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Gabe Newell: Pricing Valve’s Switch-Like Steam Deck Was “Painful”

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In case you missed it, Valve’s rumoured “Switch-like” handheld device has now been officially revealed as the Steam Deck.

While the American company best-known for its digital games platform on PC hasn’t drawn any comparisons to Nintendo’s hybrid system itself, it’s sort of hard to ignore certain similarities and the fact the price point is only $50 more than the recently announced Switch OLED.

During a chat with IGN, Valve’s president Gabe Newell mentioned how crucial it was to find the balance between performance and pricing when designing the Steam Deck. While performance was the top priority, unfortunately, the trade-off was what Newell refers to as a “painful” price point:

“I want to pick this up and say, oh, it all works. It’s all fast. It’s all… and then price point was secondary and painful. But that was pretty clearly a critical aspect to it.”

In a hands-on video, IGN compared the tech inside the system within the “ballpark” of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 – while demonstrating games like Control, Death Stranding and Doom Eternal running on it. Admittedly it’s light years ahead of the Switch in terms of the kind of games it’ll be able to run, and yet it’s only $50 more than an OLED model.

If Valve gets it right, Newell believes this new device – which the company has described as a “small PC”, could go onto potentially sell millions of units:

“So our view is, if we’re doing this right, then we’re going to be selling these millions of units.”

Just yesterday, Bloomberg released a report claiming Switch OLED upgrades cost Nintendo around $10 more per unit.

What are your own thoughts about the $399 / £349 starting price of the Steam Deck compared to Nintendo’s Switch pricing? Do you think Nintendo has anything to be worried about? Leave your thoughts down below.


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