Steam DeckSource: Valve

What you need to know

  • The Steam Deck is Valve's upcoming handheld gaming device, designed to take PC games on the go.
  • Valve's previous attempt at Steam-focused hardware, the Steam Machines, failed to find a large audience.
  • Valve explains that the Steam Machines helped Valve learn important lessons when designing the Steam Deck.

The Steam Deck isn't the first time Valve has taken a stab at Steam-centric hardware, with the infamous Steam Machines arriving and then quickly disappearing back in 2015. Speaking with IGN, Valve indicates that the Steam Machine rollout was an important learning process that paved the way for the Steam Deck.

"We didn't really want to bring this device to customers until we felt it was ready and that all those boxes were checked essentially," says designer Greg Coomer, adding "I don't think we would've made as much progress on Steam Deck if we hadn't had that experience."

VPN Deals: Lifetime license for $16, monthly plans at $1 & more

Designer Scott Dalton adds that Valve's experience with trying to make a gaming PC that ran on Linux eventually led to Proton, the compatibility layer allowing the Steam Deck to run Windows games, at least in theory. Valve also explains that designing Steam Controller also provided valuable insight into the eventual design of the Steam Deck.

The Steam Deck specs list indicate it's packing impressive handheld tech, though Valve has noted that many games will be targeting 30 FPS.

An ultimate PC handheld

Steam Deck Front

Steam Deck

Play your Steam library anywhere

Wanted more places to play your Steam library? Now you'll be able to with the Steam Deck. This machine comes in three iterations, which each allowing you to play your games locally and portably.

Expand your games

Sandisk 256gb Card

SanDisk 256 GB SD Card

Store more games

The Steam Deck supports expandable storage through SD cards, meaning you can grab one and just slot it in to make room for more games, especially if you don't have a model with an SSD.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.