Valve thinks the Steam Deck could be your next PC

Move over, custom-built rigs.

Image via Valve

PC gamers looking to upgrade their setup might want to consider turning to the Steam Deck instead of buying new parts in a more traditional manner, according to Valve.

“As a lot of people choose to upgrade their existing PCs, we feel fairly confident that Steam Deck will be a choice that they make,” Steam Deck designer Greg Coomer said in an interview with Katharine Castle of Rock Paper Shotgun. This statement comes after Coomer told PCGamer that the Steam Deck will have the same performance when docked and undocked, which could potentially hamper game performance on larger screens.

In the conversation with Castle, Coomer and fellow designer Lawrence Yang seemed positive about the Steam Deck’s potential as a PC replacement. They said the system can output in 4K using any HDMI to USB-C adapter and its video settings are completely adjustable, meaning that players can always turn down texture quality and other options for a better frame rate.

The concern comes from whether the Steam Deck will be able to perform as well when connected to a 1920×1080 monitor, not to mention a 4K monitor. Due to differences between the Steam Deck’s internal graphics setup and the architecture of a traditional gaming PC, the Steam Deck may not have as much power available to keep a smooth frame rate at higher resolutions. Coomer and Yang didn’t seem too concerned about it, though.

“It’s like any other PC in that way where if you push it hard in that direction, there are many games that would start to go way below our target frame rate of even 30 fps,” Coomer said.

Despite these hangups, Coomer and Yang believe that the system will be a good choice not necessarily for someone who’s buying their first PC, but for someone who’s looking to upgrade. With the cost of the dock on top of the system’s $399 price tag, though, it may not be much cheaper than an average mid-tier gaming PC.

It’s unclear if the Steam Deck is capable of truly replacing someone’s PC. Steam Decks will be released in December.