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Steam Deck 2: Valve Hints at Future of Handheld Gaming PCs

Steam Deck 2 on the way
(Image credit: Valve)

Valve has stoked up excitement among the portable PC gaming community, and other techy gadget lovers, with the publication of its new free eBook about the Steam Deck. The eBook provides a kind of potted history plus a vision statement for the Steam Deck, ahead of the device’s launch in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Among the highlights in the 52 page booklet is the tacit confirmation that there will be a Steam Deck 2 on the way (and perhaps more), as GamingonLinux highlighted. Also those who want to use the latest SteamOS versions on their PCs will be pleased that a generic installer has been mentioned again.

Most of our readers will be very well aware of Steam Deck. Moreover, its unique position in the handheld PC gaming market is well established, and set it out as a pioneering device in this field. At the same time, PC enthusiasts and gamers are pretty wary of v1.0 products, so a Steam Deck 2 will unlock a lot of pent-up excitement and demand.

On the very last page of Valve’s Steam Deck eBook, it shares some of its vision for the future of gaming handhelds and SteamOS. Headlined “The Future: more Steam Decks, more SteamOS,” this concluding section makes it very clear there will be a Steam Deck 2, or whatever it might be called, and probably further iterations. Valve can be pretty certain it has a hit on its hands here, after previous hardware misfires, and it looks set to ride the wave.

(Image credit: Valve)

There aren’t many real clues about the direction of travel for a Steam Deck successor in the eBook. Nothing as interesting as a discussion of form factor, tech specs etc were shared. Instead, Valve said that it will “follow up on this product with improvements and iterations to hardware and software, bringing new versions of Steam Deck to market.” PC enthusiasts always appreciate open platforms, and Valve mentions that it wants the successor to the Steam Deck to be “even more open.”

We already know that Valve is working to prepare a generic SteamOS distribution, so anyone with a PC desktop or laptop can get the latest version of this gaming focused OS up and running. However, it is good to see Valve reconfirmed this initiative, so we know it is one of the top tasks on its check list.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • Makaveli
    If I was going to buy one this is where I would jump in I don't buy first generation products.

    Lets hope it has RDNA 3 APU in it and at least Zen 3+ but Zen 4 would be preferable.
    Reply
  • LikeClockwork64
    i want a commodore 64 like steam deck called the STD64
    Reply
  • Roland Of Gilead
    LikeClockwork64 said:
    i want a commodore 64 like steam deck called the STD64
    :tearsofjoy:
    Reply
  • junglist724
    Gimme 4nm or 5nm 3d stacked Zen 4 + rdna3 for extreme power efficiency.
    Reply
  • -Fran-
    Makaveli said:
    If I was going to buy one this is where I would jump in I don't buy first generation products.

    Lets hope it has RDNA 3 APU in it and at least Zen 3+ but Zen 4 would be preferable.
    For a 1st gen product, the Steam Deck is really well built and thought. The only issues I have with it are battery life and raw performance for latest titles. I'd even argue that disk space is ok-ish, but more is better.

    This is to say, for this sort of device, raw performance is not at the top of the list. What good is to have 100FPS for 5 minutes on this type of device?

    Looks like the other manufacturers specialized in these ultra portables are looking up to the Steam Deck and taking good lessons from it, plus adding their own improvements.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    -Fran- said:
    For a 1st gen product, the Steam Deck is really well built and thought. The only issues I have with it are battery life and raw performance for latest titles. I'd even argue that disk space is ok-ish, but more is better.

    This is to say, for this sort of device, raw performance is not at the top of the list. What good is to have 100FPS for 5 minutes on this type of device?

    Looks like the other manufacturers specialized in these ultra portables are looking up to the Steam Deck and taking good lessons from it, plus adding their own improvements.

    Regards.

    Battery life is indeed the biggest issue with version 1 of the deck.

    I don't care too much about raw performance but I would like to see a 60fps target for the next version and not 30. It can stay at the same resolution or go up to 1080p.

    In terms of ergonomics the deck lead all others.

    Will be interesting to see what changes are made in the next one.
    Reply
  • solarasreign
    Makaveli said:
    Battery life is indeed the biggest issue with version 1 of the deck.

    I don't care too much about raw performance but I would like to see a 60fps target for the next version and not 30. It can stay at the same resolution or go up to 1080p.

    In terms of ergonomics the deck lead all others.

    Will be interesting to see what changes are made in the next one.
    The battery life is affected by the types of games you play. In the emulation scene and indies the battery is quite impressive. For me getting 5-6hrs on indie titles to be great versus a heavier game giving me about 2hrs. For a first gen it's quite impressive imo.
    Reply
  • peterf28
    Cannot those games run on Android?
    Reply
  • distortnx
    peterf28 said:
    Cannot those games run on Android?
    No, and many of the readers on this site likely have gigantic steam backlogs - also safe to say most of us appreciate the open nature of the device (can install Windows or another Linux flavor). I think the timing of this was brilliant on valve's part - right after the pandemic where everyone's libraries I'm sure grew, back to the daily commute as restrictions ease, and the hardware was in the right place. Any earlier (Zen 1, RDNA 1) it would've flopped. The performance and battery life is borderline for me, will be waiting for the next iteration.
    Reply
  • ezst036
    Admin said:
    We already know that Valve is working to prepare a generic SteamOS distribution, so anyone with a PC desktop or laptop can get the latest version of this gaming focused OS up and running. However, it is good to see Valve reconfirmed this initiative, so we know it is one of the top tasks on its check list.

    I can't wait to install the generally available SteamOS 3.x
    Reply