Whilst Valve is however doing work on fulfilling Steam Deck orders for people who reserved one final yr, it is not as well early to start out imagining about a likely Steam Deck 2.
After all, Valve by itself has confirmed that new Steam Decks are coming, referring to the handheld gaming Laptop as a “multi-generational product or service line” with “improvements and iterations to components and computer software.” And whilst I’m individually a pleased Steam Deck consumer, I can envision loads of ways in which Valve could increase the hardware in upcoming versions.
So let’s indulge in a bit of wishful considering. Based mostly on my working experience with the Steam Deck so far, here’s what I’d enjoy to see in next-era Steam Deck hardware:
Let’s get the obvious advancements out of the way 1st: A future-era Steam Deck should really be a lot quicker, much more battery successful, and possibly a bit smaller sized and lighter.
This might seem like no small feat given what Valve has achieved with its existing hardware—it’s a transportable gaming Laptop that flawlessly runs Elden Ring, soon after all—but retain in intellect that the Deck’s customized AMD APU is dependent on Zen 2 architecture relationship back to 2020. A soar to Zen 3+ (or even Zen 4) seams feasible and would give long run Steam Decks space to strengthen both equally efficiency and battery lifestyle.
Improved thumbstick ergonomics
Jared Newman / Foundry
When I’m holding the Steam Deck, my thumbs always want to rest somewhat exterior the room in which the precise thumbsticks reside, closer to my palms. Whilst match controller comfort and ease can range from one human being to the future, I suspect anybody who’s accustomed to keeping an Xbox controller will come to feel the identical way.
The problem for Valve will be to boost its thumbstick positioning without the need of removing its trackpads, which can be beneficial for mouse-controlled games and desktop manner. But if Valve is refreshing its hardware style and design all over a new processor, it may possibly have a probability to boost the ergonomics as very well.
Far better screen(s)
The present Steam Deck’s show is the 1 detail that genuinely screams “first-era products.” Although it is unquestionably bright more than enough, and the resolution of 1280×800 appears to be like sufficiently sharp on a 7-inch display, the display screen is marred by numerous patches of mild bleed all around the edges, and contrast amounts could be far better.
A increased-high-quality LED screen—or greater even now, an option for OLED—should be substantial on Valve’s precedence checklist for future Steam Decks. Although we’re at it, let us see Valve consist of a scratch-evidence coating on all designs, not just the priciest just one.
Easier battery fix
Jared Newman / Foundry
Valve has done an admirable career supporting Steam Deck repairs, partnering with iFixit to give alternative elements and do-it-on your own repair service guides.
So it is a letdown that the Steam Deck’s battery—arguably the primary factor you are going to want to swap out in the future—is complicated to get rid of thanks to the amount of adhesive keeping it down. The Steam Deck 2 need to have a battery substitution process that does not involve a heat gun.
More colour selections
Poke around the Steam Deck subreddit, and you are going to come across some gorgeous examples of persons customizing their handhelds with aftermarket adhere-on skins—along with some grievances about the annoyances of implementing mentioned skins.
Valve can be forgiven for offing only uninteresting black plastic in the Steam Deck’s initial iteration, in which hardware source was constrained adequate as-is. But for potential styles, let us see Valve department out into more shade choices that give the Steam Deck some excess character without the need of the mindful application of stickers.
Jared Newman / Foundry
This one’s almost certainly a get to, but acquiring a next MicroSD card slot would occur in useful for people that want to dual-boot a second running procedure this sort of as Home windows on the Steam Deck. That way, you could use one particular card slot for your added working technique and however have a slot to spare for further match storage. (And even if you are not twin booting, having two storage slots would be a straightforward way to expand your sport library in excess of time.)
A Change-like sort component
While Valve is working on a docking station for the Steam Deck—and you can presently acquire third-get together docks on Amazon—the enterprise need to just go all-in on copying the Nintendo Change with removable gamepads as effectively.
The outstanding matter about the Switch’s Pleasure-Disadvantages is that they make area multiplayer easy, reducing the require to shop for additional controllers. With Steam’s large collection of couch co-op game titles, a Switch-like Steam Deck could immediately grow to be the most effective social gathering console around.
A straight-up sport console
Perhaps the up coming Steam Deck should not be a Steam Deck at all, but somewhat a dedicated dwelling activity system primarily based on Steam OS, just one that can run the most current Computer system games devoid of the limits of portable hardware.
Sure, Valve has already tried to invade the dwelling console market place the moment with Steam Machines, and it was a colossal failure, but matters have adjusted considering that then. Valve’s Proton compatibility layer has vastly enhanced the selection of online games that can operate on SteamOS, and the firm now has far more hardware expertise to apply toward constructing its have console, alternatively than farming the job out to mostly disinterested Computer makers.
At its main, the attract of the Steam Deck is about staying capable to prolong your entire Laptop game library to more destinations. Now that Valve has constructed a feasible transportable, bringing SteamOS’s presence into the living space would be a natural upcoming action.