Steam Deck development kits begin shipping

One of the coolest things to happen in gaming in a long time, at least for those who enjoy gaming on the PC was the Steam Deck. It's been a while since the device was announced, and Steam has finally confirmed that development kits are beginning to ship. Steam shared some images from behind the scenes showing Steam Deck development kits being packaged up to ship out to partners.

Steam says the kits are engineering verification test builds meant to provide developers with devices identical to those that will ship to end-users. However, Steam notes that it is still in the final stages of developing device. As with all development kits, the goal is to put hardware in the hands of developers so they can ensure the games work as intended.

An ecosystem is required for launching a new product like the Steam Deck, it's not just the hardware, software is just as important. While Steam makes no indication of exactly how many development kits it's ready to ship, one of the images shows numerous boxes presumably ready to go out the door.

For those unfamiliar with the Steam Deck, it looks quite similar to the Nintendo Switch but is designed to play PC games. There are certainly portable gaming laptops on the market today, but Steam Deck takes portability to a completely new level. Back in July, specifications of the device highlighted an AMD Zen 2 CPU, 16 gigabytes of RAM, and two storage options.

Those options included a 256-gigabyte NVMe SSD or a 64-gigabyte eMMC storage drive. All versions have a microSD card slot for storage expansion. The screen is a seven-inch LCD that supports touch with 1280 x 800 native resolution. It also has integrated controls with those six and a pair of square trackpads. Buttons for controlling games are located on the front and back. Pricing for the 64 gigabytes version is $399, with the 256 gigabytes version at $529 alone or $649 with an accessory bundle.