Nintendo Co.’s Switch has some new competition.
Closely held video game publisher Valve Corp. introduced a portable gaming device Thursday that resembles the Switch but will have technical capabilities comparable to a gaming PC or console, according to the company.
The Steam Deck, which will be available in December starting at $400, will allow users to play sophisticated computer games on the go. The device has buttons, joysticks, and small mouse pads. The form is almost identical to the Switch, which has sold more than 84 million units since its release in 2017.
While the Switch, which is also a portable device, is low-powered compared with competing gaming consoles, the Steam Deck promises to run the highest-end games. Footage of the device showed titles such as Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order running on the Steam Deck, which wouldn’t be possible on the Switch. Valve said it has partnered with Advanced Micro devices Inc. on a custom chip capable of running “the latest AAA games in a very efficient power envelope.”
Valve’s online game store, Steam, is the most popular way to play games on PCs. Valve says the new device will allow users to play all of their current Steam games as if they are using their account on a different computer.
“We think Steam Deck gives people another way to play the games they love on a high-performance device at a great price,” Valve chief executive officer Gabe Newell said in a statement. “As a gamer, this is a product I’ve always wanted. And as a game developer, it’s the mobile device I’ve always wanted for our partners.”