Devs On Deck
One of the most intriguing new consoles releasing this generation, the Steam Deck is a powerful little handheld developed by Valve that’ll allow you to play all your favorite games in your Steam library on the go. Gabe Newell has described the game as, essentially, a mobile PC – it’s not only able to run Steam, but also other software like the Epic Games Store and the Microsoft Store. Now, as we get closer and closer to the shipping date, Steam Deck dev-kits are being made available to Steam developers, letting them get their hands on the console to see exactly how well their projects run on it.
In the announcement on the Steam events page, Steamworks Development outlined the process of getting your hands on one of the dev-kits: “As a Steam developer, you can go to the hardware request form to request a Steam Deck Dev Kit. Fill out the form and be sure to read through the agreement and dev kit guidelines. Dev kit supplies are limited, so we’ll be reviewing requests via the online form on a case by case basis and will be shipping them out as quickly as possible.”
There are currently 3 different models of the Steam Deck on offer, each with a different amount of storage space – you can choose between a 64GB, 256GB and 512GB model, or you can add some memory of your own using a microSD card. While each model comes pre-loaded with SteamOS, they’re basically just handheld PCs, and as such can be modded to your heart’s content. However, it’s not perfect – there have been a few concerns raised about the console’s battery life, which is only between 2 and 8 hours depending on the intensity of the programs being run.
The Steam Deck is available to order right now, with shipping scheduled to get started in December 2021 – Hopefully gamers will have commercial Steam Decks in their hands by early 2022!