Valve has previously spoken about future Steam Deck machines in an abstract sense, but now we have direct confirmation that the company intends to bring “new versions of Steam Deck to market” in the future.
Rather than coming in the form of a press release or an interview, the news actually appeared in a booklet that Valve published to celebrate the release of Steam Deck in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The 50-page document covers the hardware design process and features interesting pictures of prototypes, but it’s the last page that’s of special interest to those who dream of a Steam Deck 2.
“In the future, Valve will follow up on this product with improvements and iterations to hardware and software, bringing new versions of Steam Deck to market,” the section begins.
Naturally, being PC-based, backwards compatibility is a given: “Like the original, and like all PCs, these future products will continue to provide access to the same Steam game catalog that gamers already know and love.”
SteamOS will also be tweaked, and obviously being software based, these changes can benefit existing Steam Deck owners. Valve says that “hundreds” of changes have already been made to the OS since the first devices were shipped, and this will “continue throughout Steam Deck’s life, well into the future versions of the product.”
These changes will also benefit other platforms, with Valve citing a new version of “Big Picture” mode for desktop, as well as being integral to Steam’s arrival on Chromebooks.
“This is a multi-generational product line,” the page continues. “Valve will support Steam Deck and SteamOS well into the foreseeable future. We will learn from the Steam community about new uses for our hardware that we haven’t thought of yet, and we will build new versions to be even more open and capable than the first version of Steam Deck has been.”
It doesn’t seem like the feature set for the Steam Deck 2 is set in stone, either, and Valve directly encourages fans to get in touch with their own ideas and suggestions.
Previously, co-founder Gabe Newell has suggested that future iterations should consider “the capabilities that mobile gives us, above and beyond what you would get in the traditional desktop or laptop gaming environment.”
One tantilizing possibility is the potential for untethered, PC-quality room-scale VR if the hardware is compact enough. “One of the things [Steam Deck] represents is battery-capable, high-performance horsepower that eventually you could use in VR applications as well,” Newell said. “You can take the PC and build something that is much more transportable. We're not really there yet, but this is a stepping stone.”
Hopefully Steam Deck 2 will prove to be another big step along that journey.