Does Steam Deck Have an OLED Screen?

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By Ruben Circelli | More Articles Tech & Games Editor, Manager of Tech Section Longtime tech & games writer. Former Tencent gaming analyst.
September 10, 2021  03:54 PM

Valve’s upcoming Nintendo Switch competitor the Steam Deck is set to launch later on in 2021, but in the lead-up to launch, many are wondering how it compares to both Switch as well as other gaming PCs. Will the Steam Deck, or any of its models, have an OLED screen? In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the Steam Deck’s display.

First off, what is an OLED screen? It’s a type of display that allows for incredibly dark blacks and rich contrast, which makes it a popular choice for manufacturers. Oftentimes, it’s an expensive technology, so it’s still usually most commonly seen at the tech market’s higher-end, but that’s changing day by day.

The Nintendo Switch OLED doesn’t bring many improvements with it aside from its OLED screen, which replaces the original Switch’s much more traditional LCD screen, a technology known for far worse image quality than OLED.

Related: Xbox Games Pass and Cloud Streaming Confirmed on Steam Deck

The Steam Deck, across all three of its models, does not come with an OLED screen. Instead, each model of STeam Deck is equipped with a 7-inch LCD touchscreen, much like the original Switch. While LCD is not as good as OLED, most screens are LCD screens, and you won’t be distracted by annoying poor image quality on Deck.

While the Deck may not come with an OLED screen, the device is exponentially more powerful than Nintendo Switch, so it will run games at far higher resolutions and graphical settings. This means games will look and run better on Deck than they do on Switch, by and large.

Also, it’s important to realize that Valve is positioning Deck as its own platform, and the door is open for other manufacturers to make Decks, using its proprietary software and operating system, with their own hardware, which could include an OLED display in the future.

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It’s also very possible that if successful the Steam Deck will get an OLED display in a future revision or with the Steam Deck 2, if that ever happens. OLEDs are rapidly coming down in price, and many gamers want to see them in their portable devices, so the future is bright.

For the here and now, though, you can expect deeper blacks and richer colors, in terms of the screen, on Nintendo Switch OLED. For those colors, you can expect Deck’s display to look similar to the original Nintendo Switch’s display. Though the Deck will render games differently and at higher fidelities than Switch.

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