Valve has introduced the Steam Deck OLED, which offers more than just a better screen. It boasts many other improvements over the original model, including faster Wi-Fi and better battery life. All of that being said, it isn’t advertised as a successor, and it’s no more powerful at running games than any other Steam Deck. It’s simply a premium alternative, like the Nintendo Switch OLED is to the regular Switch. You can check out our full review of the Steam Deck OLED for more.
Whether you’re someone who already has a Steam Deck or someone who hasn’t yet purchased one, we made this guide to answer some questions you might have.
Where can I buy the new Steam Deck OLED?
What’s the price difference between the Steam Deck OLED and the LCD model?
The Steam Deck OLED is coming in at $549, and it includes 512 GB of storage. The original Steam Deck starts again at $349 for a 64 GB configuration. But more exciting is that the 256 GB model now costs just $50 more. The full pricing breakdown looks like this:
- $349 for the 64 GB Steam Deck LCD
- $399 for the 256 GB Steam Deck LCD
- $449 for the 512 GB Steam Deck LCD
- $549 for the 512 GB Steam Deck OLED
- $649 for the 1 TB Steam Deck OLED (includes updated case)
- $679 for the 1 TB Steam Deck OLED limited edition (includes updated case)
Ooh, what’s this about a limited edition Steam Deck OLED?
Yeah, so folks in the U.S. and Canada will be able to purchase a $679 limited edition version of the Steam Deck OLED. It comes with 1 TB of storage, and it’s clad in a smoky gray translucent shell, with red detailing around the sticks and some of the buttons. It also includes an updated zip-up case with an exclusive design printed on the inside.
Whoa, the original Steam Deck is now the same price as the Nintendo Switch OLED!
I’m sure that was intentional!
Is the Steam Deck OLED faster than the original model?
No. According to Valve, optimizations have been made to the Steam Deck OLED’s memory and AMD APU that improve power efficiency and boost the speed at which it can resume suspended games. However, it has the same performance target as the original model.
Is OLED really that cool?
Yes, it is. Assuming you haven’t seen an OLED screen before (most high-end phones have them these days), using one can make a huge difference in the enjoyment of games. For one, OLEDs can show off environments with pixel-perfect accuracy, with shadows that are blacker than ever, and colors that almost pop off the screen. Viewing angles are greatly improved over LCD, too, with a wider sweet spot for seeing the best color reproduction on the screen.
OLED isn’t just for looks; it has big power efficiency benefits, too. Alongside the Steam Deck OLED’s slightly larger battery, the OLED screen plays a central role in boosting this model’s longevity by up to 50% in some games.
But is the OLED worth the money if I already have a Steam Deck?
That’s for you to decide, ultimately. For many people, keeping the hardware you have is the most economical move. Perhaps my colleague Chris Plante’s review will help you decide where you’ll land.
Do I need new accessories?
Nope! The Steam Deck OLED has the same physical dimensions as the original Steam Deck, but weighs 30 grams less. In other words, every accessory that we recommend in our guide to the best Steam Deck accessories will suit you well.
Is Valve discontinuing the original Steam Deck or planning to end support?
Nope. Valve shared with Polygon that the updates that it makes to SteamOS and Steam will benefit both versions of the console.
Does the Steam Deck OLED have a faster microSD card slot?
Nope. This model has a UHS-I slot, so no changes there. Its USB-C port is the same as well.
What else is different about this model?
A lot, actually. Its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips are better. In terms of Wi-Fi, it supports Wi-Fi 6E, which can boost game download speeds by up to three times, assuming you have a Wi-Fi 6- or 6E-compatible router. One Bluetooth upgrade I’m excited about is the ability to wake the Steam Deck OLED with a wireless Bluetooth controller.
The haptics feel joltier, closer to the haptics that I come to expect from high-end smartphones. Valve’s redesigned thumbsticks have a much grippier center than before. Unlike with the original model, my thumbs don’t slide around on the new sticks during use.
Tell me about the updated zip-up case
Gladly. Most of us agree that the hard zip-up case that was included with the original Steam Deck was good, but hefty, right? Valve’s new version of the case that comes with the 1 TB model includes both a hard zip-up case and one with a slimmer profile within it. All you have to do is detach the inner layer’s Velcro, and you’re left with something that’ll be much easier to carry on trips.
Is this model going to support user-serviceable parts, too?
Yep! But that’s far from the biggest news in terms of repairability. Valve streamlined the process of repairing the Steam Deck OLED in some meaningful ways. On the rear cover, it switched to Torx machine screws with metal bosses to reduce head stripping. Throughout the system, it reduced the number of screw types, and it requires fewer steps for common repairs. The switches for the shoulder bumpers are now on the joystick board for easier repair. We’ll let you know once these new components hit iFixit.
The Steam Deck OLED will be available starting Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. EST.