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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
|Soccer Smash for SP||Electronic Arts|
Next Level Games
|July 13, 2015|
|Jet Car Racers for SP||BitComposer Entertainment|
|Team Fortress 2|
|Counter-Strike: Global Offensive|
|Steven Universe: Fusion Frenzy (SP exclusive)||Cartoon Network Games|
|Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know!||WayForward Technologies|
|Skysurge||Novascopic Digital Networks|
|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|