Developed and marketed by Valve, Steam Deck is a portable gaming console. While the PlayStation 5 (PS5) is a home video game console by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Valve released the Steam Deck on February 25, 2022, while PS5 is in the market since November 12th, 2020. Both gaming consoles come packed with robust processors, fast SSDs, and several other cutting-edge functionalities. Still many gaming enthusiasts are confused which one to buy?  

In this article, we have reviewed both gaming consoles in a detailed manner to give you comprehensive insights about both devices. So, without any further delay, let’s get started.  

What is Steam Deck?  

Steam Deck is a handheld gaming PC by Valve corporation and introduced in the market on 25 February 2022. Aligned to work as a portable gaming desktop, Steam Deck can either be used as a mini gaming PC or it can be used as an external monitor. The x86-64-v3 device uses its open platform to support a range of compatible games from other operating systems. The Valve’s console presents in-built gaming controls to let you play a wide-range of Windows PC games through Linux-based Proton compatibility layer.

What is PlayStation 5?  

Developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment, PlayStation 5 is a home video game console. It is launched on 12 November 2019 as a successor to its previous version - PlayStation 4. The PS5 belongs to the 9th generation of video game consoles, such as Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S consoles. Sony Entertainment has launched two variants of PS5 which are different to each other in terms of disc drive and price.  

Standard Play Station 5  

The standard version of PlayStation 5 comes with 4K ultra-HD Blu-ray player. It will let you play your favourite games from physical disks as well as streaming movies on Ultra-High-Definition resolution. It means that you get the liberty of trade-in games after you have played them and can exchanged them with your friends as well. In addition to that, you can play almost all PS4 disk games on PS5 through backward compatibility.  

Digital Edition PlayStation 5 

As the name indicates, Digital Edition of PS5 has no disc drive. It implies that you will have to digitally purchase all the games you want to play. Moreover, you will only have the conveyance to stream media rather than playing it from the drive. However, Digital PlayStation 5 will cost you around £90 less than the standard variant. Thus, it is an ideal choice for budgeted gamers and media freaks. 

Steam Deck VS PlayStation 5 

Having done with brief intros of both gaming consoles, now let’s do a head-to-head comparison of these two gaming PCs-like consoles.  

Hardware Performance  

When it comes to performance, both Steam Deck and PlayStation 5 are equally competent. The Steam Deck takes power from its Linux-based operating system - SteamOS which makes it less like a gaming console and more like a full-fledged gaming desktop. It utilises a custom APU which is a combination of processor-graphics card built by AMD. The CPU of the Steam Deck is as fast as a Zen 2 laptop and presents boost clock speeds up to 3.5GHz. And the GPU of the handheld gaming PC supplies vibrant graphics with its octa-core RDNA 2 architecture.  

Talking about PlayStation 5, it carries forward a Zen 2 architecture-enabled custom-built AMD processor. It gives you processing speeds up to 3.5GHz, like Steam Deck. However, the point of difference between the two devices lies in the fact that PS5 has more threads than Valve’s console. In comparison to 4/8 threads of Steam console, PS5 has 8/16 threads, pushing the latter one to perform way better than the first one.  

Design  

As far as the design is concerned, both these gaming consoles and fundamentally different from each other. Steam Deck is a portable gaming console which can be recharged and then used for gaming on-the-go. While PlayStation 5 has been designed to be used as a home gaming console. You can connect it to a power supply and then use it for gaming as long as you want.  

In terms of display, PS5 overruns Steam Deck 2K display with its screen, supporting 4K resolution. However, many users complain that PS5 gets overheated when they play games on 4K resolution for a long time. Another similarity between PS5 and Valve’s consoles is the 60Hz display of both devices. Hence, no matter which device you opt for, an immersive in-game experience is guaranteed.  

Compatible Games  

Although Steam Store has a wide assortment of console games that you can play on your Steam Deck. However, as the device is relatively new, the Volve testing team cannot test all the games at the same time. Hence, you may encounter some functionality issues while playing these games, although the chances are quite low. Most popular Steam compatible console games include Elder King, God of War, Hades, and Vampires Survivors.  

Coming to PlayStation 5 console, it puts forward a huge and versatile collection of PS5 games. You can either download them from the PlayStation store or any retail gaming accessories store. And the best part is you can play all PS4 games on your latest PlayStation 5. The good news for Steam Deck lovers is that you can also play these games on your portable gaming device and at a quite lower price than a PS5.  

Steam Deck VS PlayStation 5: Who Wins? 

As both Steam Deck and PlayStation 5 have their own differences, it’s difficult to tell which one is the clear winner. Play Station features PS5 DualSense controllers for easy multiplayer which you can’t get in Steam Deck. On the other hand, Steam Deck gives you the ease of gaming on-the-go being a handheld gaming console. It is something you cannot get with PS5 which is a home gaming console and needs constant power supply for its operation.  

Ultimately, it all comes down to your own preferences. If you are a gamer who loves to play games wherever you go, Steam Deck is the way to go. However, if you want to enjoy home gaming with the additional support for PS4 games, going for PlayStation 5 would be a wiser choice. Depending upon your gaming preferences, you can make either of the two choices.