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No true next-gen Steam Deck for 'a few years' Valve say

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As expected really, Valve said they don't really expect to see a true next-gen Steam Deck for a few years yet. Speaking to Rock Paper Shotgun, it's clear Valve are very happy with the first year of the Steam Deck.

Talking to Valve's Lawrence Yang and engineer Pierre-Loup Griffais, it seems it has been blowing their minds. Something of a surprise though, even to me, is that Yang mentioned how they've noticed that "of the people who've purchased a Steam Deck, 42% of them end up spending the majority of their Steam gaming time on Steam Deck – preferring it over their other devices".

So not only is it still selling like tasty sugar-coated hot doughnuts, with it being in the top 10 of global sellers (based on revenue from SteamDB) where it's up against games shifting multiple millions, plenty of people are sticking with it and even shifting over to it.

One sticking point is more games coming out that don't perform well, and while the Steam Deck is impressive, it all depends on developers actually optimising for the hardware, as Griffais said "it'll depend on how developers approach it" and that "If high-end current-gen titles are able to scale to Deck and be a great experience, it also enables smoother performance on a wider variety of PCs, and improve the experience for the whole playerbase". Yang also mentioned how they've "seen a number of recently released demanding titles perform well on Steam Deck, due to developers targeting and testing on the device.".

As always, the problem is in numbers. If the Steam Deck continues selling well, developers won't be able to ignore it. I've seen many games perform brilliantly, even surprisingly so, when they've clearly had a lot of optimization done on them. Then I've also seen the opposite myself, with games that you would think would also work well simply don't (often these bigger AAA games that primarily seem to target consoles…).

When it comes to a true Steam Deck 2, we're clearly in for a wait, as Yang said "a true next-gen Deck with a significant bump in horsepower wouldn’t be for a few years".

Valve don't exactly need much to make the Steam Deck 2 a success — or do they?

Need some more games for Steam Deck? Check out the new Humble Heroines Bundle overview.

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Pecisk Mar 10, 2023
It is true, Steam Deck has made me enjoy gaming again. There are still things I would better play on my big PC, but overall with so many games being really playable while relaxing in bed or couch it is very hard to beat. I started to clear my backlog of strategy games, finally being able to enjoy time with them instead of fighting tiredness of sitting at the front of big screen.
Considering how modular Steam Deck is, I wouldn't worry too much about next gen. Yes, there will be games that will be just terrible on SD. You can't win them all. I will take sleek, well running, well configured out of the box set of 2 - 5 thousand games over next big title every day. They are important, but not that important.

Added: also it is worth noting that such high end niche could be filled by other vendor stepping in.

Last edited by Pecisk on 10 March 2023 at 1:06 pm UTC
Arehandoro Mar 10, 2023
I love the Steam Deck, and even if not totally related to this, my biggest 'meh' right now is that some games that are Steam Deck verified, when played offline, don't unlock achievements when Wi-Fi connection is back. I know is a stupid thing, and overall I don't care that much for achievements, but there are times when I put the effort to get one, so I'd prefer seeing it unlocked :D

By having a 'target' device in PC, it seems we could benefit from better optimization overall, and that's very good for the average gamer (and the planet), so I'm happy Valve waiting 'years' to see a true next gen, companies seeing the potential of the current one, etc.

Now, 'not true next-gen' well means that in a few months they could release a Deck with better battery life, with OLED, or SSD.

Last edited by Arehandoro on 10 March 2023 at 1:13 pm UTC
benstor214 Mar 10, 2023
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Quoting: ArehandoroNow, 'not true next-gen' well means that in a few months they could release a Deck with better battery life, with OLED, or SSD.
I was thinking the same when I noticed the clever use of the word ‘true’ in the response. Or maybe it could be that the respondent just carefully left a door open, so no-one can complain should Valve decide to release an updated version.
woox2k Mar 10, 2023
Right now it wouldn't even make sense to release another one because hardware is not progressed enough to be worth it. I'd expect SD2 to be at least twice as powerful with the same, or better battery life. OLED screens and such are nice to have but not worth to develop a new device around it. Maybe there will be OLED upgrade available at one point instead?
BlackBloodRum Mar 10, 2023
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I hate that I'm saying this but.. I've lately fallen back to playing games on my desktop computer. I do have a deck, well who doesn't, but I tend to find it's just quicker to set things up on my desktop.

There is one thing I love about the Steam Deck, for every improvement that's made for games, it translates directly to desktop linux too.

So, whether you're using a deck or not, you're still benefiting from the proton/wine, mesa, vk3d and so on improvements!
Lachu Mar 10, 2023
I always told, Linux have been great. People are scarred of Linux because rumors and attack everything with Linux in name. Looks at Android, which contains only part of most Linux distribution: maybe only kernel. Before Android success, people told Linux is mesh and is worst code even. They told the same about kernel. Android get adoption. What are saying the same people? Linux is mesh, except kernel, because Android have Linux kernel. Many people have no IT knowledge and repeat rumors created by Linux enemies, like Microsoft (GetTheFact site). People are selecting information, which are good for it. So, when someone's told Linux is mesh, human think: "I known nothing about Linux, but the same person told Windows is the best and I am using Windows. I have only small problems with Windows (or computer? or myself?), so they've right. And if he/she laying, there cannot be too many voices telling the same. This person must be right!". MS and Education Ministry in many countries created religion around IT. They do not like to teach people about IT a lot, because market need secretaries and bookkeepers. IT specialist at some education degree are learning how to be good as secretary and bookkeeping, because IT program have only how to doing things in Excel/Word/PowerPoint and basic things about Windows. In fact, IT specialist, without high schools are prepared to be subordinates of bookkeepers and secretaries. They may to walking inside building, where they work and teach Ms Bookkeeper, where to click to achieve some effect or click for her.
Also, without high school, people known nothing about Linux and even after high school (University) they though Linux is a console, because teacher told that (my case) and forbid to ran X, because Linux is good on server and on server there is no need to run KDE/GNOME. IT education program are prepared to teach people about Windows, without knowledge about MS rivals, and with small knowledge as possible. In this case, people create cult of IT, because they do not have knowledge. Windows do not work? Login again! Still do not work? Shutdown computer and launch again! Still? Reinstall Windows, with lost of all data. This is way people after some degree of IT education do for each problem with computer. This is based on dogmas, because they have no knowledge and did not search where problem is to remove it, so it is kind of cult. People without IT knowledge adopt this solutions. And these people, without IT knowledge, try to create some explanation of IT facts around them. They use what they thinking about world from different part of knowledge, like economy. Why Linux is less popular? Because it is worst! And, if they read this explanation, they believe it.

What I am trying to address. Google got Linux (kernel) and shown it is good, but people before Android told Linux is very weak/bad kernel. People stop telling Linux kernel is bad. But is Linux kernel changed? No! Of course, they progress and becomes better and better, but this is still the same piece of code, in most part. Now Steam Deck could get most gaming market, so people will saw KDE is good, Arch is good and Linux is good for gaming. As a result, some people will stop laying that KDE, Linux is bad, especially for gaming.

I think that bad IT education level is designed especially to force people to use Windows/Excel/Word/PowerPoint, because they are scaring of computers (they do not known much about IT, so they have problems and scaring), so they do not perform any changes, especially OS. Also, many security specialist are told, people should not install additional software to computers, because they could contains malware (which is partially right), so people would not install Linux. To avoid expressing they do not have knowledge about computers (they fault), they will attack any unknown person, who try help they.

Last edited by Lachu on 10 March 2023 at 1:57 pm UTC
Pengling Mar 10, 2023
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I've gotta say, this is the least-surprising news I've seen in a while, but that's a good thing!

Hopefully they won't do a mid-lifecycle refresh with an OLED screen before I can get a Steam Deck for myself, though - those things hurt my eyes, and I also don't want to waste money on a display that's guaranteed to die, since that goes against the ethos of keeping hardware in service for as long as possible by optimising properly for it.

Quote(often these bigger AAA games that primarily seem to target consoles…)
PC ports are still sometimes afterthoughts for these types of developers, so this doesn't surprise me too much.
Kimyrielle Mar 10, 2023
I belong to the 58% who still plays mostly on the desktop, but I am not parting with my Deck. It has become the device for gaming on the sofa or in bed and filled a gap for me there (I don't own a "proper" console and don't want one). I am still surprised how many recent games it can run just fine (including Hogwarts Legacies). Yes, that's probably going to change in the next few years when newer GPU generations become more widespread, but I expect the Deck to run most if not all the games I am playing for years to come.
BlackBloodRum Mar 10, 2023
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Quoting: KimyrielleI belong to the 58% who still plays mostly on the desktop, but I am not parting with my Deck. It has become the device for gaming on the sofa or in bed and filled a gap for me there (I don't own a "proper" console and don't want one). I am still surprised how many recent games it can run just fine (including Hogwarts Legacies). Yes, that's probably going to change in the next few years when newer GPU generations become more widespread, but I expect the Deck to run most if not all the games I am playing for years to come.
Oof consoles. I'm glad I got away from them!

I do agree though, Steam deck is great for portable gaming or playing in otherwise off-limits locations! It should run games for many years as you say (assuming you don't get hardware failure) simply because PC games allow adjusting graphics settings and such, so anything that doesn't quite run can probably be tweaked to run at some point (with less visual quality).

The biggest plus over consoles though? All games you're playing on it now, should Deck 2 or even Deck 3 become a thing, you can still use them without needing to buy them again for the current "generation". This for me has always been a major plus of PC gaming over consoles.
tpau Mar 10, 2023
It is not a device where you run ultra high details and 8k resolution with 200fps. You don't have to.
That is something a full blown and specced desktop monster for a couple hundreds and thousands will do for you.

It is absolutely fine for a few years to come while the technology advances and we get things like going
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