Perspective: There have been rumors of a successor to the Steam Deck ever since Valve released their portable PC. The company has strongly confirmed this week that it plans to continue working on its portable hardware, but did not say when.
On Thursday, Valve released a Steam Deck booklet that affects the company’s plans for future versions of the device. It didn’t have many details, but Valve doesn’t stop at one deck.
Valve wrote a marketing booklet to explain the design goals of the company and Steam Deck to audiences in Asian territories such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. It contains a brief description of Valve, Steam and Steam Deck for an audience that may be less familiar with them. It is available for download at English, Japanese, Koreanas well as Chinese.
The final page looks to the future, calling Steam Deck a “multi-generation product line.” Valve explicitly confirms the Steam Deck successor rumors that surfaced earlier this year. The company plans to improve the hardware and software in future iterations, ensuring that subsequent Steam decks will still have access to the same software and games as the first device.
“Steam Deck represents the first product in the new Steam portable gaming PC category. In the future, Valve will develop this product by improving and iterating the hardware and software, bringing new versions of the Steam Deck to market. like all PCs, these future products will continue to provide access to the same Steam game catalog that gamers already know and love.”
In March, Valve CEO Gabe Newell said he interpreted the success of the most expensive Steam Deck model as evidence that customers are interested in more expensive options. He also expressed hope for the possibility of using virtual reality in a future model.
According to June rumors, AMD is working on an APU that could be the successor to the Van Goh processor from Steam Deck. It will have faster RAM and efficiency gains thanks to the upcoming AMD RDNA 3 GPU architecture. The chip information suggests a release towards the end of 2023 or later, which is fine. The current Steam deck is far from meeting demand, so Valve is unlikely to replace it anytime soon.
The Steam Deck is neither the only nor the first portable gaming PC, although its popularity may have galvanized the nascent sector. GamePad Digital (GPD) recently introduced two new models of its Win series: the GPD Win Max 2, which looks like a mini laptop with analog sticks, and GPA Win 4, more like a Sony PSP with a keyboard. The Max 2 has some of the same chips as the Steam Deck, but is slightly more reliable. It may eventually support Valve’s Steam OS. Other variants have also appeared, such as the Ayaneo 2 and AYN Loki Zero.
In addition to portable devices, Valve has also confirmed its plans to bring Steam Deck improvements to traditional PCs. Its user interface will form the basis of the new version of the Steam Big Picture mode. Soon, Chromebooks will also be able to play games using a compatibility layer based on Steam Deck.