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New Steam Deck OLED is a super rare “experiment”

Valve reveals its new Steam Deck OLED, an improved handheld gaming PC with better battery life, connectivity, and a colorful rare edition.

Steam Deck OLED: Valve's new Steam Deck OLED in its limited translucent color against a backdrop grid of Steam games

The Steam Deck is about to be bigger and better than ever with Valve’s release of a new OLED model, featuring improved battery life and more. If you’re like me, then you take Steam’s handheld gaming computer with you wherever you go, whether that be on a long-distance trip or a simple train ride. Due to such heavy usage, I’ve questioned how the Steam Deck can grow to create an even better gaming experience on the go, and Valve’s new OLED model offers a colorful, rare answer.

With the Steam Deck OLED, we have all of the predecessor’s capabilities and then some as it packs better battery life, a larger high dynamic range OLED screen, updated thermals, WiFi 6E, and more. The stunning new handheld PC also arrives alongside a limited edition translucent model, which Valve describes as “an experiment for our team.”

With a fresh see-through exterior and bright orange trimming, the limited edition OLED offers a more colorful, rare way to enjoy PC games. The company says it was “only able to make a small quantity” of the limited edition, hoping for a large demand and a “successful experiment” that will lead to “more colorways in the future.” That’s right, we may see other colorful designs later on.

This OLED comes in just two size options, with 512gb storage or 1tb storage. You’ll still be able to purchase the older 256gb Steam Deck LCD model, but Valve is slowly phasing the 512gb and 1tb LCD models out. If you’re concerned about the need for new accessories with the OLED, the team reassures “there is no difference in accessory compatibility between Steam Deck and Steam Deck OLED.”

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The Steam Deck OLED release date is Thursday, November 16, but you won’t be able to buy the limited edition yourself unless you’re in Canada or the United States. Those of us located elsewhere will have to wait a bit longer as Valve notes the rarer new console is not yet available in other regions.

One account can purchase one Steam Deck OLED at launch. Valve will lift this restriction once it’s confident it can “meet demand.” If you’re as unlucky as I usually am, then you may also find that the OLED sells out before you can snag it for yourself. Don’t worry though, as Valve says it will “switch to a reservation queue” if the company runs out of stock.

I find that the Steam Deck is the best way to enjoy PC games on the go, or even in comfier spots around the house. Snuggle up with the console in bed, and you’ll understand. With a 30-50% better battery life and more efficient cooling, the OLED sounds like it’ll be perfect both during cozy days at home and travel-heavy trips away from the house. All I need now is a pink version to follow the limited edition translucent Steam Deck OLED.

After you’re done reading our Steam Deck OLED review, be sure to browse through our roundup of the best Steam Deck docks around right now. Alternatively, you can look around our in-depth guide on the best microSD card for Steam Deck to further upgrade Valve’s original model and get the most out of its limited storage space.