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Translucent Steam Deck OLED is a threat to financial responsibility

The limited edition Steam Deck OLED costs $30 more — but might be worth it

The front of the Steam Deck OLED limited edition is translucent Photo: Valve
Chris Plante co-founded Polygon in 2012 and is now editor-in-chief. He co-hosts The Besties, is a board member of the Frida Cinema, and created NYU’s first games journalism course.

The limited edition translucent Steam Deck OLED is a classic example of want versus need. I don’t need to spend $679 on a Steam Deck with a foggy, see-through shell. But I want to. I really want to.

Valve just announced the Steam Deck OLED, and I’ve spent the past week testing the standard 1 TB model for review. Valve did a fantastic job not only upgrading the screen to HDR OLED, but improving the battery life, the Wi-Fi, and a handful of little things. I’m particularly charmed by its new case within a case.

So, does every Steam Deck owner need to upgrade? Not really. And should someone with direct access to a new Steam Deck OLED even consider the limited edition? Absolutely not.

And yet. And yet!

A close-up of the thumbstick on the Steam Deck OLED limited edition Photo: Valve
The back of the Steam Deck OLED limited edition Photo: Valve
The red power button on top of the Steam Deck OLED limited edition Photo: Valve

The limited edition Steam Deck OLED is the exact same as the 1 TB model, barring its very obvious aesthetic improvements. Its carrying case will also have an “exclusive design printed on the inside.” I haven’t seen said design, so I won’t comment on its pizazz.

While the standard 1 TB Steam Deck OLED will sell for $649, the limited edition will have a $30 premium, bringing it to $679. If my brain ceased to respond to self-control, I could order one. The limited edition will only be available in the U.S. and Canada.

But I will resist. It’s the holiday season, and I need to save cash for presents and travel. Of course, I get that it’s technically a limited edition, meaning the supply isn’t endless. But, c’mon — after these sell out, something tells me Valve won’t say no to making money off a not-so-limited edition in the future. Here’s hoping the Steam Deck 2 is available in a translucent colorway.

The new Steam Deck OLEDs (and the limited edition) will be available to purchase on Steam on Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. EST.

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