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The Steam Portable (abbreviated as the SP) is a handheld game console developed by Valve Corporation and Novascopic Digital Networks. As the portable equivalent to the Steam+ home console, development for the console was unveiled at Novasopic's 2014 upfront, and was released in North America and Japan on July 13, 2015, and in Europe and Australia on September 1, 2015, as part of the eighth generation of video game consoles, competing with Sony's PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS and 2DS. Over 105 million units have been shipped and sold across the world.

Hardware

The final model of the handheld is noticeably comparable to its rival, the PlayStation Vita, with its overall shape is a "super oval" or "stadium", but broader and slightly wider. In the center of the device is a 5-inch (130 mm) OLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen. The device features a flat and circular analog joystick in place of the D-pad (similar to the circle pad on the Nintendo 3DS), a set of standard ABXY buttons, two shoulder buttons (L and R), a home button with the Steam logo on it, and select and option buttons. On the back of the SP is a disc drive for games and other media.

Other hardware includes built-in stereo speakers, a microphone, a headset jack, a SD card slot, a USB 2.0 mini-B port on the top of the console, and a circular port on top of the console for the Wireless Adapter. On the sides is a slider to control the volume and a power switch. The SP's internal battery can last around 4-6 hours of life, depending on numerous variables (screen brightness, sound level, etc).

Steam Portable Plus

The Steam Portable Plus was a slightly revised version of the SP that fixes all of the problems on the first version. The console's size has increased due to the increased screen, with the resolution being altered so that games originally ported from the Steam+ could be much clearer and less condensed. The SPP now features more gigabytes and storage than before, and has refurbished stereo speakers.

Accessories

  • Wireless Adapter: Released in 2015 alongside the console, the Wireless Adapter is a modified, small antenna that plugs into a small circular hole on top of the SP. It enables a much smoother online multiplayer connection, as well as a worldwide multiplayer connection. It currently markets at US$25 and comes included with SP ports of Soccer Smash and Jet Car Racers, which both feature a "lobby room" where up to 10 players can enter to play a multiplayer course.
  • Graphics Enhancer: The Graphics Enhancer was originally a special enhancement code implemented onto game discs made for the Steam+ console. For ported versions on the SP, it is a special SD card that is inserted into the bottom SD slot that functions with all games. It modifies the framerate to be 5.7% faster and enhances the number of polygons for more detailed graphics.
  • Afterburner: The Afterburner is an internal front-lighting system, only available on later revisions of the SP. To utilize the afterburner on older revisions, they must disassembling the system, removing some plastic from the interior of the case, attaching the lighting mechanism to the screen, and soldering two wires to the motherboard for power, similar to the unofficial Game boy Advance Afterburner.

Software

System software/UI

The SP uses a condensed version of the original Steam+ software. Each application is represented by a circular icon referred to as a "bubble", and when clicked, shows a menu of options, including play, delete (if it was a downloaded item from the store), and a scanner for available updates. The time and Wi-Fi connection is displayed on the top of the screen, along with the battery percentage.

Library

Physical software for the SP is distributed on miniature discs similar to a UMD (Universal Media Disc), but with more gigabytes, storage, and without the white border. Retail prices average around US$10-15 dollars. Many of the games developed for the SP are adapted ports of games originally made for the main Steam+ console, along with original games. Television series and movies are also available at a retail price of US$9.99 and US$10.99 for a combo pack (two discs).

Games released for the SP

The following list is some of the titles released for the SP. Some of these games are direct ports of original Steam+ titles, while some are exclusive to the SP.

Title Developer(s)/Publisher(s) Released
Soccer Smash for SP Electronic Arts
Next Level Games
July 13, 2015
Jet Car Racers for SP BitComposer Entertainment
Grip Games
True Axis
Portal Valve Corporation
Portal 2
Team Fortress 2
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Steven Universe: Fusion Frenzy (SP exclusive) Cartoon Network Games
Grumpyface Studios
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! WayForward Technologies
D3 Publisher
Skysurge Novascopic Digital Networks
HAL Laboratory
September 12, 2015
Blazing Team: The Game Hasbro
Guangdong Alpha Animation & Culture Co.
October 31, 2015
Battle Crushers VRV Interactive December 1, 2015
Yasumoto: Legend of The Samurai (SP exclusive) February 14, 2016
Yasumoto: Time Travel (SP exclusive) March 5, 2016
Cookie Kartz (SP exclusive) Novascopic Digital Networks April 15, 2016
Cookie Kartz: Summer Party June 24, 2016
Beat Em' Up for the Steam Portable McLeodGaming
Novascopic Digital Networks
December 1, 2016
Beat Em' Up: Fantasy Frenzy March 3, 2017
Beat Em' Up: Suburban Scuffle
The Heroic Quest of Dax HAL Laboratory

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