A Second-Gen Steam Deck Is Coming, But Significant Performance Improvements Will Only Come Later

Francesco De Meo
Steam Deck

A second-generation Steam Deck is coming, but it won't feature significant performance improvements, which will only be coming later, as Valve thinks there's value in having a single spec for now.

Speaking with The Verge, Steam Deck designers Lawrence Yang and Pierre-Loup Griffais commented on the second-gen Steam Deck, saying they want to address screen and battery life with the next system revision. Speaking about performance, they intend to keep performance consistent for now, as there is value in having a single spec for both users and developers. They will be looking at changing the system's performance level only when there is a significant gain to be held.

“Right now the fact that all the Steam Decks can play the same games and that we have one target for users to understand what kind of performance level to expect when you’re playing and for developers to understand what to target... there’s a lot of value in having that one spec.  I think we’ll opt to keep the one performance level for a little bit longer, and only look at changing the performance level when there is a significant gain to be had.” 

The first-generation Steam Deck has also changed since its release and will change more in the future. While Valve is mostly focused on the software side of things, the system's designers confirmed that hardware tweaks have been made already, and more will follow, such as improving the battery's glue, improving the system's fans, Steam, and Quick Access buttons, making the battery easier to replace and more.

In the future, Valve might also allow users to share their per-game Steam Deck power profiles. Sharing graphics settings, however, may not be coming for a long time, as it is a massive undertaking that Valve isn't looking into seriously for the moment, according to Pierre-Loup Griffais.

The Steam Deck console is now available for purchase in multiple regions. More information on the handheld gaming system by Valve can be found on its official website. You can also learn more by checking out Kai's review of the system.

Across the board, Steam Deck hits all the marks for a product line in its infancy that only has the potential to grow upwards. As Proton support grows and more titles become Verified over time, I honestly believe that the Steam Deck has the potential of carving out the portable PC market in a way that its predecessors have attempted. This is Valve's chance to break through to the mainstream audience and establish a brand new hardware line for the company, and it's made a lasting first impression on me. As the compatibility catalog grows in size, I won't have any reservations about throwing a Steam Deck in my carry-on luggage instead of a Nintendo Switch. I'll just have to remember to pack a spare battery or two for those longer flights.

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