It’s getting too hot to play the Steam Deck or Switch outside, makers warn

Enlarge / Even the shade may not be enough to save your Nintendo Switch in extreme temperatures. (credit: Nintendo UK / YouTube)

One of the main perks of portable consoles is the ability to play them outside the house, a use we’ve seen emphasized in multiple marketing campaigns over the years. But as countries around the world have suffered through record-breaking heat waves in recent weeks, two major portable console makers are warning players that their products don’t function well in ambient temperatures in excess of 35° C (95° F).

Nintendo of Japan led off the warnings last week, tweeting that “if you use the Nintendo Switch in a hot place, the temperature of the main unit may become high,” according to a machine translation. “If the temperature of the main unit becomes too high, it may sleep automatically to protect the main unit.” The company also urged players to make sure the vents on the console and docking unit are not blocked by dust or debris, and to install that dock “in a location that does not retain heat.”

Valve joined in with a public heat warning yesterday, tweeting a reminder that the Steam Deck “may start to throttle performance to protect itself” in high ambient temperatures. The Steam Deck’s internal APU starts scaling back performance when the chip itself hits a temperature of 100° C (212° F), and will shut down if it tops 105° C (221° F), Valve said. After that, the system can limit battery charging rates, download speeds, and even SSD speeds to keep the GPU running as steadily as possible.

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