Valve announced a new Steam Deck OLED model, featuring a small set of improvements and a big change to the screen – but you might not be able to get one. The Steam Deck OLED will release as an experimental launch first and just in a small number of markets on Nov. 16, 2023. Valve said if the reaction is positive, it will roll out in more markets later on.
You can get a Steam Deck OLED with 512GB SSD storage for $549 or one with 1TB SSD storage for $649. The original Steam Deck model with 512GB of storage goes for $449.99, but Valve is phasing it and the 64GB model out.
The big thing with the new Steam Deck is the OLED screen, which comes with high-definition refresh (HDR) as well. That alone is a pretty big step above the original Deck’s screen. It’s 0.4 inches bigger and supports up to 90Hz, the latter of which should lend itself to higher, more stable framerates.
It boasts a 1,000 nits rating with HDR on and 600 in standard. Even the standard rating is still 200 nits higher than the original Steam Deck. What that means in normal speak is a much brighter, more vivid display, though the 1200×800 resolution remains unchanged. Your PC games will still look better, but if you’re looking for a more powerful Steam Deck, this isn’t it. You’d probably want to opt for the Asus ROG Ally instead.
The CPU, GPU, and screen size are all the same, though instead of the original Deck’s 6 nm AMD APU, the OLED uses a 7 nm AMD APU. It also features WiFi 6E, which Valve says will allow for nearly triple the download speeds of the original Deck and more stable online play. The fan is bigger in this model, so it should run cooler, and Valve promises the battery life will last between 30 percent and 50 percent longer.
The original Steam Deck’s battery can last up to two hours or so, depending on how demanding the game you’re playing is, so you’re looking at maybe an extra 30-60 minutes of battery life here.
All Steam Deck accessories work with the OLED mode the Steam Deck OLED comes with an “exclusive opening movie” and virtual keyboard theme.
It looks like pre-orders haven’t opened on the Steam Deck site yet, and Valve didn’t provide a list of countries where it plans to sell the Steam Deck OLED. Like the original handheld PC’s launch, you can sign up for a reservation list should you miss out on orders during the first round.
Written by Josh Broadwell on behalf of GLHF