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.
- Steam Deck OLED review: better, not faster
- Here is Valve’s own transparent Steam Deck.
- The cheaper $600 Asus ROG Ally is here, and you probably shouldn’t buy it
- Starfield vs. Steam Deck and ROG Ally.
- It’s not just you: Steam suddenly looks nice
- Asus ROG Ally updated review: it’s a bit better now
- Ayaneo 2S will officially be one of the first Steam Deck rivals with Ryzen 7000
- The Steam Deck wasn’t born ready, but it’s ready now
Dec 1A ROG Ally update is adding gyroscope controls and a lot more.
It started as an April Fool’s tease, but the very real handheld gaming PC is now six months old. Along with gyro controls, a new Armoury Crate update is adding a new Feedback Hub, the ability to turn CPU Boost off, new AMD Advanced Graphics Options, and direct sharing of images and video to Discord and TikTok.
iFixit published a dual teardown of Valve’s Steam Deck OLED and the Lenovo Legion Go today, giving a nice, detailed look inside both handhelds with all of the site’s usual meticulous detail. This being iFixit, the focus is on the consoles’ repairability, and it gave both high marks — a 9 / 10 for the Steam Deck OLED and 8 / 10 for the Lenovo Legion.Read Article >
The article has a nice summary of the process, but we recommend watching the video for the full effect and some nice close-up shots of the components. It’s also a great way to see how things come apart if you’re interested in doing this yourself.
Valve’s new Steam Deck OLED just went on sale today, but there are goodies for the original LCD model, too — the company is now rolling out a stable build of SteamOS 3.5.5 with a hefty list of fixes, changes, and upgrades.Read Article >
Some of the biggest are ones we’ve already seen in a September beta, like support for VRR and HDR external displays, the ability to tweak your screen’s color and undervolt your processor with new firmware, and a graphics driver update with a big performance improvement for Starfield (though it still looks like mud in cities).
- The best Steam Deck games are now the best Steam Deck startup movies.
Elden Ring, Hades, Vampire Survivors, Dead Cells and Persona 5 can now wake up your Deck. (If you’ve ever spent $30 on Steam, you’ve likely already got enough points for a vid.)
Hey Moon Studios, can we get an Ori and the Will of the Wisps HDR one for Steam Deck OLED?
If you’ve had trouble ordering Valve’s new Steam Deck OLED, you’re not alone. Orders opened at 1PM ET on Thursday, and many people ran into issues actually completing a purchase. Some Verge staffers who tried to purchase a Steam Deck OLED got stuck with the device in their cart but were unable to check out.Read Article >
As of this writing — more than two hours after orders went live — things seem to be settling down. One Verge employee who had been trying to get one of the new models was finally able to check out. And I’ve seen many people report successful purchases on the Steam Deck subreddit.
- Steam Deck OLED: sales begin 10AM PT / 1PM ET.
Will you buy Valve's limited-edition transparent Steam Deck for the US and Canada which has special eligibility rules? A "normal" OLED model that I swear to you is much better than the original where it counts? None at all?
No wrong choices here, but you've got under two hours to decide.
Nov 9The 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.
On October 5th, we saw the first proof a refreshed Steam Deck was nigh. Now, Valve is officially revealing the $549 and up Steam Deck OLED, which starts shipping on November 16th.Read Article >
It’s an overhauled version of Valve’s handheld gaming PC but not one that’s focused on performance — the company is sticking with its plan not to produce a faster handheld for the next couple of years.
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.Read Article >
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.
Nov 6Back to the future of handheld gaming.
Listen along (use this link to get it in your podcast player of choice) as The Verge’s David Pierce discusses the current flood of portable gaming systems with Polygon editors Chris Plante and Russ Frushtick.
Yes, there’s plenty of focus on the portable gaming PC movement led by the Steam Deck, Rog Ally, and company, but there’s also consideration for the Switch and even your iPhone or Android device.
The latest entry in the renewed transparent gadget craze: your Asus ROG Ally handheld gaming PC. Today, lauded Steam Deck accessory maker Jsaux is taking the wraps off a $40 frosted RGB rear shell for the Asus handheld that lets you see some of its delightful innards.Read Article >
It might not give you a perfect look through the back, now that I see how much of that frosting blocks the red circuit boards. It also probably won’t enhance your cooling like the company’s Steam Deck backplate, but that frosted surface should bathe nicely in RGB light, not to mention the five light-catching stickers you can place inside.
Your Asus ROG Ally gaming handheld is brilliantly white, and that will not stand: you’ve decided your gadgets must be black. Or... maybe you just want a rugged case that’ll survive a drop or three? Either way, Dbrand thinks it’s got what you need — a $60 Killswitch case like the one it makes for the Steam Deck that’ll ship early next year.Read Article >
“But wait,” I will pretend to hear some of you thinking, “Didn’t Dbrand royally screw that up? Didn’t The Verge trigger a million-dollar recall when you folks discovered it interfered with a Steam Deck fan?”
Boutique handheld gaming company Ayaneo has announced the Ayaneo Flip DS — a 7-inch 120Hz handheld gaming clamshell with a second screen that’s clearly inspired by the Nintendo DS, and might let it play games like one too.Read Article >
According to Liliputing’s Brad Linder, who deserves kudos for calling out the company’s attempt to plant a “leak,” both the Flip DS and a similar Flip KB will be powered by AMD’s Ryzen 7 7840U. That’s the same chip that’s in practically every other flagship Windows gaming handheld at the moment, including quite a few from Ayaneo itself.
Oct 16AMD accused of failing to deliver handheld gaming chips.
Think we’re not getting a new Steam Deck just because Valve isn’t ready to upgrade its performance? Think again: Valve already put a new Steam Deck through the FCC’s certification process on August 13th, agency documents reveal.Read Article >
The mystery “Valve 1030” that went through South Korea’s National Radio Research Agency has now been definitively identified as a Steam Deck in the United States, and it’s our first proof the hardware’s potentially close enough to release to justify showing it to regulators.
Sep 22The Ayaneo Slidekick is almost here.
Better known as the Ayaneo Slide, the company’s first handheld gaming PC with a keyboard (despite GPD filling the gap with many, many QWERTY-equipped entries, including the upcoming Win Mini) is among a slew of Steam Deck rivals with AMD’s 7000-series chip built-in, as well as a 6-inch 1080p screen, and Hall effect joystick / trigger setup.
The full details and price haven’t been revealed yet, but Ayaneo’s Indiegogo page is taking sign-ups for people who want alerts to lock in the lowest price possible right away.
Valve has been clear it wants to build a Steam Deck 2 — and equally clear that a faster handheld wouldn’t arrive soon. Now, Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais tells The Verge and CNBC that it could be late 2025 or beyond before it raises that bar — because it wants to see a leap in performance without a significant hit to battery life.Read Article >
“I don’t anticipate such a leap to be possible in the next couple of years,” he told me via email.
If you’ve been eying an Asus ROG Ally gaming handheld but can’t quite justify the $700 price tag... you’ll probably want to keep on waiting. Today, the company has begun selling a less-expensive $600 model with a lower-performance AMD Z1 chip, but early reviews suggest the Windows gaming handheld is too compromised to justify the purchase.Read Article >
Bottom line: Z1 performance is reportedly worse than the $400-and-up Steam Deck, without any significant battery life benefit to make up for the loss of power.
Sep 16Modular gaming handheld.
If you took a Framework Mainboard, added a battery, screen and speakers, and stuck it all inside a case with slots for a pair of Nintendo Switch-style detachable Bluetooth controllers, you wouldn’t just have a poor man’s Lenovo Legion Go.
You’d have a gaming portable you can upgrade, potentially year after year, just by swapping that mainboard out. Why do I bring this up? Well:
Sep 14Valve is celebrating Steam’s 20th birthday with a Steam Deck sale.
The Steam Deck is discounted again, now up to 20 percent off for Steam’s 20th anniversary. Valve is selling its handheld PC for $359.10 ($39.90 off) for the 64GB model, $449.65 ($79.35 off) for the 256GB, and $519.20 (about $130 off) for the 512GB with an anti-glare screen. Even Valve’s dock is 20 percent off.
These are the best prices on Steam Decks right now, as the refurbished models are sold out. The promo runs until September 21st.
Western Digital is launching its new SN770M NVMe SSD, designed specifically for devices like the Steam Deck and ROG Ally. The small M.2 2230 form factor drives will be available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB options, allowing handheld gamers to significantly upgrade their storage.Read Article >
Replacing the SSD inside a Steam Deck has always been relatively easy work, but finding M.2 2230 drives hasn’t always been quite as easy. These smaller drives aren’t typically sold to consumers and are usually found inside Dell and Microsoft Surface laptops instead. That situation is starting to improve, though. Sabrent, Micron, Corsair, and others sell M.2 2230 drives, and Framework even started selling its own 2TB upgrade drive earlier this year.
We know for a fact that Valve’s hardware ambitions didn’t end with the Steam Deck. Over the past two years, Valve has suggested it would like to see a standalone VR headset, a new Steam Controller, and a Steam Deck revision with better battery life and screen.Read Article >
Now, Valve may be actually getting ready to ship at least one of its hardware ideas. South Korea’s National Radio Research Agency has certified a “low power wireless device” from Valve with the designation “RC-V1V-1030,” as spotted by @dxpl at Arca.live (via Brad Lynch).