Valve has shocked the gaming world today with not only the announcement of its Steam Deck portable/console hybrid but a remarkably detailed look at what this potentially industry-shaking machine will be capable of when it launches sometime in December. With Twitter in a tumult and Reddit aflame, it’s safe to say the Steam Deck is already making waves. As you’d expect from such a splash, you’ll need to be swift and decisive (and more than a little obsessive) if you hope to jump in on the first wave of folks securing a Steam Deck preorder. We’ll cover when and where to preorder this monstrous machine right here.
The Steam Deck is built to impress, with three separate SKUs guaranteeing there’s a spot for nearly every degree of a gaming enthusiast. You’ll have the choice to preorder a $399 lighter portion, a $529 standard unit, or a $649 behemoth. No matter which you choose, it’s the hard drive size and speed that will dictate how deeply you’ll be diving into your wallet.
All three formats come equipped with an AMD APU containing a quad-core Zen 2 CPU built with eight threads and 8 compute units worth of AMD RDNA 2 graphics. RAM won’t be an issue either; with 16GB of LPDDR5, this will be appropriately beefy. As for the deciding factor, the $399 model has 64GB of eMMC storage. The $529 model gets 256GB NVMe SSD storage, and 512GB of high-speed NVME SSD storage is all yours for the brisker taking of $649.
Diving into Steam’s exhaustive catalog with a scant 64GB honestly does not sound like a great time. But if you want to preorder something cheaper (only $50 higher than the upcoming Nintendo Switch OLED, in fact) you can always upgrade your storage later courtesy of the built-in high-speed microSD card slot. In fact, I dare say you’ll need to.
A Switch-Matching Screen
Another winner for the Steam Deck is its 1280×700 720p touchscreen. Sure, 720p isn’t exactly a huge get these days, but it’s still plenty good for handheld gaming. If you’d prefer to turn your miniature gaming PC into a full-fledged television champion, you can hook it up to a TV via multiple USB-C ports containing HDMI and Ethernet elements.
Linux-based right out of the box, the Steam Deck will be aces for more technically inclined types looking to transform this into a more diverse product. You’ll even be able to run Windows games without the need for a requisite Steam Patch because of this.
Preorders Go Live Tomorrow
We won’t leave you in the cold with the words “act fast” and an article fade-to-black. Here’s how to secure your spot in line for a Steam Deck preorder ahead of its December launch.
To begin with, you’ll want to have this page booted up on your browser ASAP. At this time, we only know that reservations will go up tomorrow (Friday, July 16th) at 10 AM PST/1 PM EST. Importantly, the pre-order process here is a bit different than usual; you aren’t so much locking things in as making a formal reservation to be among the first group given the chance to officially pre-order the Steam Deck.
We don’t know when those invites will go out, but if you want in on them you’ll want to drop a $5 reservation fee tomorrow afternoon. This fee, in conjunction with a strict one-per-person policy, is Valve’s effort to prevent scalpers from having the sort of picnic day we’ve seen from them in recent times. How successful they’ll be remains to be seen.