Nintendo Switch OLED vs. Steam Deck: What Should You Buy?

Multi-player focus

Nintendo Switch OLED

Power house

Steam Deck

Steam Deck product shot

The latest Nintendo Switch iteration comes with an improved stand, TV connection and removable Joy-Cons for easy multiplayer mode. It costs less than any version of Steam Deck and already has a long list of established exclusives under its belt. It may not be as powerful as Valve’s handheld device, but that’s because its focus is more on a shared user experience.

$ 350 on Best Buy


  • Long list of exclusives
  • Detachable Joy-Cons for easy multiplayer play
  • TV docking station included
  • Slightly longer battery life
  • More affordable


  • Not so powerful
  • No Bluetooth
  • Lower resolution options

Steam Deck brings PC games to handhelds, allowing people to access and play their entire Stream library from anywhere. It comes in three different versions, which cost more depending on their features. Even the base model is more powerful than the OLED Switch. It is a perfect addition for PC players and new players. However, there is no exclusivity.

From $ 400 on Steam


  • Built-in SSD
  • Three versions to choose from
  • Plays the entire Steam library
  • bluetooth
  • Far greater potential for customization


  • It costs more
  • TV connection sold separately
  • Slightly shorter battery life
  • There are no exclusive games

Valve’s Steam Deck is a powerful new handheld device coming to market later this year, while the Nintendo Switch OLED is a slightly updated version of the basic Nintendo Switch. Although they look somewhat similar, Valve’s Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch OLED are incredibly different. This is partly because of their focus, the kind of games they play and what lies beneath the plastic.

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Technical specifications

Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch

Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore

While this may look similar, the Nintendo Switch OLED and Steam Deck are very different.

Steam Deck Nintendo Switch
Price $ 400
$ 530
$ 650
$ 350
Storage 64GB
Processor AMD APU
CPU: Zen 2 4c / 8t, 2.4-3.5 GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)
GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CU, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32) APU power: 4-15W
NVIDIA custom Tegra processor
RAM 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM (5500 MT / s) 8GB
Games The whole Steam library Nintendo Switch Games
Movement controls Yes Yes
TV Dock Yes (sold separately) Yes
Screen size 7-inch touch screen 7-inch OLED touch screen
Resolution 1280 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio) Up to 720p in manual mode / up to 1080p on port
bluetooth yes (5.0) no
MicroSD slot extension Yes Yes
Battery 2-8 hours 4.5-9 hours
Size 11.7 x 4.6 x 1.9 inches 9.5 x 4 x 0.55 inches
Weight 1.47 pounds 0.71 pounds

You’ve seen the data, so now you’re probably wondering what it all means to you. Let’s dive into the comparison.

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Price

Prices for Steam Deck

Source: Valve

One of the first things you probably noticed on the chart is the price difference. Steam Deck comes in three different versions that progressively become more expensive as they become more powerful. This is the fourth Nintendo Switch variant. First there was the original Nintendo Switch, then the Nintendo Switch Lite, then the Nintendo Switch V2, and now the Nintendo Switch OLED. Regardless of the model, all versions of the Nintendo Switch cost less than any version of the Steam Deck, and come with a gaming connector on the TV (except the Switch Lite, which is only handheld and $ 100 cheaper).

Valve Steam Deck Dock Drawing

Source: Valve

Valve said Steam Deck will also have a TV docking station. However, you will need to purchase it separately. We don’t have that much information about this dock at the moment. In addition, no price for the dock is given, nor is there a release date. But if it’s something to consider according to Valve’s official concept, it looks like it will be a very subtle dock compared to the Nintendo Switch console connection. Not to mention that it looks like it will have plenty of ports for accessories and connecting other devices.

Another thing about price is the price of games. You can buy digital or physical Switch games and sometimes you can find both digital and physical copies on sale at different times of the year. Meanwhile, Steam is a completely digital platform, so you can’t find physical copies in stores. However, Steam sales make it much easier to buy games for your wallet. But overall, if you have a limited budget, Nintendo is the way to go.

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Power and focus

Nintendo Switch

Source: iMore

Steam Deck is a far more powerful console. Medium and high-end versions actually use SSD internal memory, which in itself should make the device run much easier and faster than the Switch. Just like the Nintendo Switch, the Steam Deck also has a gyroscope, or motion control and a touch screen for easy interaction. Unlike the Switch, it has additional back buttons and a trackpad on both sides under the joystick, giving players more control options.

Valve’s gaming system is aimed at Steam users who especially want to access their libraries on a powerful handheld device. If you’re not a computer player or don’t already have a Steam game library, it might not be so appealing. If you already have a large list of PC games, you will be able to play them comfortably on the couch instead of being at a computer desk.

The Nintendo Switch, on the other hand, is a much less complicated gaming system for all ages and tastes. There are many fun single-player games, but it is also designed as a split console with lots of local games or split-screen games that more people can enjoy at the same time. This shared mentality is evident in system design, where Joy-Cons can be removed for easy multi-player sessions. Just turn Joy-Con aside and he becomes an individual controller that you can pass on to a friend.

Basically, if you are new to gaming or looking for something your family will enjoy, the Nintendo Switch OLED is a great choice. The battery even lasts a little longer than the original Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck, making it a great way to entertain kids during long trips or car rides.

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Adjustment

Steam Deck screen

Source: Valve

Nintendo has very strict control over its devices and makes it difficult to even customize the home screen. There are several jailbreak options and people have found a way to use the hidden web browser on the Switch, but this is done at your own risk. You can also buy Joy-Cons in a variety of colors if you want your Switch to look more unique. Still, more work is needed to make changes to the Nintendo Switch.

Meanwhile, Steam Deck runs the Linux operating system with the Proton compatibility layer and will therefore theoretically be able to run almost anything that could run on Linux – that is, as long as users know how to do it. This opens up a lot of possibilities for Steam Deck for technically savvy users who can customize a handheld device to do almost anything a PC can. For example, you could theoretically run a web browser on a Steam Deck or install Linux-compatible software.

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Extras

Bluetooth headset and Nintendo Switch

Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore

Theoretically, Steam Deck will work with any compatible Bluetooth device, including mice, keyboards, wired / wireless headphones, combat sticks and more. That basically means you can turn it into anything. If you buy a separate docking station, it will give you additional ports and options for work. It also works with any USB device, which opens up even more possibilities.

The Nintendo Switch, on the other hand, is more limited. It works with a range of accessories made especially for it, and also has Bluetooth to connect wireless headphones to your Switch. However, most games do not support voice chat, so Bluetooth does not support microphones. You can also buy other adapters to make other controllers or devices that work with the system. For example, Xbox or PlayStation controllers.

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Subscriptions and games

Nintendo Switch Online

Source: iMore

Steam does not require a subscription to play games. Just buy the game once and then you will have access to it in your library whenever you want. If you have a multiplayer Steam game online, you just need to be connected to the internet to play it. On the other hand, Nintendo follows the usual console practice of requiring you to purchase a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to play anything online. However, when you buy the game physically or in the Nintendo eShop, you will be able to play it locally whenever you want. There’s also the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, which gives you access to select N64 and Sega Genesis games.

There are already dozens of the best Nintendo Switch games that have become popular on Switch consoles. Many of these games are exclusive to Switch including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Pokémon Sword and Shield and many more. We know that these games work well on the Switch and are very popular in this format.

Steam has been around since 2003, which means it has accumulated perhaps millions of big titles during that time, including Control, Portal 2, Hades, What Remains of Edith Finch, and more. However, we don’t know how well Steam Deck will run these games. It could be one of the best things that has ever happened to games, or it could be a big swing and a failure. In addition, there are no exclusive games for Steam Deck.

Steam Deck vs. Nintendo Switch OLED: Which ones should you buy?

Nintendo Switch Old model

Source: Nintendo

Because these game systems are so different, comparing them is a difficult task. Basically, if you are new to gaming, want to share your console with others or are looking for an easy-to-access system, the Nintendo Switch OLED is a better choice. Not to mention, it costs less than Steam’s handheld device. Compared to the original Switch and Switch Lite, it has improved battery life and has these detachable Joy-Cons for easy multiplayer wherever and whenever you want. Plus, the Nintendo Switch is an already established console with a few exclusives, so you know it won’t be a passing fad.

However, if you are already a PC player with a large library of Steam games or you want something with a fast number of frames, more memory and processing power, Steam Deck will be an ideal addition. Allows you to play your favorite PC Steam games unrelated to the table wherever you have internet access. Since it runs on Linux, it will probably be very customizable as well. It’s hard to say how much this device will work because it won’t appear until sometime in 2022, so it could be either the next best thing or a flash in the pan.

Multi-player focus

Switch Oled Product Shot

Nintendo Switch OLED

Improved switch

The OLED Switch brings several welcome changes to the original Nintendo Switch, including a LAN port, a longer stand, 64 GB of internal memory and an improved screen. Works with all Nintendo Switch games.

Power house

Steam Deck product shot

Steam Deck

Powerful handheld device

Valve’s new hardware allows you to play your entire Steam library from anywhere you have a good internet connection. It comes in three versions with different degrees of internal memory and processing power.

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Naveen Kumar

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