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Valve Steam Deck Vs Nintendo Switch

Taking a closer look to see how Valve's new Steam Deck compares to the ever-popular Nintendo Switch

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If you haven’t heard of Valve’s new Steam Deck then you must have been living under a rock for the past several months – it’s easily one of the most intriguing hardware consoles to hit shelves this year. Valve’s new console will go toe-to-toe with Nintendo’s incredibly popular Switch in a battle for handheld supremacy, with the latest Switch already offering what seems like the perfect gaming experience.

In the following article, we’ll be taking a closer look at both handheld consoles to see how they stack up in price, performance, specifications, and overall value for money. We’ll take a quick look at build quality, user experience, general interface – concluding with which showcases the best value for money.

So, let’s waste no further time and dive straight into it!

Steam Deck Vs Nintendo Switch: Specifications

One of the big causes of the buzz that currently surrounds the Valve Steam Deck is the specifications it comes equipped with. Whilst it’ll be hard to pull hardcore Nintendo fans away from the Switch, the following specifications could be enough to do it:

Nintendo Switch OLED Specs

  • Size: 9.5 x 0.55 x 4 inches (w x d x h)
  • Weight: Approximately 0.71 lbs / 0.93 lbs with Joy-Con controllers attached
  • Screen: Multi-touch capacitive touch screen / 7-inch OLED screen
  • Resolution: 1280 x 720 (720p)
  • CPU/GPU: Nvidia Custom Tegra processor
  • Storage: 64GB (can be expanded using microSDHC or microSDXC cards up to 2TB)
  • Wireless: WI-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compliant)
  • Video output: Up to 1080p via HDMI in TV mode, 720p in handheld mode
  • Audio output: 5.1 Linear PCM
  • Speakers: Stereo
  • USB connector: USB Type-C for charging
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Battery life: approximately 4.5-9 hours
  • Charging time: approximately 3 hours
  • Price: $349 (OLED)

Valve Steam Deck Specs

  • Processor: AMD APU
  • CPU: Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)
  • GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32)
  • APU power: 4-15W
  • Resolution: up to 4K 120Hz / 8K 60Hz
  • Dock Ports: USB 3.1, HDMI, DisplayPort
  • Battery Life: 40WHr: 2 – 8 hours
  • RAM: 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM (5500 MT/s)
  • Storage: 64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1), 256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4), 512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)
  • All models include a high-speed microSD card slot
  • Price: $399 (64GB), $529 (256GB), $649 (512GB)


Steam Deck Official pricing


On paper, it looks like the Steam Deck has the comparison signed, sealed, and delivered – I mean, it offers more performance in almost every area. The Steam Deck offers more buttons (most of which are programmable), a trackpad on the front, and a bunch of features and benefits that the Nintendo Switch simply can’t compete with. When looking at these consoles side by side, the form factor of both is incredibly similar. That said, weight does play a major role in the comparison, with the Steam Deck coming in at almost double that of the Nintendo Switch.

Steam Deck Vs Nintendo Switch Release Dates

The release date for the Valve Steam deck is set for December 2021 – with stock levels likely to sell out incredibly quickly. The product page went live recently, showcasing all the specifications of the Steam Deck – sparking anticipation for this powerful little console.

In comparison, the Nintendo Switch OLED is set to hit shelves on the 8th of October 2021- giving potential fence-sitters a first look at the Nintendo Switch OLED. Whether or not that will sway the opinion of buyers is yet to be seen – furthermore, with stock likely to be at underwhelming levels, it might be a case of ‘get what you can’.

Steam Deck Vs Nintendo Switch: Where To Buy

So, you’re interested in the new consoles but you aren’t sure how or where to buy them? Well, fear not, we have all the latest information on how to buy both consoles.

Starting with the Valve Steam Deck, users have the ability to pre-order each of the models as of today. You can head over to the Steam Store and lock in a Steam Deck of your choosing – with three variants on offer.

Check out our complete where to buy Valve Steam Deck page here.

As for the Nintendo Switch OLED, gamers are in a very similar boat – with pre-orders available today. The OLED version of the Switch isn’t massively different from the standalone version but is available for pre-order through all the usual retailers. Best Buy currently lists the product as ‘coming soon’ – with preorders expected soon after.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, our quick comparison between Valve’s New Steam Deck Vs Nintendo’s Switch (incl. OLED). On paper, you’d have to say that the Valve Steam Deck looks set to eclipse the Nintendo Switch in almost every area – apart from the price that is. The base model, which looks closest to the Nintendo Switch OLED, will retail for $50 more – which, at first glance, seems like excellent value from Valve. For that price, gamers will be getting a lot of bang for their buck, including greater processing power, more buttons, better screen resolution, and an excellent interface.

That being said, getting die-hard Nintendo Switch fans to change allegiance could be easier said than done. Nintendo’s Switch still has a lot to offer the handheld gaming community, so it’ll be incredibly interesting to see how they do come launch day.

Monitor & PC Product Specialist AT WEPC

Charlie Noon

For as long as he can remember, Charlie has always been interested in computers and gaming. It all started with the Sega Mega Drive and then evolved into PC gaming in his early teens. CS 1.6 was his first go at competitive gaming which soon evolved into CS:Source and now CS:GO - a game that he still plays (almost exclusively) today. Throughout that period he has also been a keen PC builder and enthusiast - dedicating a large portion of his time to the craft. My current rig is an ASUS 5700XT with AMD's Ryzen 3600X.