The Steam Deck’s new clear plastic limited edition is giving me overpowering OLED envy, but I can’t keep blowing money on these things

Like many in my millennial age cohort, I’ve got a sickening nostalgic obsession with clear plastic electronics: Game Boys, OG MacBooks, Discmen. It’s god’s own design language, I tell you, not just rosy memories of the late ’90s and early aughts! No doubt taking note of the many aftermarket solutions for giving the Steam Deck a clear plastic makeover, Valve’s gone ahead and made its own, official version.

The limited edition Steam Deck OLED will be available for purchase alongside the standard models on November 16, but only in the US and Canada. It comes in the 1 TB NVMe configuration, so I’d expect the same $650 price tag unless Valve charges a premium for the colorway. 

The plastic is a little less translucent than, say, an atomic purple Game Boy Color or Jsaux’s custom shell replacements for the Deck. It’s closer to the Switch Pro controller or Glacier Game Boy Advance with a smoky quality to the plastic, but you can still make out some of the underlying electronics and otherwise-hidden parts of its bright orange highlight components.

The rest of the team was pretty cool on the design, but I’m in love with the thing⁠—it reminds me of Steam’s OG army green with yellow highlights interface, and as fun as the Jsaux DIY solution can be, there’s something to be said for the build quality of an official release. Not to mention, it has all the OLED Deck improvements which led to my colleague Tyler Colp’s glowing review of the revised console.

But I can’t spend $650 on this thing! It’s just over a year since I put up 650 clams for my original 512 GB deck, I need way more time before I try an upgrade. I’m certainly feeling the sting of OLED envy, but woe to those who bought their Steam Decks in October or November of 2023⁠—you have my sympathies.

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(Image credit: Valve)

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