Valve has officially announced the launch of the Steam Deck OLED, an out of nowhere kind of surprise for the handheld gaming market this morning. While not drastically different from the original Steam Deck in terms of design, it comes with notable improvements over the original.
The biggest quality of life upgrade is of course the OLED display. Which provides sharper, more vivid picture quality for your games. Though it’s worth keeping in mind that the display resolution is still the same 1280 x 800. It is however HDR now too. While we haven’t seen the display for ourselves yet, if it’s anything like the difference between the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch OLED then it should be a very nice upgrade.
The Steam Deck OLED model also comes with improved battery life and faster downloads. Those faster downloads are likely just due to the support for WiFi 6E whereas the original Steam Deck only supported WiFi 5. Keep in mind you’ll need a WiFi 6E router to take advantage of that. As for the battery life, we’re not talking drastic improvements here. Valve confirms the new OLED model of the Steam Deck comes with a 50Whr battery as opposed to a 40Whr from the OG model. That bumps battery life to 3 – 12 hours from 2 – 8 hours. A significant boost at the high end depending on what games you play.
Valve has tossed in a couple other upgrades too. Including a 6nm APU and a 7.4-inch diagonal display size compared to the original 7-inch.
The Steam Deck OLED will launch in a limited-edition variant
There are two Steam Deck OLED models. The standard one that looks like the original, and then the “highly limited” version that comes in a special colorway, which is only available in the 1TB model. This changes the shell of the handheld to a translucent black/smoke color and adds red accents to the vents, power button, and joysticks. It’s actually quite neat looking. That being said, Valve will not have many of these available. So you’ll want to be quick to order when the units go live on November 16.
As for pricing Valve is keeping everything the same as before. The 512GB model will cost $549 while the 1TB model will cost $649. The nice thing is that if you don’t care about the OLED screen you can pick up the 64GB or 512GB LCD models of the Steam Deck at discounted prices of $349 and $449. Valve is permanently lowering the price on these versions until stock runs out as it’s phasing out both of them. The 256GB LCD model will be the new entry level unit and it also gets a price drop to $399.