Valve, owner of the famous Steam portal, will launch in December a portable console capable of running the good big PC games.
The American studio Valve, owner of the famous Steam video game catalog, wants to launch a portable console by the end of the year that could upset the dominant position of the Nintendo Switch on the market.
The Steam Deck console was presented Thursday evening in a tweet as a laptop dedicated to video games, and allowing the most demanding games to run.
From 419 euros
Announced from 419 euros for its launch in December, this large stand-alone controller incorporates a large touch screen, a powerful processor and graphics card, and a battery with between 2 and 8 hours of autonomy. If it is specified that the machine will be offered in particular in the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom. Switzerland is however excluded from this first wave, the reservation system set up on Friday evening by Steam indicating that “this article cannot be reserved in your country”.
The American studio Valve is the publisher of the famous Half-Life, Counter-Strike and Dota 2 games. But it is also a pioneer in the field of online game catalogs, with its Steam platform which dominates the PC gaming market. .
With the Deck, the studio apparently aims to compete with the success of the Nintendo Switch, which has sold more than 80 million copies since its release in 2017.
Return after failure
And it is making a comeback in the physical console market after the failure of the Steam Machines launched in 2015, already with the objective of revolutionizing the video game market thanks to an open software platform, but whose development had been entrusted to third.
By offering the possibility of using all the games designed for Steam and Windows, Valve could this time come up against the latest generations of home consoles, the PlayStation 5 (Sony) and Xbox Series X (Microsoft), with a much higher price. advantageous.
“One of the things that we are testing is that the price / performance ratio can be one of the critical elements in the portable console market, and therefore we have chosen to be very aggressive in terms of price”, Valve president Gabe Newell said in an interview with IGN.
“It’s a very good surprise. Nintendo has its first front-end competitor with a phenomenal catalog, ”said Laurent Michaud, analyst specializing in the video game industry, to AFP.
With a point of attention according to him however: all the games available are not developed specifically for a portable console.
According to him, “the market is in the process of being segmented between portable and non-portable home consoles”, with performance which will gradually come closer thanks to the miniaturization of components.