Valve is shaking up its Steam Deck line of handheld gaming PCs. Prices still range from $399 to $649, but Valve is doing away with the old entry-level model that had 64GB of eMMC storage, which means that prices now start at $399 for a model with a 256GB SSD.

But the bigger change? If you spend $549 or more you’ll get a new Steam Deck OLED with a bigger, brighter display, a larger battery, and a more efficient processor that Valve says offers longer battery life. There’s also support for WiFi 6E.

Valve has been saying for a while that it wanted to adopt a console-like approach to the Steam Deck and offer game developers a unified platform to target for many years. So it’s a bit surprising to see a new Steam Deck just over two years after the first model launched.

But this isn’t a Steam Deck 2. Performance should actually be pretty close to the original Steam Deck. Upgrades are designed to make the handheld gaming experience better, but not to improve performance.

Here’s what’s new in the Steam Deck OLED:

  • Display: The Steam Deck OLED has a 7.4 inch, 1280 x 800 HDR OLED display with a 90 Hz refresh rate, up from a 7 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel, 60 Hz LCD display on the original model
  • APU: The Steam Deck OLED has a 6nm AMD “Sepiroth” processor which is more efficient than the 7nm “Aerith” chip used in the original, but performance should be similar.
  • Battery: The Steam Deck OLED has a 50 Wh battery compared with the 40Wh battery in the original, as well as a thicker heat sink and larger fan (there’s room inside the case because the screen is thinner).
  • Wireless: The Steam Deck OLED supports WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, while older models top out at WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Charging: The Steam Deck OLED comes with a 2.5 meter charging cable (up from 1 meter)
  • Storage: The Steam Deck OLED is available with up to a 1TB SSD
  • Body: The new Steam Deck OLED looks nearly identical to the original on the outside, but it’s actually a tiny bit thinner and lighter, measuring 30 grams (about 5%) less).

According to Valve, the efficiency and battery upgrades mean that users can expect 3 – 12 hours of game play from the Steam Deck OLED, compared with 2 – 8 hours for the previous-gen model.

And early reviews suggest the new fan is quieter and more effective, allowing the handheld to run cooler without generating as much noise.

The price drop for the Steam Deck 256GB LCD model is already in effect, but the full 2023 family won’t be available until November 16 at 1:00PM Eastern Time. At that point, this is what the lineup will look like:

Steam Deck 256GB LCDSteam Deck 512GB OLEDSteam Deck 1TB OLED
Storage256GB NVMe SSD512GB NVMe SSD1TB NVMe SSD
Display7 inches
1280 x 800 pixels
Optically bonded LCD
60 Hz
400 nits typical brightness
7.4 inches
1280 x 800 pixels
HDR OLED
90 Hz
1000 nits peak brightness (HDR)
600 nits (SDR)
110% P3 color gamut
<0.1ms response
CPU7nm AMD “Aerith”
4 Zen 2 CPU cores / 8 threads
2.4 GHz – 3.5 GHz
4-15 watts
6nm AMD “Sepiroth”
4 Zen 2 CPU cores / 8 threads
2.4 GHz – 3.5 GHz
4-15 watts
Graphics8 RDNA 2 Compute units
1 – 1.6 GHz
RAM16GB
LPDDR5-5500
16GB
LPDDR5-6400
WirelessWiFi 5
Bluetooth 5.0
WiFi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
Battery & charging40 Wh
1.5 meter charging cable
50 Wh
2.5 meter charging cable
PortsUSB Type-C
3.5mm audio
microSD card reader
Dimensions298 x 117 x 49mm298 x 117 x 50mm
Weight669 grams640 grams
Price$399$549$649

There will also be a $679 Steam Deck 1TB OLED Limited Edition model with a “smoky translucent colorway,” and bargain hunters can also save some money on the older 64GB eMMC and 512GB LCD models, while supplies last. They’re currently selling for $349 and $449, respectively.

Or you can opt for a refurbished Steam Deck LCD: list price range from $279 to $359, but the entry-level 64GB configuration is currently out of stock.

The Steam Deck has quickly become one of the most popular handheld gaming PCs around, despite growing competition in this space. That’s largely due to a combination of decent performance, well thought-out software and physical design, strong service and support, and affordable pricing.

So while it might have been nice to see a more significant CPU or GPU upgrade, it’s still rather impressive to see how much Valve has managed to improve while keeping prices roughly the same.

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  1. Like others I think I won’t be replacing my Deck, partly because I’d have to carry the 2TB SSD over then have a spare 512GB, but if Valve find a way to offer the OLED screen and fan as a retrofit I’d do that.

    1. I think this is a good update, and makes Valve a bit more competitive. They needed it with the likes of the ASUS ROG Ally, Lenovo Go, and new GPD Win devices.

      I don’t think retro-fitting is the best way to go, just as long they don’t do something dumb to block users from doing it themselves. This refresh isn’t for current users to upgrade, just like how the NSwitch OLED wasn’t meant for previous NSwitch owners to upgrade.

      This is to keep Valve competitive in the market for current shoppers/new customers. And it’s for making current owners who can do a “hand-me-down” with something to upgrade to. Still it’s hard to beat the ASUS ROG Ally, the extra resolution is more useful and the new performance metric (PS4 vs XSS) is notable for better current and future experience.

      While I’m still sticking with my previous idea, that the original Valve SteamDeck was late and should have been released in Q4 2019. This refresh should have come mid-life, around Q3 2022. And the next model should come around Q4 2024. This is due to the AAA-Game Publishers who change their development to suit the new-generation of hardware/console and software/game engines. The only tactic away from this, is to self publish your own games, and make them exclusive and compelling enough to warrant your place in the market, a la, Nintendo Wii/WiiU/Switch.

  2. Thanks for the update, Brad!

    “They’re currently selling for $349 and $49, respectively.”

    Typo?

  3. Very good “update”. OLED is good for playing, much better contrast, true blacks, and oustanding response time which LCD can’t dream of.

    Of course, with a lot of use an OLED display will burn in, but for gaming it won’t burn in as fast as it would be with serious use (I suppoe for gaming it could last at least a few years). My only question here is how much would it cost OLED panel replacement for this machine when I need to change it. The good point is it would be available, being Steam, and even at a better cost being a machines with great sales volumen.

  4. @liliputing_ Some niceties and a signal that Valve is finding success with the Deck but I don't think this is enough for me to replace my current model.. maybe as a replacement if I wanted to give the old one away… I'm also bummed that the limited edition is only for US and Canada.