In releasing the upgraded Steam Deck OLED, Valve has specified that the new and improved handheld should still be considered part of the first generation of Steam Deck. Answering the question of when we can expect to see a true Steam Deck 2, Valve has said that it doesn’t expect to produce a new iteration of the device for at least a couple of years.
That answer comes down to available technology, with Valve engineers explaining that the tech to significantly improve on the current Steam Deck just doesn’t exist yet. Speaking to Eurogamer, Valve hardware engineer Yazan Aldehayyat said, “Obviously we’d love to get even more performance in the same power envelope, but that technology doesn’t exist yet. That’s what I think we’d call a Steam Deck 2.0.”
“The first Steam Deck was the first moment in time where we felt like there was enough GPU performance in a portable form factor that lets you play all your Steam games,” Aldehayyat continued. “We would love for the trend of perf-per-watt to progress rapidly to do that, but it’s not quite there yet.”
Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais also spoke to The Verge on the topic of the potential for a Steam Deck 2, explaining that Valve doesn’t want to boost performance at the cost of battery life and efficiency.
“It’s important to us that the Deck offers a fixed performance target for developers, and that the message to customers is simple, where every Deck can play the same games,” Griffais explained about Valve’s approach to hardware generations. “As such, changing the performance level is not something we are taking lightly, and we only want to do so when there is a significant enough increase to be had.
“We also don’t want more performance to come at a significant cost to power efficiency and battery life,” Griffais continued. “I don’t anticipate such a leap to be possible in the next couple of years, but we’re still closely monitoring innovations in architectures and fabrication processes to see where things are going there.”
For now, the Steam Deck OLED is the biggest upgrade players can get their hands on at the moment, offering a significant boost to both battery life and the quality of its display, among other upgrades. The new Steam Deck will open for preorders on November 16, with devices to begin shipping in the days following. The original Steam Deck has gotten a price cut in the meantime.
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