Looking forward: Speculation about a successor to the Steam Deck has been circulating ever since Valve released its portable PC. The company gave the strongest confirmation yet this week that it plans to follow up on its wearable hardware, but without saying when.
On Thursday, Valve released a brochure about the Steam Deck that addresses the company’s plans for future versions of the device. He didn’t provide many details, but Valve doesn’t stop at one Deck.
Valve wrote the marketing brochure to explain the company’s and Steam Deck’s design goals to audiences in Asian territories such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Contains a concise overview of Valve, Steam, and the Steam Deck for audiences who may be less familiar with them. It is available to download in English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.
The final page looks to the future and calls the Steam Deck a “multi-generational product line.” Valve explicitly confirms the rumors about Steam Deck successors that surfaced earlier this year. The company plans to improve the hardware and software in future iterations while also ensuring that subsequent Steam Decks can still access the same software and games as the inaugural unit.
“Steam Deck represents the first in a new category of Steam gaming handheld PCs. In the future, Valve will follow up this product with hardware and software improvements and iterations, and bring new versions of Steam Deck to market. Just like the original , and Like all PCs, these future products will continue to provide access to the same catalog of Steam games that gamers already know and love.”
In March, Valve boss Gabe Newell said he interpreted the success of the Steam Deck’s most expensive model as evidence that customers were interested in higher-end variants. He also expressed his hopes for virtual reality capability in a future model.
Rumors from June suggested that AMD is working on an APU that could be the successor to the Steam Deck’s “Van Goh” processor. It would feature faster RAM and efficiency gains from AMD’s upcoming RDNA 3 GPU architecture. Information about the chip suggests a release towards the end of 2023 or later, which is fine. The current Steam Deck is nowhere near meeting its demand, so it’s unlikely that Valve will replace it any time soon.
The Steam Deck isn’t the only or the first portable gaming PC, though its popularity may have sparked the nascent industry. GamePad Digital (GPD) recently introduced two new models in its Win series: the GPD Win Max 2, which looks like a mini laptop with analog sticks, and the GPD Win 4, which looks more like a Sony PSP with a keyboard. The Max 2 features some of the same chips as the Steam Deck, but is slightly beefier. It could eventually be compatible with Valve’s Steam OS. Other options have also emerged such as the Ayaneo 2 and the AYN Loki Zero.
In addition to portable drives, Valve also reiterated plans to extend the Steam Deck enhancements to traditional PCs. Its user interface will form the basis of a new version of Steam’s Big Picture mode. Soon, Chromebooks will also be able to play games using a compatibility layer derived from the Steam Deck.