Valve Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED

The main difference between the Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch OLED is that the Steam Deck is significantly more powerful than the Switch. It also has a higher-resolution display, making it better for gaming on the go. However, the Switch is cheaper and has a larger library of games.

But the comparison does not end there. There are a lot of areas to consider when it comes to comparing these two best portable gaming devices. Gamers want to know what sets apart Steam Deck, a handheld gaming PC by Valve from the Nintendo Switch OLED.

In this article, we will dive deeper into the different areas to help you conclude which device is better based on the areas that you think have a higher weight than the others.

Whether you are deciding which to buy between the two or just want to know in general the difference between Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch OLED, this article will provide you with all the information that you need.

So, here are the differences between Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch OLED.

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Pricing

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED Pricing comparison

Steam Deck vs Switch OLED when it comes to price as mentioned before has put Switch OLED on the cheaper side than Steam Deck. Nintendo Switch OLED costs $349.99 while Steam Deck has varying prices depending on the storage capacity as follows:

  • $399 (64GB)
  • $529 (256GB)
  • $649 (512GB)

If you are on a budget, you might be leaning toward Nintendo Switch OLED now but before you decide, there are areas where Steam Deck makes up for its price. Continue scrolling to see more of the difference between the two.

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Design and Portability

Design and Portability

When it comes to design, both devices as sleek and portable. But, the Nintendo Switch dimension is a bit more compact and can be taken with you wherever you go. The Steam Deck portable gaming device, on the other hand, is a bit bulkier but still manageable.

Nintendo Switch OLED weight at approximately 0.93 lbs (0.4 kg) is also less heavy than Steam Deck weight at 1.93 lbs (0.9 kg).

Both devices feature a rectangular design with face buttons and an analog stick on the right side while the left side has another analog stick and directional buttons.

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Display and Graphics

Display and Graphics comparison

Both the Nintendo Switch OLED and the Valve Steam Deck screen size offer a 7-inch display. However, the resolution of the Steam Deck resolution is slightly higher at 1280x800px compared to the Switch’s 1280x720px.

The Steam Deck GPU is powered by 8 RDNA 2 while the Switch is powered by an NVIDIA Custom Tegra GPU. The Steam Deck RDNA 2 GPU is said to have more advantages when it comes to graphics processing.

This means when it comes to Switch OLED vs Steam Deck, games will look better on the Steam Deck.

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Performance and Specs

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED specs
Steam DeckNintendo Switch OLED
Release DateFebruary 2022October 2021
Price$399 / $529 / $649$349.99
Screen7″ LCD touchscreen, 1280 x 8007″ OLED touchscreen, 1280×720
CPUAMD Zen 2, 2.4-3.5GHzNvidia Tegra X1
GPUAMD 8 RDNACustom Nvidia Maxwell
Storage64 GB eMMC / 256 GB SSD / 512 GB SSD64 GB eMMC
ConnectivityUSB-C Hub, Dock (not included)Dock (included)

Steam Deck vs Switch OLED, when it comes to performance, the Steam Deck’s hardware is noticeably more powerful than the Switch OLED. This is because it has a faster processor and more RAM.

The Nintendo Switch OLED, on the other hand, relies on an energy-efficient Tegra X1 chip. It also has 4GB of RAM, which is less than what the 16 GB RAM Steam Deck offers.

The Steam Deck is also able to play games at a higher resolution and frame rate than the Switch. The mid to high-end versions of Steam Deck even offer seamless plays with their SSD internal storage.

The Nintendo Switch OLED handheld gaming PC uses a custom operating system while Valve’s handheld Steam Deck uses the SteamOS. When it comes to software comparison the Steam Deck that runs on a Linux operating system is said to offer more customization than the Nintendo Switch OLED’s proprietary operating system.

To get a more detailed look in to things, click here for details of the Steam Deck, and here for the Nintendo Switch.

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Games and Subscriptions

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch Games and Subscriptions

With Valve’s Steam Deck access to Steam Games‘ wide library of games, there is more selection of games for players with Steam Deck compared to Switch OLED. Steam Deck also leans toward PC gamers who already have a Steam account and wants to access their games on a portable device away from their desktops.

Nintendo Switch OLED offers impressive access to several best exclusive games like Metroid Dread, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Pokemon, and Platoon S2. You won’t be able to play these games outside of Nintendo Switch unless you’re super techy and maybe able to find a workaround to access these games outside Switch.

For subscription services, Nintendo Switch OLED requires a subscription for you to be able to play games online but you also have the option to play locally by purchasing a game from a physical location or the Nintendo eShop.

Steam Deck features no subscription requirement for your to play games. Once you purchase a game from Steam, you can access it anytime you want.

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Controllers and Docking

Controllers and Docking stations

The Nintendo Switch comes with two Joy-Con controllers that can be used as a traditional controller or as two separate controllers for multiplayer gaming. The Joy-Cons can also be attached to a grip to create a more traditional controller. The Switch can also be played using the Pro Controller which is sold separately.

The new Steam Deck handheld device comes with a single controller that can be used as a traditional controller or as two separate controllers for multiplayer gaming. The Steam Deck can also be played using the Pro Controller which is sold separately.

The Nintendo Switch can be docked to play games on a TV while with Steam Deck, you have to purchase a TV dock separately.

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Customizability

Customizability between Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck

The Switch OLED is limited to changing the wallpaper and adding accessories like skins and Joy-Con grips.

The Steam Deck, on the other hand, is highly customizable. You can change the look of your device by installing different themes and wallpapers. You can also add and remove software as you see fit.

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Battery Life

Steam Deck vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Battery Life

There are different variables at play when it comes to battery life as some games require more battery consumption than the others. But Valve Steam Deck claims that the battery can last at an average of 2-8 hours while Switch OLED battery life lasts an average of 4.5-9 hours.


In terms of value for your money, the Steam Deck appears to be a better investment than the Nintendo Switch OLED as it has better graphics processing and a higher resolution display but Nintendo Switch OLED’s exclusivity on well-loved games and its trusted reputation when it comes to incredible games in consoles also makes it a good option.

For now, players who are more familiar with using Steam on PC will find a better home in Steam Deck while players who prefer console gaming will find Nintendo Switch a better choice.

Steam Deck vs Switch OLED FAQs

Are there Nintendo Games on Steam Deck?

Officially, no. But videos are circulating online of Switch emulators on Steam Deck making some Switch games available on Steam Deck.

Is there a Steam Link on Switch OLED?

No, there isn’t a Steam Link available on Switch OLED.

Can you play Steam games on Switch OLED?

No. Steam games are not available on Switch.

Will Steam Deck have an OLED screen?

There is no news of Steam Deck using an OLED screen. Right now Steam Deck uses an LCD touchscreen.

Share on:

Article by Jake

Hey I'm Jake! Writer for various gaming and technology blogs. I also enjoy a little bit of golf in my free time as well as gaming. I really enjoy competitive games and I hate to admit it, but I have really been enjoying Wild Rift on my phone as I get the League experience without the rage. Usually you'll find me on Steam though exploring the many competitive options out there, whether that is a Battle Royale game or a MOBA game.