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It may be too hot to play your Switch or Steam Deck on the go

Be careful out there, if out there is 35º C (95º F) or more

Two sets of hands hold Steam Deck units. They’re playing Stardew Valley co-op. Image: Valve
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Note to those enjoying their handheld gaming platforms: Be careful taking them outside during a record heat wave.

Ambient temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius — and Europe has suffered highs far worse than that for much of July — can cause Valve’s Steam Deck to throttle performance, the company said on Tuesday. Last week, Nintendo of Japan tweeted a similar advisory about using its Switch in handheld mode; the Switch is best used in ambient temperatures between 5 and 35 degrees Celsius (41 degrees to 95 degrees Fahrenheit).

Nintendo’s tweet was sent from the company’s Japanese-language customer service Twitter account on July 10, as Japan was suffering through the worst heat wave in the country’s recorded meteorological history. Temperatures there peaked at 40.2 degrees Celsius in June, a record for that month.

Valve explained its heat advisory further, saying that the Steam Deck’s performance throttle was meant “to protect itself (and you) from damage.” The Steam Deck will shut down if the temperature of its internal components hits 105 degrees Celsius.

Valve’s Steam Deck PC gaming console launched in February. The latest iteration of the Nintendo Switch, the OLED Model, launched in October 2021.

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