Valve Opens Steam Deck Orders to APAC but Still Skips Australia

Release date, price, hardware and everything you need to know

In 2021, Valve threw the gaming world a curve by announcing the Steam Deck, a handheld gaming console much like the Nintendo Switch, complete with a small screen and controls on the left and right sides.

Steam Deck was available overseas for months. There was no word on when it might be released in Australia, outside of “sometime soon”. Well today, Valve has expanded the markets where you can get your hands on one. Why come close to Australia, we lose it again.

What is the Valve Steam Deck release date?

The Valve Steam Deck was released on February 25 in a handful of markets, with initial pre-order forms sent out to early buyers around February 28. Since the sale began, Valve has been emailing reservation holders frequently telling them they can purchase Steam Deck. This means that many people are patiently waiting to get their hands on the highly sought-after gadget.

Unfortunately, all the markets that Valve acknowledged releasing were the US, UK, Canada, Germany and France. Today, Valve has expanded it. It announced that Steam Deck is coming to new territories, allowing those in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong to reserve a console.

I have outlined Valve some Rough estimates of when you can expect Steam Deck in other markets, but it’s basically “after Q2 2022.” Sorry Aussies, we don’t have a specific release date for the region yet.

How to pre-order a Steam Deck in Australia

With some online wizards, it’s actually possible for an Australian to pre-order Steam Deck from the likes of the US. You will need to set the VPN on a US location – after setting this, the order page should open and you should be able to pre-order when stock becomes available. This is the same thing that the Australian had to do to get the valve pointer early. So yes, it’s possible to get Steam Deck in Australia, but it’s best to fully understand what that might mean for the little things like access and shipping and the big things like consumer protection and guarantees.

Steam Deck Price

This is not a cheap piece and will cost you several hundred dollars. There are three models available, so you get a fair amount of choice as to what you want to get out of the device. We’ll convert prices from US dollars to Australian dollars below, but as we know, just converting the cost of technology in the US into Australian dollars doesn’t give us the full price (how good is *Australia tax?).

Consider shipping when purchasing, too. Also, if storage is very important to you, you can expand it with a MicroSD card.

  • The cheapest option is $399 (converted, about $555), packed with 64GB eMMC internal storage and a carrying case.
  • The mid-range model is $529 (about $740, direct transfer), with 256GB SSD internal storage, a carrying case and a Steam Community Profile bundle (for your Steam profile).
  • Finally, the most expensive model is $649 (converted, $903, likely $1,000), complete with 512GB of NVME storage, anti-glare etched glass, an “exclusive” carrying case, and an exclusive Steam community profile bundle -Exclusive default keyboard theme pack.

Here’s a quick video ripping off the Steam Deck

Last year, Valve released a helpful little video of the Steam Deck disassembly, revealing what its interior looks like.

The company did this mostly as a warning, and recommended users not to try it at home, but without discouraging disassembly and tweaking the system. You’re allowed to do that, it’s just…be careful.

“While this is your computer, or will be once you receive the Steam Deck and have every right to open it and do whatever you want, we at Valve do not really recommend opening it at all,” the narrator says.

What are the specifications of Steam Deck?

The most interesting question for PC gamers like me – what are the specs? Well, it’s actually really cool for such a small device. Here’s a quick summary:

  • Healer: AMD Zen 2 APU
  • GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CU
  • memory: 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • storage: 64 GB eMMC, 256 GB SSD, or 512 GB NVMe SSD (all models are upgradeable with a MicroSD card)
  • Show: 7-inch IPS LCD touchscreen, 1280 x 800 resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio, 60Hz refresh rate, 400 nits brightness
  • Delivery: Bluetooth 5.0 and dual-band Wi-Fi
  • My voice: 3.5mm headphone jack, multi-channel audio via USB-C, two built-in microphones and on-board stereo sound
  • battery: 40Wh battery provides 2-8 hours of play depending on the game
  • Harbor: USB-C charging and data port
  • Size: 298 mm x 117 mm x 49 mm, weight 669 grams
  • Programming: SteamOS 3.0
  • Methods of use: Hand-held and attached to a monitor.

Steam Deck Features and Design

Steam Deck is very similar to the Nintendo Switch, in terms of form factor and features. It is designed to be a modern handheld game console, a rectangle in shape with your hands intended to hold the sides of the device, where the buttons are located.

The main way Valve wants people to use Steam Deck is in manual mode – with internal buttons, joysticks, and triggers, Valve wants players to use Steam Deck on the go or simply away from the main setup. It also features cloud capability for proprietary Steam games and MicroSD storage.

However, Steam Deck can also be used when connected to a monitor. Like the Nintendo Switch, the Steam Deck can be played on a monitor or TV. Unlike the Switch, you don’t need a special Dock to do this. Instead, the user simply needs to connect the USB-C port to the monitor of their choice. Simply.

In addition to the two modes of use, Steam Deck has a host of features. Games can be played from the cloud on Steam Deck (provided you have it on Steam and have it installed on a PC) and your storage can be expanded via a microSD card. The device is powered by SteamOS, which is a Linux-based operating system, but can also run Windows 10.

However, there is a pier coming

While you don’t need a dock to connect the Steam Deck to a TV or monitor, Valve is currently developing one. Although you can’t pre-order, the dock comes with three USB 3.1 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and a USB-C cable that connects to the Steam Deck. There is also an Ethernet port that supports gigabit speeds. It’s not necessary, but these ports come in handy. As of June 3, the berth is delayed.

Steam Deck

While we haven’t done hands-on with a Valve mobile device yet, our colleague in the US has. This is an excerpt from his review:

Valve is quick to fix bugs, add features, and improve the performance of its software before Steam Deck gets into the hands of customers. Even today, weeks after pushing updates, the program is still in the works. You should feel somewhat relieved to know that things are going in the right direction. I am a fan of SteamOS’s comprehensive interface.

If you want specific screenshots of gameplay, you can find them Cyberpunk 2077, Grand Theft Auto V And the elden ring Promise to play, as recorded by TheRelaxingEnd.

Cyberpunk 2077 movie

Grand Theft Auto V

elden ring

If you’ve been after gameplay footage from Valve itself, here’s the trailer put together by the company.

Valve is in the process of checking out games for the Deck, and Valve has a playlist of what you can expect to play and we’ve broken that down a bit via this link.

Steam Deck Extensions

Ordering the device will give you a carrying case for the console, however, that means it ends up with the official accessories, apart from the previously mentioned dock.

Although there are no official accessories except for the carrying case, the device is compatible with keyboards, mice, headphones, headsets, Bluetooth devices, and wireless devices such as consoles. Functionally, it is capable of all the accessories you would expect from a basic gaming PC.

Can I use the Steam Deck for more than just Steam Deck games?

This is an interesting question – yes, the console can do more than just play Steam Deck (or simply Steam) games. Here’s how it works: Steam does not use Windows, although it does use a Linux-based operating system called SteamOS. SteamOS on the Steam Deck includes a compatibility tool called Proton, which allows any game designed for Windows to run on Steam. It’s a great trick. Alternatively, if you’re not a fan of SteamOS, the system allows dual booting in Windows 10 and Valve is working with AMD to make sure Windows 11 runs well on the machine.

Even more neatly, the hardware allows you to have more than just an inbuilt Steam player, which means you can play non-Steam games, provided they are compatible with the hardware.

How does Steam Deck compare to the competition?

Steam Deck has some competition, although until the device becomes commercially available, it will be hard to know how it compares to these other consoles.

Left to Right: The Steam Deck, AYA Neo, ONEEXPLAYER, and GPD WIN 3. Photo: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Compared to other PC-based laptops, the closest counterpart is the AYA Neo, a crowd-funded Windows 10 laptop with similar great specs to Steam Deck, with two models available at higher prices.

Moving on from AYA Neo, there are a few other options. Much like the AYA Neo, OneXPlayer is packed with a larger screen and similar specs. OneXPlayer also runs an Intel CPU and an Intel Iris XE GPU, unlike the AMD CPU in the Steam Deck.

In addition, GPD Win 3 is a Windows 10 mobile device meant for mobile gaming (including a sliding screen that reveals a small keyboard), running an Intel CPU instead of Deck and a Neo AMD CPU.

The Australian availability of these Steam Deck alternatives varies, but if you’re after a handheld gaming device, the Nintendo Switch is readily available.

This article has been updated since it was first published, and we’ll keep it updated as we learn more, so be sure to check back.

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