Two weeks prior to its official release, Valve has published the CAD files for its Steam Deck console’s exterior shell to GitHub, under a Creative Commons License, saying “Hello! Good news for all the tinkerers, modders, accessory manufacturers, or folks who just want to 3D print a Steam Deck to see how it feels.”
This enables gaming accessory manufacturers, modders, as well as DIY enthusiasts to use the drawing and schematics to 3D-print custom shells of the device.
The CAD files, however, enable users only to build a shell for the Deck, and not the entire Deck itself. They include STP models, STL models, as well as drawings of the device for reference.
The move is in sharp contrast to Sony with its PlayStation 5 console, with the company taking legal action against third-party vendors selling replacement covers for the console, ensuring that users purchase only officially licensed ones.
Valve, on the other hand, allowing customers to 3D print shells of the device, said that that company was “looking forward to seeing what the community creates!”
Steam Deck key specifications
The Steam Deck’s specifications were released by Valve alongside the actual console itself, and suggest that it is the most powerful, full-featured handheld gaming console in the market.
It is powered by a quad-core AMD Zen 2 CPU, with a clock speed of 2.4 to 3.5 GHz, and a 16GB LPDDR5 ram. It also features an AMD RDNA 2 GPU unit with a 1 to 1.6GHz clock speed.
The Steam Deck is available with three in-built storage options – a 64GB eMMC, a 256GB NVMe SSD, or a 512GB NVMe SSD. The device’s storage can also be expanded via a microSD card.
The handheld console features a 7-inch LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 1280X800 and a 60Hz resolution rate. For audio, it features stereo speakers with embedded DSP and dual mics, as well as a USB Type-C port and Bluetooth connectivity.
Image credit: Valve
The Steam Deck features triggers on the side, four buttons on the back which can be customised by users for inputs, as well as two thumbsticks, and trackpads, which enable users to play PC games never designed for handheld consoles.
It packs a 40Whr battery which Valve claims can support anywhere between two and eight hours of gameplay.
In addition to being a handheld console, the Steam Deck also acts like a PC and can be plugged into a monitor or television, as well as be connected with external joysticks, a mouse or keyboard. Users can also install Windows on the device if they prefer not to use SteamOS, Valve’s Linux-based operating system. A compatibility tool named Protos also allows users to play games built for Windows on the console.
Pricing and availability
The Steam Deck Console retails for $399 for the 64GB version, $529 for the 256GB version, and $649 for the 512GB version. Though the device is slated for launch on February 25, it won’t be available for everyone to purchase starting the same day though.
Valve will start emailing customers who pre-booked the console on February 25. The latter will have three days to purchase the device from the receipt of their order email before the reservation moves to the next person in the queue.
Steam Deck devices will start being delivered starting February 28, with a small batch of new order emails being released each week.
Customers can receive the console by putting down a $5 deposit, which will be refunded in case a customer decides to cancel their purchase.
It is currently available for reservation only in the USA, UK, Canada and the European Union. It is not being sold in stores or e-commerce websites either and can be purchased only from Valve directly.