Valve has announced Steam Deck dev kits are going out now and that the hardware itself is “in the final stage of development,” an exciting bit of news ahead of the handheld’s release.
The company noted the dev kits will allow them to “guide game developers through the process of getting their games on Steam Deck while also continuing to gather their feedback as we prepare for the official launch at the end of the year.”
The new Steam Deck dev kits are functionally identical to what the company will ship to consumers, whenever the final release dates for the handheld PC end up. As with any hardware dev kits, developers will be able to test their games out on the device, but it’s worth reiterating the Steam Deck is literally a handheld PC.
While some PC enthusiasts have suggested the Steam Deck’s internal hardware won’t be able to keep up with the most demanding game releases, Valve has boasted the handheld PC is essentially future-proof.
Steam Deck developer Pierre-Loup Griffais previously noted the handheld’s 800p screen was running a wide range of games with their target benchmark of 30FPS with no problem. It’s worth noting this is what Valve is considering to be the floor of what they consider playable in terms of performance on the handheld.
In related news, Xbox boss Phil Spencer already had his Steam Deck unit and was testing it out with Xbox streaming, noting that it works very well on the device – as it is a handheld PC.
“Was at Valve this week talking with Scott, Erik, Gabe about Steam Deck. After having mine most of the week I can say it’s a really nice device. Games with me on the go, screen size, controls all great. Playing Halo and Age feels good, xCloud works well. Congrats SD team,” Spencer said in our previous report.
Valve’s Steam Deck is now available for pre-order in three flavors: $399 (64GB), $529 (256GB), and $649 (512GB), over on the Steam store. To pre-order now you have to had purchased a game prior to June 2021, an effort to help block scalpers and bots.
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