Steam Deck VS Nintendo Switch OLED: Complete Comparison

Updated On: Categorized as Gaming
steam deck vs nintendo

Valve finally launched its portable console and is known as Steam Deck. And on the other hand, you must be thinking about how it’s different from Nintendo Switch OLED.

Well, one thing everyone knows is that Valve released the Steam Deck on 25th Feb 2022 whereas the Nintendo Switch OLED is in the market since 8th October 2021.

But some of you who haven’t bought a Nintendo Switch OLED or are looking to replace it with a Steam Deck then we will be giving you a closer look at the differences they both have such as size, price, performance, availability, and much more

Steam Deck VS Nintendo Switch OLED: Complete Comparison
Steam DeckNintendo Switch OLED
Price $399, $529, $649$350
Dimensions 11.7 x 4.6 x 1.9 in (298 x 117 x 49mm)4 x 9.5 x 0.6 in (102 x 241 x 15.2 mm)
Weight23.6 oz (669g)14.9 oz (422g)
ControlsTouch, dual trackpads with haptic feedback, buttons, triggers, thumbsticksTouch, removable Joy-Con controllers with triggers, thumbsticks, button
Screen7 in. IPS, 1,280 x 800, 400 nits, 60Hz7 in. OLED, 1,280 x 720 (1,920 x 1080 external)
Memory 16GB soldered LPDDR54 GB
ProcessorAMD APU with quad-core Zen 2 CPU, 8 compute-unit RDNA 2 GPU (4-15w)Nvidia Tegra X1
ConnectorsUSB-C for external display (8K at 60Hz or 4K at 120Hz), charging and dock/peripheralsUSB-C for charging and dock
Storage64GB eMMC or 256-512GB SSD, micro SD (UHS-1) expansion slot64GB, micro SD expansion slot (up to 2TB), Nintendo Switch game cards
Connectivity
Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.1
AudioStereo speakers, dual mics, 3.5mm combo analogStereo speakers, 5.1 surround via HDMI, 3.5mm combo analog
Operating System SteamOS 3.0 (Linux)Nintendo proprietary
Battery 40Wh (rated at approx. 7-8 hours)4,310 mAh (rated at approx. 4.5-9 hours)
Upgradable
Game compatibility 444 verified as of Feb. 27, 2021More than 5,000
OtherSix-axis positioning gyroMultiangle kickstand, accelerometer, gyro

Price and Availability

There is a total of three versions available of Steam Deck and their prize varies according to the storage size.

Nintendo Switch OLED

$349.99 USD for the 64GB
version

Steam
Deck

$399 USD for the 64GB
version

  • Steam Deck specced with 256GB of NVMe storage for $529 USD / £459 GBP comes with more and faster storage as well as an exclusive Steam Community profile bundle and the aforementioned carrying case
  • And $649 USD / £569 GBP for 512GB which offers the fastest storage with its high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4). This version comes with a premium, anti-glare, etched glass screen; a unique carrying case.
steam deck all you need to know

Whereas the Nintendo Switch OLED comes in two versions. One comes with white Joy-Con controllers, while the other comes with neon red-and-blue Joy-Cons. The system costs $350 and you only get 64GB of internal storage, you can also use a micro SD card to upgrade to 2TB.

Coming to the availability then Steam Deck is only available on the Steam Deck store and can be reserved for a $5 (£4) deposit. That $5 deposit will go toward the cost of the Steam Deck if you do decide to follow through and order one. It’ll be refunded if you change your mind and decide to cancel.

But the Nintendo Switch OLED is widely available on every online store and retailer shop too.

Nintendo OLED vs Steam Deck

Steam Deck VS Nintendo Switch OLED: Specs and Performance

When it comes to specs and performance then Steam Deck beats the Nintendo Switch OLED in every way such as the Nintendo continuing to use the Nvidia Tegra X1 chipset with the Maxwell architecture for its GPU. The Nintendo Switch only has 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM.

Whereas the SteamDeck with a Linux-based operating system based on SteamOS, Deck is less like a handheld gaming console and more like a fully-functional PC as the Steam Deck uses a custom-designed “APU”, a combination CPU-GPU architecture built by AMD. The CPU is the equivalent of a Zen 2 laptop processor with a 4/8 core setup of primary and secondary cores maxing out at 3.5GHz. The GPU is an integrated 8-core RDNA 2 design, some of the same architecture used in the latest consoles like the PS5 and Radeon graphics cards.

So, it’s clear that the Steam Deck performance is far better than the Switch OLED.

However, the Nintendo Switch beats the Steam Deck in one area and that is the battery life that is also a major concern of many users.

The Nintendo OLED can have 4.5 and 9 hours of gameplay and if you are playing a high fps game it can last for 4.5 hours.

But on the other hand, Valve claims that

Steam Deck’s onboard 40 watt-hour battery provides several hours of playtime for most games. For lighter use cases like game streaming, smaller 2D games, or web browsing, you can expect to get a maximum battery life of approximately 7-8 hours.

And when playing a high fps game on Deck your battery will drain out to 2 hours of time only.

So, the Steam Deck is more suited to gaming at home or in a hotel room rather than killing time during a commute or flight.

Design and Display

Both the consoles are somewhat similar in these categories as they are both handheld consoles, optimized to run modern games. Both the devices are rectangular in shape and have a 7-inch screen display.

However, the switch has a 720p resolution while the Steam Deck’s LCD screen supports a slightly higher 1280 x 800 resolution.

Steam Deck also features a trackpad on either side as for PC gaming it acts as a mouse and has a built-in mic too whereas you won’t find both the features in Nintendo Switch OLED.

The Steam Deck is a lot bigger in size as it’s about 11.7 x 4.6 x 1.9 inches, which is just 9.4 inches wide with approximately the same sized screen for the OLED model of Nintendo and if you want to be more precise than the Steam Deck is approximately two Xbox controllers wide.

Steam Deck VS Nintendo Switch OLED: Complete Comparison

Supported Games

As there are tens of thousands of games on the Steam platform but the company can’t test them all the same time but there are some famous title games being tested right now that will run on Steam Deck.

Whereas the Nintendo Switch OLED also has a huge game library such as Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and the most famous of all is Fortnite which will not be available on Steam Deck.

But despite the Steam Deck being incapable of playing every single Steam game, which the Switch can’t compete with.

Steam Deck VS Nintendo Switch OLED: Outlook

For now, it’s impossible to tell which console is the best because both of them have their own differences such as Detachable Joy-Cons for easy multiplayer, and these you won’t get in Steam Deck and you have to connect it directly tour monitor or TV.

Although we know that the OLED has been already in the market and its sales are increasing day by day but you never know as the Steam Deck is available on its own store as they are still testing some games for the users to play.

On the other hand, Steam Deck is targeting PC gamers as it’s more like a gaming console and a fully-functional PC too which you can’t find in the Nintendo Switch OLED that is limited to its own game library.

But the Steam Deck will give a tough competition to Nintendo as many wishes to play modern AAA third-party games without reliance on the cloud which the OLED doesn’t offer.

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