Valve recently revealed the Steam Deck OLED, an updated version of the Steam Deck with a new OLED display and better battery. While the company has called the new handheld the “definitive first generation Steam Deck,” it’s not quite a Steam Deck 2.
If anyone is wondering when a proper successor for the Steam Deck will appear, it seems it’ll be at least two to three years until that happens, according to Valve.
Lawrence Yang, UX designer at Valve, told Gizmodo in an interview that the company is actually developing the next Steam Deck, but it’s not quite ready to be called a Steam Deck 2.
“We are working on it,” he said. ”We want to make a proper successor to the Steam Deck, but a lot of it is bound by the performance.”
“For us to call something a Steam Deck 2, there has to be a generational increase in performance,” he said.
Yang also explains the “switching costs” associated with changing the specs on a future Steam Deck that has to be considered.
“If you have a lot of different kinds of Steam Decks out there that are maybe 10% or 30% better, then it becomes harder for developers to target those performances,” Yang said.
Yang says the team is keeping “an eye on the chip market and how technology is progressing” and hopes that within “two or three years, there will be a chip that we will be able to use for Steam Deck 2.”
Yang also mentioned the list of criticisms against the original Steam Deck “matched our list of things that we wish we could have done.” He continues by saying that the Deck had to ship with certain concessions to its design because of time, cost, and the “supply chain nightmare” at the end of 2021.
Yazan Aldehayyat, a hardware engineer at Valve, who also worked on the Steam Deck OLED, added that’s just the “nature of engineering” and explained that the “second thing you build is always going to be better than the first because you learn exactly what the use cases are.”
Aldehayyat gave some insight as to why Valve decided to stick with the same form factor for the Steam Deck OLED. The short answer seems to be that they are just saying that the original design was very good, and building on that design made more sense than starting from scratch.
Even though it’ll be a couple of years until we see a Steam Deck 2, Yang says they will continue to support the Steam Deck OLED and Steam Deck LCD in the meantime with a “bunch of updates.”