Nintendo Switch vs Steam Deck 2024: review, specs and features

When you first see Valve’s Steam Deck you might immediately think of the Nintendo Switch. That’s the most popular handheld gaming device with a similar look right now (no, I’m not counting phones). In fact, the Switch is the console Valve had in mind when making the Steam Deck, both because of how it looks and because of how it is priced. But which of these two handheld rockets should you buy if you want to play games on the go? Yes, my pockets are deep.

I’m weighing the pros and cons of the two devices to decide which one is worth your hard-earned cash. And there are many things to think about, like the hardware, the design, the ways they can be used, and how they feel to own. This article looks at the most important differences between the two devices and why you might want to get one over the other. The article is based on things like build quality, design, display quality, hardware specifications, game library, and intended use to give a well-rounded view and unbiased results.

Price and availability

When it comes to price, the Nintendo Switch is a more affordable way to play games on the go. It costs between $200 and $350. The Steam Deck costs anywhere between $399 and $650. The Steam Deck comes in three different models with prices that are mostly based on how much storage space and how fast the drives are.

The more expensive models have NVMe drives that are bigger and faster. The Switch Lite, Switch, and Switch OLED all have different design features, such as a bigger screen or the ability to connect to a TV. General graphics and CPU performance, on the other hand, are the same for all Switch and Steam Deck games.

Nintendo Switch vs Steam Deck Comparison Table

Steam DeckNintendo Switch
Screen7 inch IPS, 60Hz, 1280x800px7 inch OLED, 60 hz, 1280 x 720px
Size Dimensions29.8cm x 11.7cm x 4.9cm17.6cm x 10.2cm x 1.4cm
Weight669 grams319 grams
Battery Life2 to 8 hours4.5 – 9 hours
ProcessorZen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHzARM 4 Cortex-A57 cores

Nintendo Switch vs Steam Deck Design and Features

Nintendo switch vs steam deck

Even though both the Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch OLED are portable consoles, they are very different in terms of how they work and how they look. The Steam Deck has a resolution of 1280×800 and the Switch OLED has a resolution of 1280×720. Both have 7-inch touchscreens, but the Switch OLED has an OLED display.

This means that it should have more vivid colors, deeper blacks, and a better contrast ratio than the LCD screen on the Steam Deck, which was made by Valve. The maximum refresh rate of both screens is 60Hz. The Steam Deck has two analogue sticks and two touchpads that can be used to move like a mouse. They have built-in capacitive touch sensors that can tell when your thumbs are being used.

There are also the standard face buttons, bumper buttons, and trigger buttons, as well as a gyroscope control. It’s important to note that the triggers on the Steam Deck are analogue, not digital like the ones on the Switch OLED. This means they can be used to control things more precisely. The four grip buttons on the back of the Steam Deck give you more ways to play games.

The Joy-Con controllers that we’ve been using since 2017 come with the Nintendo Switch OLED. The Joy-Con controllers have HD Rumble and motion controls, and they can be taken off the console. This lets you play local multiplayer games at any time if you are playing in tabletop mode. The redesigned and wider stand of the Switch OLED should make this much more appealing and easier to do. The controllers for the Steam Deck can’t be taken off, and it doesn’t have a kickstand either.

Nintendo Switch vs Steam Deck Display

Nintendo switch vs steam deck

This one is clear: the LCD touch screens on the Switch and Switch Lite models get the job done, but the OLED touch screen on the Switch OLED shows richer colours and deeper blacks than the other models. The Switch OLED also has a larger 7-inch screen, while the regular Switch has a 6.2-inch screen and the Switch Lite has a 5.5-inch screen.

Even though the most expensive Steam Deck model’s screen has a special anti-glare glass cover, all three use the same 7-inch LCD screen. But compared to the 7-inch OLED display on the Switch, the colours on the Steam Deck are less bright and clear.

Nintendo Switch vs Steam Deck Games

Nintendo switch vs steam deck

Wikipedia has a list of 4,345 Nintendo Switch games, but some are duplicates or different versions for different regions, and some aren’t even games. So, the real number will be a little less than that. On the other hand, the Steam Deck can play over 50,000 games from Steam alone. You don’t even have to think about everything on Epic, GoG, and any other game store you can think of to realise how much gaming history is on the side of Valve’s handheld machine.

The problem is still how many of these games will actually work on the SteamOS 3.0 version of the Deck’s operating system and how well they will work with the control system. In the future, Windows will work on the Steam Deck. This will solve the tricky problem of Linux and Proton compatibility, so any PC game should be able to at least start up on the Deck.

Nintendo Switch vs Steam Deck Battery life

Nintendo switch vs steam deck

All three of Nintendo’s Switch models the original Switch, the Switch OLED, and the Switch Lite, which can only be used on a mobile device have a longer battery life than Valve’s Steam Deck, which lasts between five and eight hours. We were only able to test the Deck for four hours, and sometimes the battery runs out in as little as two hours.

High-resolution games like Cyberpunk 2077 use a lot of power, so the best way to get more battery life out of the Steam Deck is to play the same or similar low-resolution games that are available for the Nintendo Switch, or to use a third-party tool to limit how much power you can use at once.

Nintendo Switch Pros and cons


  • Joy-Cons feel comfortable to use in multiple configurations
  • Not as powerful as a PlayStation or Xbox
  • Solid build quality


  • Short battery life
  • Online service needs work
  • Flimsy kickstand

Steam Deck Pros and cons


  • Huge library of games
  • Innovative and flexible
  • Excellent build quality


  • Slow load times
  • Short battery life
  • Large bezels

Which one should you consider?

It’s impossible to choose a winner between the Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch because they are so different and meet such different needs. The Nintendo Switch is easier to take with you, so you can play games anywhere, like on a plane or on the way to work. The software is easy to use and not scary, and there are lots of games that both kids and adults will enjoy.

The best things about the Steam Deck are how fast it works and how many games it has. From Half-Life in 1998 to Elden Ring in 2022, there are a lot of games that can be played on a portable, even though most major multiplayer games can’t be.

If you already have a large Steam library or just want to play modern AAA third-party games without using the cloud, the Steam Deck might be your best option. And if you like Nintendo games and independent games and want to use that beautiful OLED screen, the Switch is a better choice.


Is a Steam Deck better than a Switch?

Steam Deck is meant to be much more powerful than the Switch, but that doesn’t mean that most gamers will find it to be a better console overall.

Can Steam Deck run Switch games?

The Steam Deck can run Switch games, but its emulators aren’t quite good enough yet. This leads to a lot of compatibility problems, which can cause the game to run slowly or not at all in some cases.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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