Don't use the Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch in excessive heat, warn the makers

midian182

Posts: 8,306   +103
Staff member
Why it matters: If you want another reason not to spend too much time out in the heatwave boiling much of the world, here it is: both Valve and Nintendo have warned owners of their respective handheld consoles not to use them in excessively hot temperatures as it could impact performance, result in an automatic shutdown, or even cause burns to the user.

The current heatwave has seen heat-related alerts and warnings across more than 20 states as the mercury continues to rise. Temperatures over 100 degrees have been recorded in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia—parts of the UK exceeded 100 degrees for the first time on record.

Despite being uncomfortably hot, some people are playing on their handhelds outside, and the companies behind them have warned against this practice. Yesterday, Valve tweeted that the Steam Deck performs at its best in ambient temperatures between 0° and 35° C, or 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Should the temperature get any higher, it may start to throttle performance to protect itself.

A follow-up tweet from the company clarified that the custom Zen 2/RDNA 2 'Aerith' AMD APU in the Steam Deck can handle its temperature reaching up to 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit). After this point, though, the chip will start to throttle performance, and once it hits 105 degrees Celsius (221 degrees Fahrenheit), the Steam Deck will shut down to protect the components from potential damage.

Valve isn't the only one to issue this sort of warning. Last week, Nintendo tweeted that using the Switch in a hot location could cause the unit's temperature to become high—it recommends using the handheld in areas where the temperature is between 40- and 95-degrees Fahrenheit.

A Nintendo support page notes that the Switch may become hot while charging or while operating, and these temperatures can get even higher in hot environments, potentially causing burns if a user's skin is in contact with it for a long time.

Strangely, Nintendo's warning about the Switch, Switch Lite, and Switch OLED is only on the company's Japanese website; the tweet was also in Japanese. But it obviously applies to devices in all regions.

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psycros

Posts: 4,449   +6,631
"Don't use the Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch in excessive heat"

Frankly, that could apply to any electronic device that is not specially designed for high heat operations .....

Yeah, I resisted the urge to make a "clueless gen-Z'er" comment. I think almost anyone over 13 understands that heat is bad for electronics. Or younger if their a proper nerd :)
 

George Keech

Posts: 265   +457
Yeah, I resisted the urge to make a "clueless gen-Z'er" comment. I think almost anyone over 13 understands that heat is bad for electronics. Or younger if their a proper nerd :)
Unfortunately you would be surprised how bad many even younger people are with electronics they know how to message on there Iphone and Tiktok and that's it.
 

envirovore

Posts: 533   +982
TechSpot Elite
Unfortunately you would be surprised how bad many even younger people are with electronics they know how to message on there Iphone and Tiktok and that's it.

There's an 18 year old that games with a few people and I on the regular that used to complain all the time about his internet going to sh*t while playing as he was using WiFi.
We told him repeatedly to buy an Ethernet cable and just plug direct into the router, his reply "I don't know what any of that is or where to even plug that into."
There was much "lol wut?"

He's since managed to figure it out and gone wired.
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,733   +2,576
Unfortunately you would be surprised how bad many even younger people are with electronics they know how to message on there Iphone and Tiktok and that's it.
lol this.

You know how many parents I've met that told me there kid is awesome with electronics and computers. And the only thing they know how to do is use facebook and tik tok and some instagram. Show them a command prompt and they think you are a wizard.
 

envirovore

Posts: 533   +982
TechSpot Elite
lol this.

You know how many parents I've met that told me there kid is awesome with electronics and computers. And the only thing they know how to do is use facebook and tik tok and some instagram. Show them a command prompt and they think you are a wizard.

It was only a few months ago and there was an article going around with a few computer class teachers talking about how their students didn't know how to read a file directory or navigate to a folder from reading a directory path.
The gist of it being that they're just so used to searching for something and getting a result pop up (be it local machine or web based) that they've never learned how to find a local file in any other way.

Then again, while I'm aware that in the early days of computers in the home, upgrading them typically meant sitting down with a soldering kit, schematics, and a lot of knowing what the f*ck you're doing, I wouldn't have been able to do that when I was young...and probably would barely trust myself to do it now even if I'm far more comfortable and knowledgeable about systems now.

It's a Verge article, so grain of salt and all. Not typically a site I venture to myself...
https://www.theverge.com/22684730/students-file-folder-directory-structure-education-gen-z
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,517   +2,259
Yeah, I resisted the urge to make a "clueless gen-Z'er" comment. I think almost anyone over 13 understands that heat is bad for electronics. Or younger if their a proper nerd :)
I'm more 'the fault lies in our stars' where this is concerned. Everything is being designed nowadays to operate optimally only in California's monoclimate and considerations for wintery or desert climates are secondary where they are made at all. So honestly I'm less inclined to blame the brainlessness of Gen Z as opposed to the thoughtlessness of modern engineering.
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,733   +2,576
I'm more 'the fault lies in our stars' where this is concerned. Everything is being designed nowadays to operate optimally only in California's monoclimate and considerations for wintery or desert climates are secondary where they are made at all. So honestly I'm less inclined to blame the brainlessness of Gen Z as opposed to the thoughtlessness of modern engineering.
Good point.