Steam Deck to Get Regular New Models, Valve Looking at More High-End Offerings

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Valve begins shipping their new Steam Deck today, and while the portable gaming hardware may look a lot like a console (the Switch, specifically) it plays PC games, so what can we expect in terms of updates? Will its hardware be constantly updated as tech allows or will it have more long-term locked down specs ala consoles? In a new interview with IGN, Valve boss Gabe Newell was asked whether new Steam Deck models are in the works and he responded very much in the positive.

Absolutely. That's the great thing about the PC market, right? It just continues. A year from now, AMD is going to have better parts. All the component suppliers are either going to expand supply capacity, expand performance, or reduce costs. So, we're absolutely going to ride that as hard as we can.

As for what we can expect from future Steam Deck hardware, Gabe doesn’t expect prices for individual SKUs to go up, even if demand remains high, but new higher-end models may be made available. Valve was surprised to discover that the Steam Deck's top end $650 SKU was easily its most popular, indicating to them that players are looking for Decks packed with more stuff…

This N64 Portal Demake Running on Real Hardware is Looking Promising

We don't expect it to [increase in price]. Part of what you do with pricing is you're making a promise to customers. I don't really see us changing. Probably the biggest thing on the pricing side is far more people are buying the most expensive SKU than we expected. What that tells us is that we should continue to look at higher-end offerings as well, but we wouldn't expect to be adjusting the SKU pricing. […] Clearly, given the actual behavior of people ordering the device, what they're saying is, "Can you put more stuff in? Can you give us more storage? Can you give us more performance?" The signal right now is "Can you give us more?" not "Can  you make it cheaper?"

Haven’t been keeping up with the Steam Deck? Wccftech’s Kai Powell found the platform promising, if still early in its evolution in some ways, in his full review

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.

The first Steam Deck units should be shipping today. From there, Valve will ship units to those who pre-ordered on a first come, first served basis.

Products mentioned in this post

Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch
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