Did anyone have Steam Deck OLED on their 2023 bingo card?
Valve just sprang a surprise announcement today with the reveal of the Steam Deck OLED. What’s doubly shocking is that it has made it to reviewers and nobody was the wiser for it.
The device is roughly the same as the launch model except for, most notably, the OLED screen. Nothing much about the physical dimensions has changed about. However, there have been some updated internals that definitely need discussing.
The OLED screen
First thing’s first, the OLED screen. While I don’t know how this one looks in comparison to the OG Steam Deck (Valve, DCA would really love one or three), some slight “comparisons” on YouTube show that the it gets darker where it needs to be and brighter where it needs to be. The screen also supports HDR and has been increased up to 90 Hz.
The HDR is kind of a big deal in its own right. If you have HDR displays connected to a PC, you should know that getting it to work with Windows (and sometimes Mac) is a chore. I don’t really know anyone who leaves it on or even turns it on. But the Steam Deck is running Linux and HDR has been worked on for quite some time. But Valve seems to have put in the work. As early as January, GamingOnLinux has been covering Valve’s work in the space. That’s a huge feather in the cap not only for Steam Deck gaming, but Linux gaming in general.
There has also been a die shrink of the APU found in the original Steam Deck. This enables the device to be a bit more efficient and cool. It also has a bigger fan to cool things down. This means the fan doesn’t need much power to cool down and the CPU won’t need as much cooling.
There is also a 25% installed the system. That takes it from 40 Whr to 50 Whr. You’re now looking at a 30-50 percent increase according to Valve. So, if you take that and match it both with the more energy efficient screen and CPU, you will probably start to see some real gains. Valve is claiming the new Deck to have “three to 12 hours” of battery life.
The Steam Deck OLED comes in to storage configurations, 512 GB and 1 TB. That’s right. They have bumped up the storage for even more games to be played on the system.
Now this is the part I’m sure everyone was waiting for.
So, Valve has all but gotten rid of the older model Steam Decks. The only one that stuck around is the 256 GB model. That model used to retail for $529. Valve has marked that down to $399 to serve as the entry point with no OLED screen.
The 512 GB OLED model is now selling for $549 which is cheaper than what the non-OLED version went for. The 1 TB model is now the most expensive model sitting at $649. These units will be available November 16th at 1pm ET.
Also, if you are looking for some discounts, Valve will continue to sell the older model Steam Decks until inventory runs out. You will be looking at $349 for the 64 GB model and $449 for the 512 GB model. The pricing for these models are already in effect.
So, there you have it! The new Steam Deck OLED is coming out very soon and I’d love to get my hands on it. But, honestly, if you already have a Steam Deck (or even a ROG Ally), save your money. While these upgrades look pretty cool, it’s not enough to replace what you already have.