When Valve first announced Steam Machines, the models introduced by manufacturers looked like tiny gaming PCs, which they essentially were. The Steamboy, on the other hand, was different: a handheld that looked like a mashup of the Steam controller and a smartphone.
After its initial announcement last year, the Steamboy has stayed out of the spotlight. At Gamescom last week, the handheld resurfaced, albeit with a new name. Now branded the Smach Zero, the portable gaming machine’s price has been announced as a fairly affordable $300.
The specs seem to be mostly unchanged from when we first reported on the Steamboy last year. An “AMD embedded G-Series SoC ‘Steppe Eagle’ with Jaguar-based CPU and GCN-based Radeon graphics” lies at the heart of the Smach Zero, complemented by 4GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, which can be expanded with external storage. There is currently no word on battery life.
If you saw the prototype for Valve’s upcoming Steam controller, you already have a fair idea what the Smach Zero will look like. The handheld will feature the same circular trackpads and a similar button layout, offering two buttons on the back and four triggers in addition to the front-facing buttons. In the center is a 5-inch 720p touchscreen display.
The portable will also feature support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, USB OTG compatibility, and 4G LTE in the PRO version, IGN reports. To act as a “normal” Steam Machine, the portable also offers a built-in HDMI port. According to the company, the Smach Zero will support more than 1,000 Steam games at launch, including Dota 2, Civilization 5, and Half Life 2.
The Smach Zero will be available this fall starting November 10, and there might be a reason to aim at picking the handheld up early. The $300 price tag is an early-bird special, and there is currently no word on what the handheld will sell for once it has launched.
Pre-sales will be available via the company’s website, but currently all that is there is a message inviting you to check out the Smach Zero at Gamescom.
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