One of the developers of Valve’s Steam Deck handheld, which has been available for purchase for just over a year, has discussed the likelihood of a Steam Deck 2. Although the device’s popularity cannot be disputed, the majority of users seem to acknowledge that there are several areas where a potential successor could perform better.
Rock Paper Shotgun invited designer Lawrence Yang and Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais to a panel discussion to commemorate the Deck’s first year on the market. Griffais and Yang stated that additional Steam Deck speed enhancements are planned, but they also stressed the significance of “value-add capabilities” like ray tracing support and HDR for external screens as future additions to the device. It should come as no surprise that talk of a Steam Deck 2 came up along the way, but Yang was quick to clarify: “A truly next-gen Deck with a major jump in horsepower wouldn’t be for a few years.”
In other words, anyone who might have been concerned that purchasing a “last-gen” Steam Deck might lead to buyer’s remorse shouldn’t be. When combined with unofficial performance improvements for Steam Deck, Valve’s current emphasis in maximizing its base handheld will give it a longer shelf life than almost all other PC gaming handhelds currently available.
Of course, it’s important to note that Yang was very deliberate and exact in his speech. His remark provides ample opportunity for the Steam Deck to undergo a mid-generation upgrade. The community has made it clear that it wants an improved Steam Deck that can compete with Nintendo’s Switch OLED device. Similar to this, some people think a larger battery would also be necessary.
The enthusiasm of Valve to interact with the public and collaborate with users to improve the handheld is one of the features that distinguishes the Steam Deck from other gaming devices. As a result, a ton of post-release software updates have already been made, and beta versions of SteamOS are already in development, Valve is not going to give up on the device any time soon.