deck users bemoaned was its LCD screen, a cheaper and older type of display that lacked the rich colors and deep blacks of OLED that – so much so that various third-party brands popped up and began selling DIY screen modification kits. The new screen promises to deliver a considerably improved experience: for starters, it’s about a half an inch larger, a small but noticeable change that doesn’t affect the overall size of the handheld, which stays the same; it’s also much brighter with the peak nits now hitting 1,000, compared to 400 for the original; and it has a faster 90-Hz refresh rate that will make some games look smoother.

Other internal changes include a newly designed processor that will work alongside the new cooling system and improved battery to provide gamers with a much more energy efficient device. Memory has also been upgraded and the new Steam Deck offers up to 1 TB of storage, with the base model increasing from 64 GB to 256 GB (it’s important to note, however, that the base model hasn’t received all of the upgrades, and in fact still comes with an LCD panel).

The updated Steam Deck line-up looks like this: there’s a base 256 GB LCD model ($399 USD / £349 GBP) and two improved-screen models available in 512 GB OLED ($549 USD / £479 GBP) and 1 TB OLED ($649 USD / £569 GBP). Additionally, there is a limited edition “smoky translucent black” 1 TB OLED ($679 USD / $819 CAD) version that is releasing as a United States and Canada exclusive. All models are available November 16 via the Steam Deck website.
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