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Battle of the Consoles: Steam Deck vs PS5

The Steam Deck and the PlayStation 5 (PS5) are two of the most popular gaming devices on the market, and if you’re trying to choose between them that can be a problem! It’s easy to be overwhelmed with information, but the main differences are pretty clear.

While the PS5 is a graphics powerhouse compared to the Steam Deck, both consoles offer vast game libraries and outstanding performance. While the Steam Deck is portable, the PS5 is tethered to a TV and costs more, especially if you already have a large Steam library.

The opportunity cost of going with one option over the other can be daunting, so, let’s look at the differences of these consoles in more detail so you can make the best decision!

What’s Special About the Steam Deck?

Steam Deck

Valve’s Steam Deck has been making waves in the gaming community since its announcement, and for good reason. We’ve looked at comparing the PS5 to the Xbox before, but the Steam Deck is so unique that this conversation gets really interesting, starting with:

Design and Features

The Steam Deck boasts a sleek and modern design, with a 7-inch touchscreen display and ergonomic controls that provide a comfortable gaming experience. It also features a built-in gyroscope and accelerometer, which allows for motion controls in certain games.

Additionally, the Steam Deck includes a USB-C port for charging and accessories, a microSD slot for expandable storage, and a headphone jack for audio output. One of the most exciting features of the Steam Deck is its ability to run Steam games, which opens up a vast library of games to play on the go.

Hardware and Performance

Under the hood, the Steam Deck is powered by a custom AMD APU that combines a quad-core Zen 2 CPU with an RDNA 2 GPU. It also features 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and a choice of three storage options: 64GB eMMC, 256GB NVMe SSD, and 512GB NVMe SSD.

The device runs on Valve’s own SteamO, which is based on Linux and optimized for gaming. According to Valve, the Steam Deck is capable of running the latest AAA games at 30+ FPS and 720p resolution, making it a powerful handheld gaming device.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Steam Deck’s hardware is its cooling system. Valve has designed a unique cooling solution that uses a vapor chamber and a heat sink to dissipate heat, allowing the device to run at high performance without overheating. In my experience, the Steam Deck runs smoothly and quietly, even during intensive gaming sessions.

Overall, the Steam Deck is a revolutionary device that offers a new way to play PC games on the go. Its sleek design, versatile features, and powerful hardware make it a standout product in the gaming market.

What Sets the PS5 Apart?

The PS5 is a sleek and futuristic-looking console that stands out from its competitors. We’ve poured attention into this console in line with user demand, and you can get a sense of just how much research we’ve done on it from our ultimate PS5 buyers guide. Let’s look at the key differentiators of this console:

Design and Features

Its unique design features a two-tone color scheme with white and black accents, and its curved edges give it a modern appeal. The console also comes with a matching DualSense controller that has haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, which provide a more immersive gaming experience. The PS5 also has a built-in microphone and a camera that can be used for video calls and streaming.

The PS5 has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate. The console features a customizable home screen that allows users to organize their games and apps in a way that makes sense to them. The PS5 also has a variety of entertainment options, including streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, and a built-in media player that supports 4K Blu-ray discs.

Hardware and Performance

The PS5 is a powerful console that boasts impressive hardware and performance. It has a custom AMD Zen 2 processor with 8 cores and a clock speed of 3.5 GHz, as well as a custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 36 compute units and a clock speed of 2.23 GHz. The console also has 16 GB of GDDR6 RAM and a custom 825 GB SSD that provides lightning-fast load times.

The PS5 supports ray tracing, which enhances the visual quality of games by simulating the behavior of light in real-time. It also supports 4K gaming at 60 frames per second, and some games can even run at 120 frames per second. The PS5 also has a feature called Game Boost, which allows some PS4 games to run at higher frame rates and resolutions on the PS5.

Overall, the PS5 is a powerful and versatile console that offers a wide range of features and capabilities. While it may be more expensive than some of its competitors, its hardware and performance make it a top choice for serious gamers.

Comparing Steam Deck vs PS5

A Close-Up Shot of a Steam Deck with a Case

We’ll look at these in more detail below, but for now, here’s a quick summary table of how these consoles compare on some key details:

FeatureSteam DeckPS5
Price$399 (on Amazon)$499 (on Amazon)
Game LibraryAccess to entire Steam library and other platformsWell-established game library with exclusive titles, console-exclusives
PortabilityCompact form factor and built-in batteryNot designed for portability
Graphics1.6 TFLOPS*10.28 TFLOPS*
PerformanceSlower load times and less smooth gameplay than PS5 (on graphic intensive titles)Faster load times and smoother gameplay than Steam Deck (on graphic intensive titles)
Display Options7-inch touchscreen display with 1280 x 800 resolution and HDR output support4K resolution and HDR output support
*See Graphics section


When it comes to price, the Steam Deck has a significant advantage over the PS5. The Steam Deck starts at ~$400 (on Amazon) when it’s in supply, while the PS5 starts at ~$500 (on Amazon). Both are much more expensive when out of stock.

This makes the Steam Deck a generally more affordable option for gamers who want to experience high-quality gaming on the go without breaking the bank.

Game Library

The PS5 has a well-established game library with exclusive titles that are not available on other platforms. On top of that, it has tons of back-catalog titles that are backward compatible with the console. However, the Steam Deck has access to the entire Steam library, which includes thousands of games, including many popular titles.

Additionally, the Steam Deck can run games from other platforms like Epic Games Store, GOG, and Origin, making it a versatile gaming device.


The Steam Deck is designed to be portable, with a compact form factor that makes it easy to carry around. It weighs just 669 grams, making it lighter than the PS5, which weighs around 4.5 kg. It also has a built-in 40Whr battery that can provide up to 8 hours of gameplay on a single charge, making it perfect for long gaming sessions on the go.

Needless to say, the PS5 isn’t portable in the classic sense…unless you have a portable battery for it and a portable TV as well! This option does exist for extreme users, but, suffice to say you shouldn’t plan to simply take your PS5 along with you places!


The PS5 has a more powerful GPU than the Steam Deck, with 10.28 TFLOPS of computing power compared to the Steam Deck’s 1.6 TFLOPS. Both have 16GB of memory, though the PS5s is of a faster variety, and on the output front PS5 can support up to 4k while the Steam deck is limited to FHD, 1280 x 800.

There isn’t really a hard spec that the PS5 doesn’t outperform the Steam Deck on, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. While graphics are obviously better on the PS5, the performance just isn’t apples-to-apples here. Running 4k to a big screen doesn’t cost as much power as running FHD to a 7in panel, so, the direct power comparison shouldn’t be you’re biggest factor.


As discussed above, he PS5 has an edge over the Steam Deck when it comes to performance, with faster load times and smoother gameplay. However, the Steam Deck can still deliver a great gaming experience, especially when it comes to playing games on the go. The Steam Deck also has a faster SSD than most gaming laptops, which can help reduce load times.

Performance, really, is in the eye of the beholder. On the games you want to play, is the performance difference meaningful? If so, let this effect your decision. If not, ignore it!

Display Options

The PS5 supports 4K resolution and can deliver stunning visuals on a compatible display. The Steam Deck has a 7-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, which is lower than the PS5’s resolution. However, the Steam Deck’s display is still capable of delivering high-quality visuals, and it also supports HDR.

Why Do Users Switch?

As people who have played games on both the Steam Deck and PS5, we can tell you that there are a variety of reasons why users may switch from one platform to another. One of the most common reasons is simply a desire for a change of pace. After spending months or even years playing games on one platform, it can be refreshing to switch things up and try something new.

Another reason why users may switch from the PS5 to the Steam Deck is the portability factor. While the PS5 is a powerful console with impressive specs, it’s not exactly easy to take on the go. The Steam Deck, on the other hand, is a handheld device that allows you to play your favorite games anywhere, whether you’re on a plane, a train, or just sitting in your backyard.

Of course, there are also some users who switch from the Steam Deck to the PS5. One reason for this is the fact that the PS5 has a larger library of exclusive games. While the Steam Deck has access to a wide variety of games through Steam, there are some titles that are only available on the PS5. For gamers who are looking for the latest and greatest exclusives, the PS5 may be the better choice.

Finally, it’s worth noting that some users may switch between the Steam Deck and PS5 depending on the type of game they want to play. For example, if you’re in the mood for a fast-paced shooter or action game, the Steam Deck’s portability and versatility may make it the better choice. However, if you’re looking for a more immersive experience with stunning graphics and sound, the PS5 may be the way to go.

Is the PS5 or Steam Deck Right For You?


After comparing the PS5 and Steam Deck, you might still be wondering which one is right for you.

If you’re a gamer who values portability and wants to play games on-the-go, then the Steam Deck is the clear winner. Its handheld design allows you to take your games with you wherever you go, and its library of games is constantly expanding. Plus, the Steam Deck’s ability to run PC games means that you’ll have access to a wider variety of games than you would with the PS5.

On the other hand, if you’re a gamer who prioritizes high-quality graphics and wants to play the latest AAA titles, then the PS5 is the better choice. Its powerful hardware and exclusive games make it the ideal console for those who want to experience the best that gaming has to offer.

Additionally, the PS5’s backward compatibility with PS4 games means that you’ll have access to a large library of games right from the start.

If you’re someone who enjoys playing games with friends and family, then the PS5 might be the better choice for you. Its split-screen and local co-op features make it easy to play games with others, while the Steam Deck’s handheld design makes it more difficult to share the gaming experience with others.

Ultimately, the decision between the PS5 and Steam Deck comes down to your individual preferences and priorities as a gamer. If you value portability and access to a wide variety of games, then the Steam Deck is the way to go. But if you prioritize high-quality graphics and exclusive titles, then the PS5 is the better choice. Either way, both consoles offer unique gaming experiences that are sure to satisfy any type of gamer.