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Nvidia is “getting serious” about making Steam Deck rivals

Following in the footsteps of both AMD and Intel, Nvidia is apparently working on a "premium" handheld PC device powered by a GeForce GPU.

An image of Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, in which he is holding a Steam Deck tinted green

The popularity of the Steam Deck and other handheld gaming PCs has undoubtedly proven to be a massive boon for AMD, but Nvidia has remained conspicuously absent from the market. This could be set to change, though, as new rumors claim that an Nvidia handheld is in the works.

Practically all the best handheld gaming PCs use AMD APUs, with the first real alternatives based on Intel chips set to arrive later his year. There are challenges unique to Nvidia that somewhat explain the company’s absence in this space, but it seems that team green may be ready to work with one of its competitors to realize its vision of a Steam Deck competitor.

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Speaking to insiders at the company, YouTuber Moore’s Law Is Dead (MLID) claims that “Nvidia is getting serious about making more handheld gaming devices with their graphics IP (intellectual property) in them.” Should such a device materialize, it would make it the first Nvidia-powered handheld since the Nintendo Switch.

While the Nintendo Switch 2 looks to also use Nvidia silicon, further comments by MLID make it plain that the company’s ambitions extend beyond the console market. “Nvidia is worried they’re missing a boat here and I have been told directly that they are looking into working with somebody on a premium handheld gaming device.”

This partner’s identity isn’t clear right now, but it is possible that Asus, for example, could release a new handheld with a GeForce GPU alongside a successor the ROG Ally. In order to do so, however, Nvidia would need a partner to provide a processor, as the company doesn’t have a licence to manufacture x86 CPUs, unlike AMD and Intel.

MLID shares that “I have heard that [Nvidia] may even partner with Intel to make a premium gaming handheld,” which would circumvent the x86 roadblock for the company. Any device produced by this partnership, however, would require heatsinks akin to those found in the best gaming laptops, as the CPU and GPU would now be separated.

Whatever form is taken by this Nvidia handheld, if any, it will be “years from now” before we see it hit store shelves, according to MLID. In that time, I imagine the Steam Deck 2 and a host of other handhelds will have made their way to the market. Suffice it to say, there is plenty to look forward to if you are as excited as me about prospective pocket rockets.