Earlier this year Valve confirmed that the next generation of Steam Deck is coming, but it won’t be happening for some time. But just because we may have to wait a few years doesn’t necessarily mean development isn’t already underway. In fact, a new version of the Steam Deck just went through the FCC’s certification process — suggesting there’s something happening behind the scenes.
The device in question is referred to as the “Valve 1030”, something that also went through certification with the South Korean National Radio Research Agency in early September. The difference is that the FCC has identified this device as a Steam Deck.
Normally FCC certification only happens when a device is almost ready to launch. But don’t get too excited just yet. There’s a pretty reasonable chance that this is simply a device with updated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth hardware.
Any update that deals with radio frequencies like this would have to be resubmitted to the FCC, and other international regulators, for certification before it can go on sale. Plus, as spotted by Brad Lynch and TVKilledMi on X/Twitter, this model does support 6GHz triple-band Wi-Fi — suggesting that it has either Wi-Fi 6E or Wi-Fi 7. The original Steam Deck doesn’t even have Wi-Fi 6.
Then again, as The Verge notes, this particular device was only certified for 5GHz Wi-Fi in South Korea. That suggests there may be more to this than a simple update to Wi-Fi support.
Unfortunately there’s only so much we can learn from FCCC certifications, since it’s only interested in wireless transmissions. That means there could be other features coming that are currently hidden from sight. Much as a Steam Deck with better Wi-Fi support does sound appealing.
We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out, and what other upgrades this new Steam Deck could have to offer — assuming it ever gets released. Unless Valve has been lying to us, it probably won’t be a full-scale Steam Deck 2, but even a minor refresh might be worth releasing for people who either don't have a Steam Deck or find the current model a little bit lacking.