- The Valve Steam Deck OLED is only a minor upgrade from the original model, with a new battery and improved display.
- Valve has plans for a more significant upgrade with a Steam Deck 2.0, but it won’t be released anytime soon.
- Valve is working with game developers to optimise performance on the Steam Deck, and the expectation is that new chips suitable for a handheld device will be available in the next two or three years.
The Valve Steam Deck OLED is the latest thing in portable gaming, but it isn’t all that much of an upgrade over the original Steam Deck. Sure, it has a new battery and a better display thanks to the use of OLED technology, but on the inside, it’s essentially the same as the model that’s been on sale for a while now. However, Valve says that it has plans for a new model that will be a bigger upgrade compared to what gamers are used to.
However, that Steam Deck 2 product isn’t likely to be with us any time soon so the Steam Deack OLED is still the handheld console to buy if you’ve been holding off making a purchase.
Steam Deck 2, but not just yet
A new Axios report cites Valve hardware designer Yazan Aldehayyat when saying that the game company is already working on an updated handheld. And those who had worried that the Steam Deck might go the way of the dodo – and other Valve hardware products of the past – need not worry.
“We do think that a Steam Deck 2.0 is necessary. Steam Deck OLED was necessary,” Aldehayyat is quoted as saying. “We feel like there’s a road map ahead of us.”
The Steam Deck OLED has a new display that promises to be brighter and bigger than the original, but the processing power under the hood is identical. That means that, eventually, we can expect more modern games to cause the hardware struggle eventually. When that time comes, it’ll be time to upgrade to something new. However, Valve says that isn’t going to happen any time soon. “There’s a lot of performance to be squeezed out with software optimisation still,” Aldehayyat told Axios, suggesting that the onus to make new games run will be on game developers, not Valve.
Valve has apparently been working with those developers to ensure that games continue to perform well. “Steam Deck is successful enough now that game developers are coming to us before the game is released, sharing with us a version of their games saying, ‘Hey, we want to make this run better on Steam Deck. Can you help us?’ We do that, obviously.”
As for the Steam Deck 2, that’ll come. Just probably not for another year or two depending on what the mobile silicon situation is. Valve designer Lawrence Yang told the report that the expectation is that new chips will be ready “in the next two or three years” but that those that are available now won’t work well in a handheld device.