For avid gamers and streamers alike, the launch of new devices is always an exciting moment.
But the dual launch of new products from Valve and Elgato this week has been led to a great deal of confusion over who made what, when and what makes the two products different.
In short, it would seem to be an unfortunate coincidence that the two products, one called Stream Deck and the other called Steam Deck, were launched on exactly the same day by two different manufacturers.
With Valve being a huge name in gaming and technology as the creator of online cloud gaming network and distribution platform, Steam, the much-awaited drop of its new handheld console has been somewhat marred by the simultaneous release of consumer tech product manufacturer Elgato’s new device.
Here’s what you need to know about these two very different (but very similarly named) devices and further information about their features, prices and how to pre-order.
What is Stream Deck and who made it?
First and foremost, Stream Deck is the device created by Elgato – the German company producing consumer technology products popular with streamers and creators online such as ring lights, special streaming PCs, cam links for live broadcasting, microphones and more.
The new update to their existing Stream Deck device, Stream Deck MK.2, was released on July 15 as one of nine products launched by the company, but the MK.2 version of its existing streaming control device was probably the most anticipated product among them.
The device functions almost like a remote for streamers, with an interface of different apps available to let them change the lighting, control music and comments, access social media and more of for streams in real-time.
With plugins for Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Spotify, Philips Hue, Streamlabs and more, Stream Deck hosts a range of different features designed to help streamers up their game.
How is it different to Valve’s Steam Deck?
As a device produced purely to help streamers manage streamline their workflow and control the range of apps and tools they require to create seamless transitions, sketches, reactions and more, Stream Deck is a far cry from Valve’s new device.
The Steam-producer hinted at the reveal of its own Nintendo Switch-like handheld console for gameplay last year, but finally announced the product in the form of Steam Deck on Thursday July 15.
In other words, the two products couldn’t be more different – with Valve’s offering allowing gamers to enjoy Steam’s game, network and connect and play with other users on a handheld device.
Elgato’s Stream Deck MK.2 is available to buy from Elgato’s website for the price of £139.99, with an additional £9.99 cost for a new, optional faceplate that comes in a variety of designs if you wish to make a change from the plain black version that comes with the full-price purchase.
Stream Deck MK.2 is also available to pre-order from Amazon, with the item being released on July 25.
When does Valve’s Steam Deck come out and how much will it cost?
Valve’s device will not be officially released for another six months, with Steam Deck set to ship from December 2021.
With prices starting at £349, the console is more expensive than the original Nintendo Switch model priced at around £280 and its new OLED 7-inch screen model scheduled for release on October 8.
But while some might see the price as slightly eye-watering for a small handheld console, Steam Deck reportedly packs a particularly greater punch in functioning as essentially a portable PC.
Steam Deck will allow users to access Steam and play triple-A games like Grand Theft Auto V, Fortnite and Call of Duty on its portable device with storage options ranging between 64GB to a 512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD, the price of which will set users back £569.00.
You can also plug it into your TV or monitor and connect it to a Bluetooth mouse or keyboard.
Reservations will open for Steam Deck from 5pm GMT on Friday July 16 (10am PDT).
To register and find out more, visit: https://store.steampowered.com/steamdeck