Valve's Steam Deck unveiled as another Switch competitor
Why it matters: Valve's device is the latest effort to tap into an audience who likes the idea of the hybrid Switch but would prefer to play PC games and won’t mind missing Mario.
- It's set to start shipping this December and will run games from Valve's Steam marketplace while also supporting, Valve says, the ability to run any other PC-based store.
- Like the Switch's upcoming $350 OLED model, it has a 7-inch screen.
- Its control sticks are touch-sensitive, and it sports two front-facing trackpads designed to allow for mouse-like movement for games not designed to be run with sticks and buttons.
- The device is also larger and heavier than Nintendo's and won't come with a bundled dock, though it does connect to monitors and TVs.
To ward off scalpers, Valve is requiring anyone who pre-orders the system to put down a deposit.
- It will also only permit initial pre-orders this Friday to people who have bought something on Steam prior to June. Everyone else has to wait until Sunday.
The bottom line: Valve's hardware track record is shaky, and it's veering the closest it ever has to competing with the most successful company in video game history.