Steam Deck price was “painful” but “critical”, says Gabe Newell


Valve boss Gabe Newell announced Steam Deck, a brand new handheld gaming console that will act as a portable PC that players can bring anywhere.

In an announcement today, Gabe Newell talked about the upcoming Steam Deck handheld PC from Valve. From what Gabe says, he’s looking to sell “millions of units” for the device. He also noted that the price point was “painful” to pick, but “critical.”

Steam Deck as powerful as PS4 Pro, Xbox One X

Valve unveiled their newest hardware today – the Steam Deck. Basically a handheld PC, the system is as powerful as an Xbox One X or a PS4 Pro but better. It is a competitor to the Switch, which does the Nintendo console’s job better at every front.

The new device will come in three variants, changing the storage capacity every time. The entry-level model will have 64GB for $399, while the 256GB NVME will cost $529. The 512GB NVME model will set players back $649.

At this value, the console is quite aggressive in its pricing, and Gabe knows that. In an interview, Newell detailed some behind the scenes when deciding on the details for the system.

“I want to pick this up and say, ‘Oh, it all works, it’s all fast’,” said Newell to IGN. “And then price point was secondary, and painful, but that was pretty clearly a critical aspect to it. The first thing was the performance and the experience, [that] was the biggest and most fundamental constraint that was driving us.”

New Steam Deck will handle your entire Steam library

From its initial cost, Gabe Newell understands that the system is a little steep. The PS5 costs $499 while the Xbox Series X costs the same. Even then, this is justified by the full-fat PC specs it uses which, at entry-level, is the same as the Switch.

“Our view is, if we’re doing this right, we’re going to be selling these in millions of units, and it’s clearly going to be establishing a product category that ourselves and other PC manufacturers are going to be able to participate in,” said Newell. “And that’s going to have long-term benefits for us. So that’s sort of the frame in which we’re thinking about this.

“We don’t have some tie-in ratio—we don’t say, ‘Oh, and then we have to sell eight games for each one of these, otherwise it doesn’t make sense.’ Our calculus is more, ‘Is this the right product,’ and is it a great way to test out the assumption that there’s a huge amount of value, both to game players and game developers, to extending the PC ecosystem in this direction. That’s the real test, more than anything else.”

We’re about to see if Gabe Newell’s innovation will do well. Pre-orders for the device will be available July 16th.

Featured image courtesy of ContraNetwork/Youtube Screenshot

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