Valve Steam Deck vs. Nintendo Switch: CPU/GPU Specs, Storage, Battery and Performance Comparison

Valve Steam Deck vs. Nintendo Switch: CPU/GPU Specs, Storage, Battery and More
A new handheld gaming device is set to compete against Nintendo Switch. Valve revealed "Steam Deck," with its full specs, details and price. Can it outperform the Switch? Photo : Olly Curtis/Future Publishing via Getty Images

A new handheld gaming device is set to compete against Nintendo Switch. Valve revealed "Steam Deck," with its full specs, details and price. Is it enough to outperform the Switch?

The long-rumored Switch-like gaming hybrid device from Valve has been finally announced. Steam Deck has the ability to play any game available on Steam, reportedly comparable to a gaming laptop's performance. It is also upgradable with software and hardware improvements.

Reservations for Steam Deck opens on Friday (July 16) at 1 PM ET, with its shipments scheduled to launch in December. Retail price starts at $399 and upgrades to $529 or $649 variants.

Valve Steam Deck vs. Nintendo Switch

According to USA Today, Steam Deck has the following specs:

  • Screen: 7-inch Screen 1280 x 800
  • CPU/GPU: Quad-core Zen 2 CPU, 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • Storage: 64GB up to 256GB and 512GB NVMe expandable
  • Video: 720p
  • Connectivity: USB Type C
  • Battery Life: 5-8 hours 

On the other hand, Nintendo's website listed the Switch specs as:

  • Screen: 6.2-inch Screen 1280 x 720
  • CPU/GPU: NVIDIA Custom Tegra Processor
  • Storage: 32 GB up to 2TB expandable
  • Video: 720p
  • Connectivity: USB Type C
  • Battery: 4.5-9 hours

The Steam Deck is still in its development and the hardware is not final. Only a few specs for the gaming device have been revealed. More details will probably be released the closer the Steam Deck launch date gets.

For now, Steam Deck shows a lot of potential in its processing capabilities, specifically with its SSD and RAM technology. However, Switch prides itself on overall balance. Its size and storage are proportionate to its excellent battery performance, which is essential for any gamer playing.

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Steam Deck Features

Steam Deck also has a lot of features unique to its gaming system. It has a huge variety of control options, with two thumbsticks, two Steam Controller-style trackpads, two shoulder triggers, four back buttons, ABXY buttons and a D-pad.

Full images of the Steam Deck design and ports are available here.

Steam Deck also runs on its own software called "SteamOS," optimized to run in handheld's mobile form factor. The OS was based on Linux but would use the Proton compatibility layer to run Windows-based games.

If you need to pause your game, SteamOS has a unique feature in Steam Deck that suspends/resumes the game. It also lets the device go into "sleep mode."

According to The Verge, the Steam Deck ultimately performs like a full-fledged Linux computer, with its own desktop. Users can plug in their mouse, keyboard, and monitor to the gaming console. Users could also install games from other stores, install regular PC software, browse the web, and more on the Steam Deck.

The upcoming console's features are designed to run all the Steam app and desktop features, including chat, notifications, cloud save support, user library, collections, and favorites.

The Valve handheld gaming device also takes a different gaming system compared to the Nintendo Switch "hybrid" style. However, in terms of gaming performance, it is yet to be tested if Steam Deck could compete against the Switch legacy.

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