Valve is already laying the foundation for Steam Deck 2

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,127   +154
Staff member
Editor's take: The Steam Deck is barely a week old at this point but that isn’t stopping Valve from peering through the windshield rather than the rearview with regard to plans for revisions of the handheld gaming computer. While we don’t know Valve’s anticipated lifespan for the first generation device, it’s probably safe to assume that it’ll be the top dog for at least a couple of years.

In a recent interview with Edge magazine (paywalled, via ComicBook), Valve boss Gabe Newell said one of their main concerns with the Steam Deck was pricing. “We thought the entry price was going to be the critical factor but it turns out that far and away the most popular SKU is the most expensive one,” Newell noted.

It’s an example of Valve being a bit surprised by what customers are telling them. “They're basically saying, 'We would like an even more expensive version of this', in terms of horsepower capabilities or whatever,” he added.

The early feedback is already helping shape Valve’s thinking for Steam Deck 2.

A more powerful handheld that isn’t hamstrung by cost concerns could bring new functionality to the table. One example Newell touched on is support for virtual reality. According to the report, Newell believes a follow-up Steam Deck could allow users to tether VR headsets to the device to play supported games virtually anywhere.

Talk of a successor shouldn’t have early adopters or prospective purchasers feeling any buyer’s remorse. Valve still has plenty of early reservations to fill, and current expected order availability is listed as beyond Q3 2022. Growing pains should also keep Valve busy over the coming months, as will checking compatibility against the Steam back catalog.

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Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,421
Sheesh they haven’t even shipped 100k units and they have already spoken to the media about a successor. Considering Valve themselves say they need to do per game optimisation for a good experience and that they don’t expect devs to do it this doesn’t bode well for the long term. But to be fair I think most early adopters are enthusiasts who know they are beta testers but dont care.

Also glad to see the feedback is that the device is too cheap. Paying £350-£570 for a what is just a 720p LCD with an APU and battery attached to it is a tough pill to swallow. Put a 1080p OLED on it. Games at 30hz look much smoother on an OLED than on a LCD.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,400   +5,124
I've been saying for months that the first gen steam deck is going to be sold at a loss to get it into peoples hands before they release better version in the future. It was meant to test the market and see consumer reception. Now that it has mostly positive reviews they can do what Nintendo didn't do and that's release a high performance version that everyone asked for.

Take note, Nintendo, we want a 4k Switch.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,203   +4,238
Gabe please we all want you to succeed: just keep fulfilling orders for it and take a longer time to analyze what customers are saying before you waste everyone's time by trying to shoehorn some ****ing VR functionality: I am sure I will get an earful from the very few, very dedicated nerds that love VR but it just has NO MASS APPEAL and you *wont* get it right enough to have mass appeal.

Just stop it with the PR, please show us the Steam Deck is more than a broken clock and be more objective about analyzing it's plausible success.
 

eforce

Posts: 949   +1,360
Sheesh they haven’t even shipped 100k units and they have already spoken to the media about a successor. Considering Valve themselves say they need to do per game optimisation for a good experience and that they don’t expect devs to do it this doesn’t bode well for the long term. But to be fair I think most early adopters are enthusiasts who know they are beta testers but dont care.

The optimizations are mainly needed to make text more readable, and I suspect devs working on future titles will account for this automatically.

Paying £350-£570 for a what is just a 720p LCD with an APU and battery attached to it is a tough pill to swallow. Put a 1080p OLED on it. Games at 30hz look much smoother on an OLED than on a LCD.

They won't look smoother if you raise the resolution, the whole reason for the 720p screen is it can achieve 60FPS in most titles and then there is the battery life issue...

I would like to see a 1080p OLED on the successor though.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 406   +331
I've been saying for months that the first gen steam deck is going to be sold at a loss to get it into peoples hands before they release better version in the future. It was meant to test the market and see consumer reception. Now that it has mostly positive reviews they can do what Nintendo didn't do and that's release a high performance version that everyone asked for.

This is all massive amount of speculation when you're trying to get inside Valve's head

I mean, they had a "guaranteed push into three separate VR games", as-of -2017 which they used to launch the highly-successful Index!

But as-of last year, the Steam Deck had suddenly magically distracted all of Valves developers once-again!

I mean, how likely is this team going to be at ever releasing a version 2.0 of ANY hardware? Index will likely be abandoned, now that it's three years old with no signs of replacement!

Valve Hype Train™ keeps pumping up "the future," while constantly abandoning new, successful ideas before they can ever become multi-part series.


Why would anyone pay a premium for a Steam Deck 2 when you already have two other established players (both of which ship Windows on these systems?) Valve only made inroads this time by undercutting the Win Max by half!

 
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Rocky4040

Posts: 51   +76
The optimizations are mainly needed to make text more readable, and I suspect devs working on future titles will account for this automatically.



They won't look smoother if you raise the resolution, the whole reason for the 720p screen is it can achieve 60FPS in most titles and then there is the battery life issue...

I would like to see a 1080p OLED on the successor though.
I know its not much of an upgrade over 720p but if memory serves me right the Steam Deck is 800p & I am sure if they actually did try to release first gen Steam Deck at 1080p it would have been a crap fest of stuttery FPS because the APU is not powerful enough for much above 800p and even then it is barely holding on.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,421
The optimizations are mainly needed to make text more readable, and I suspect devs working on future titles will account for this automatically.
I can’t see that happening. The adoption rates of the steam deck is tiny. This is not a mainstream console. Nintendos switch lite which was deemed to have a poor launch has only sold 13 million units or so in the first few months after launch. This steam deck hasn’t even hit production in the hundreds of thousands according to Valve.

Developers would be required to set aside valuable dev time to optimise their games for the steam deck, Valve themselves said they did not expect developers to make these optimisations. And this makes sense. The steam deck almost certainly represents less than 1% of the potential player base.

The low adoption rate explains why anti cheat software hasn’t been made to work with the steam deck. Focusing dev time to getting it to work offers little financial return as not enough decks are out there with people using the software that needs it.

People need to realise this is a niche device. It’s not a mainstream platform at all.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 597   +500
I feel people should think before they make some silly request. I.e. wanting better hardware. Better hardware = higher cost. And because of the insatiable demand for better hardware every time, your costly Steam deck is going to be obsolete even faster. Also to be honest, when you want a handheld console, one will need to taper their expectations of how fast or performant it can be. More performant generally means more power required, which means you need to keep it plugged to the mains if you planned to game on it for longer periods of time. And if the devices is constantly on life support through the mains, wouldn’t it be better to game on a proper console or PC?
 

Fearghast

Posts: 511   +422
Yeahhhh... this isn't really news. It's just a basic "we're learning lots of stuff to put towards the next one" optimism.

They're focusing on the current launch, not on pumping out SD2 (unlike what people seem to be implying)...
Most of the Valve software/hardware division is certainly focused on finishing Deck 1. gen - taking internal/first feedback, fixing bugs etc.
It's kinda surprising that people think development is a straight line process ... it's a team effort, teams can be pretty big and divided to do more stuff simultaneously.
The same goes for almost every other product including movies - they stop shooting, others will pick the footage and start to cut and finalize the product, director, artists, the whole preproduction team are already working on the next one before the unfinished one hits the theatres.

Not to mention, 1. gen, cheaper device is a great start for possibly huge market in future ... as Nintendo proved with Switch. Better, more powerful, versions can come later as users prove they are interested (seriously interested and not just barking on the internet) and ideal tech for this platform gets better/cheaper.
 

Fearghast

Posts: 511   +422
Steam deck is going to be obsolete even faster.
No, it won't, it's a PC. Deck is no console where developers will focus more on "PS5 compared to PS4 version".
Take note, Nintendo, we want a 4k Switch.
Take note, Nintendo does not care. They care for games and players ... and it seems to be working quite well for them.
I personally would like to see better hardware as well, but it's not happening any time soon.
 
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Shadowboxer

Posts: 2,074   +1,654
They really need to fulfill orders of the current steam deck before they can think about making a better one. My colleague preordered about a week after it was possible to do so and his date has now changed to Q3 2022, meaning its taking over a year to deliver him a steam deck. This really isnt acceptable.

Personally I think youd have to be mad to shell out $500 for one of these things when you can get more capable gaming laptops for similar money.
 

Prrredictable

Posts: 41   +14
Sheesh they haven’t even shipped 100k units and they have already spoken to the media about a successor. Considering Valve themselves say they need to do per game optimisation for a good experience and that they don’t expect devs to do it this doesn’t bode well for the long term. But to be fair I think most early adopters are enthusiasts who know they are beta testers but dont care.

Also glad to see the feedback is that the device is too cheap. Paying £350-£570 for a what is just a 720p LCD with an APU and battery attached to it is a tough pill to swallow. Put a 1080p OLED on it. Games at 30hz look much smoother on an OLED than on a LCD.
Well, you've still got to power that 1080 OLED running CPU/GPU intensive games in a "small" form factor.
 

Bamda

Posts: 347   +172
I can’t see that happening. The adoption rates of the steam deck is tiny. This is not a mainstream console. Nintendos switch lite which was deemed to have a poor launch has only sold 13 million units or so in the first few months after launch. This steam deck hasn’t even hit production in the hundreds of thousands according to Valve.

Developers would be required to set aside valuable dev time to optimise their games for the steam deck, Valve themselves said they did not expect developers to make these optimisations. And this makes sense. The steam deck almost certainly represents less than 1% of the potential player base.

The low adoption rate explains why anti cheat software hasn’t been made to work with the steam deck. Focusing dev time to getting it to work offers little financial return as not enough decks are out there with people using the software that needs it.

People need to realise this is a niche device. It’s not a mainstream platform at all.

Your logic is so flawed it's ridiculous. This is going to be a major platform for the PC going forward and Steam is a serious player in the gaming space. Valve has already stated that they are ramping up "Steam Deck production will 'be in the hundreds of thousands by next month", you obviously do zero research before you post this crap.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,421
Your logic is so flawed it's ridiculous. This is going to be a major platform for the PC going forward and Steam is a serious player in the gaming space. Valve has already stated that they are ramping up "Steam Deck production will 'be in the hundreds of thousands by next month", you obviously do zero research before you post this crap.
My logic is sound actually. Hundreds of thousands is still a tiny number relative to other platforms and devs will still ignore it.

Just watch, the steam deck will get about 2-3 years of support before it’s dropped for the steam deck 2.

I suggest you do some research before challenging me. Imagine thinking hundreds of thousands is a lot in this industry lmao..
 
My logic is sound actually. Hundreds of thousands is still a tiny number relative to other platforms and devs will still ignore it.

Just watch, the steam deck will get about 2-3 years of support before it’s dropped for the steam deck 2.

I suggest you do some research before challenging me. Imagine thinking hundreds of thousands is a lot in this industry lmao..


They need at least 5 millions sold in this year to make this Steam Deck to be seen by developers. 12 millions to have a number close enough to PS5. Valve need to pump out at least a million units a month, not in hundred thousands scale.
 

godrilla

Posts: 438   +212
New FSR 2.0 rumors suggest a leapfrog from current dlss quality and is open source to benefit even competing hardware, I can see the steam deck benefiting from FSR 2.0 especially the next successor with probably rdna 3.0 and higher resolution.