A pair of hands holding the upcoming MSI The Claw handheld device.
Image via MSI.

Watch out Steam Deck, MSI’s ‘The Claw’ is coming for your title

Expected sometime in Q1 2024.

Literally a few days ago, there were heavy rumors and leaks suggesting MSI was about to unveil its own Steam Deck rival. Low and behold, it turned out to be true. Say hello to “The Claw,” a gaming device from the laptop manufacturer that’s gunning for a slice of the handheld PC pie.

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MSI announced the item at CES 2024, with an expected release date around the first quarter of this year. We’ve already seen that companies such as ASUS and Lenovo can take on the Steam Deck, so perhaps there is more room for another competitor.

As for what The Claw will be packing, details on the MSI website show it’ll feature an Intel Core Ultra 7 processor, along with an Intel Arc graphics chip. This is something of a departure, as the aforementioned alternatives (as well as the Deck) have opted for AMD architecture instead.

Get a grip!

So how does it stack up against the Steam Deck? With a brand-new Intel processor compared to the Zen 2 – which launched in 2019 – we can expect The Claw to offer something a little nipper with its more up-to-date guts.

It also boasts a 1920×1080 touchscreen and a 52Whr battery life. Compared to the Deck’s 1200×800 screen and 50Whr battery, the former could have a bit of an edge over the latter.

However, with it running Windows 11, it could have a less intuitive mobile gaming operating system than SteamOS, which is specifically built to play games from a user’s Steam library.

Only time will tell how it’ll fare against Valve’s OG offering, but it definitely looks like things are beginning to get crowded in the portable PC sphere.


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Andrew Heaton
Andrew has been a gamer since the 17th century Restoration period. He now writes for a number of online publications, contributing news and other articles. He does not own a powdered wig.