Valve has just recently announced and opened pre-order reservations for their new Steam Deck handheld PC. A handheld PC running a custom AMD APU with 4 cores and 8 threads on the CPU side. On the GUP side it’s based on an AMD RDNA2 architecture with 8 compute units. It also has 3 version you can get with each having a different amount of on-board storage. If you wanna see the specs in more detail you can do so here
For the software, it runs a version of Arch Linux called Steam OS 3, with a custom controller focused interface. However you can install any piece of software on it and play any game from wherever you want.It’s so open that you can install a copy of Windows on it if you want. So because of that (and the fact that Retroarch is on steam) I could see this being a great emulation handheld while also allowing you to play any modern or classic games from your steam, GOG, and Epic library(if you get games from there).
I know what some people would just say to get a Pi and my response to that would be, yes. Don’t buy a Steam Deck just to emulate retro games, buy a Steam Deck if you wanna play your PC library on the go, emulation is just an extra bonus to enjoy alongside the PC games. Sure, a Pi can’t play Gamecube or Wii games with Dolphin, whereas I’m sure the Steam Deck will be able to handle it with little to no problems, but at $400 for the base 64 gig model, I don’t think it’s worth it for emulation alone. That’s not to say that the Steam Deck is a bad value, it looks like it’s gonna be an amazing hand held, and I really want one. I just can’t justify buying one for myself since I stay home most of the time. But if you wanna buy ine you can reserve a spot to pre-order a unit yourself by going to https://store.steampowered.com/steamdeck.
In my opinion, this looks like it’d be a great handheld game system for both PC games and emulation. But don’t buy it solely to emulate old games, because that would be a waste of money in my opinion.