Even though we just got a refresh on the Steam Deck, don’t expect a second generation Deck is on the way. The technology just isn’t there yet. While the Steam Deck OLED did bring some gains that the original version didn’t have, it’s not the leap forward that Valve is looking for in its next generation handheld.
Valve engineers explained that they would need significant tech advances that just don’t exist yet for their to be a Steam Deck 2.
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. We would love for the trend of perf-per-watt to progress rapidly to do that, but it’s not quite there yet.”
Yazan Aldehayyat, Valve hardware engineer, speaking to Eurogamer
Valve also doesn’t want to just crank up the performance without doing work with battery life or 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. 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. 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.”
Pierre-Loup Griffais to The Verge
So, right now, we still have some good times ahead with the Deck. It’s good to see that they did some minor tweaks to get more power out of the APU and gave us a better battery and screen.
I have high hopes that we’ll eventually get to the second generation of Deck, but I’m in no rush.