Exploring Valve’s Technological Constraints and Patient Approach to Steam Deck Upgrades
Valve’s recently launched upgraded Steam Deck OLED has left enthusiasts anticipating the prospect of a true sequel, but Valve has clarified that the enhanced handheld still falls under the first generation of the system. Addressing the question of when a Steam Deck 2 might emerge, Valve has signaled a patient approach, indicating that the company does not foresee a new iteration for at least a couple of years.
Valve’s stance on the timeline for a second generation is grounded in the current limitations of available technology. According to Yazan Aldehayyat, a Valve hardware engineer, the requisite technology to significantly surpass the existing Steam Deck’s capabilities is not yet in existence. Aldehayyat explained to Eurogamer, “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.”
Pierre-Loup Griffais, also from Valve, emphasized the company’s commitment to maintaining a fixed performance target for developers while avoiding compromises on battery life and efficiency. Speaking to The Verge, Griffais highlighted that any performance enhancements must align with a significant increase to justify a hardware upgrade. He added, “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.”
In the meantime, the Steam Deck OLED stands as the latest upgrade available, featuring notable improvements in battery life and display quality. Preorders for the new Steam Deck are set to open on November 16, with shipping commencing shortly after. Meanwhile, the original Steam Deck has undergone a price reduction, providing users with diverse options within the current generation.