Steam Deck OLED

No, Valve’s New Steam Deck OLED Won’t Run Your Games Better

A new Steam Deck is coming, but it doesn’t have the number ‘2’ behind it. The Steam Deck OLED is a more incremental upgrade. Think what Nintendo did with the Switch OLED. 

Here’s a quick rundown of what the new Steam Deck OLED offers:

  • 1280×800 HDR OLED display
  • 7.4 inch diagonal display size
  • 6 nm APU
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • 50Whr battery (3-12 hours of gameplay depending on the game)
  • Updated refresh rate to 90Hz (up from 60)
  • More responsive touchscreen
  • Dedicated Bluetooth antenna (should improve connection for multiple controllers)

The resolution and power are the same, but some notable differences exist. The 7.4-inch display is slightly larger than the current 7-inch LCD display. The 6 nm APU is also more efficient than the current 7 nm APU. That combined with the larger battery (50Whr versus 40Whr) means at least 30% more battery life, according to Valve. And the improved Wi-Fi will translate to faster downloads and smoother online play. 

As for specific HDR brightness specs? Valve’s spec sheet says 1,000 nits peak brightness for HDR and 600 nits for SDR content. 

If you’ve been thinking about getting a Steam Deck or upgrading, the Steam Deck OLED goes on sale November 16. Valve doesn’t expect the supply issues that plagued the launch of the original Steam Deck, but they do say they will go to a reservation queue if they run out of stock on any specific model. 

The Steam Deck OLED will come in three versions. A 512GB version will retail for $549. The 1TB version costs $649 and includes a carrying case with a removable liner. And there will limited edition 1TB version for $679 that comes in a “smoky translucent colorway.”

But what about the next Steam Deck? Nothing official, but today’s news bodes well for the platform’s future. It also means we are at least another year or two away from any meaningful upgrade. Valve wouldn’t push out the Steam Deck OLED if a much bigger upgrade wasn’t too far away. 

I imagine Valve is waiting for graphics tech to get a little better to keep the Steam Deck in its current footprint.

While the Steam Deck struggles with the latest graphics-heavy AAA games, the thing is an absolute backlog machine. I love going back and playing classic games like Batman: Arkham Asylum or the latest indie games. 

Today’s Steam Deck announcement isn’t the more powerful Steam Deck we are all itching for, but if you’re looking for a little indie machine or play PC games older than a couple of years – it’s hard to go wrong with it.