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Valve doesn't need much to make a Steam Deck 2 a huge success

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With the Steam Deck recently having a first anniversary, no doubt many are thinking on what's next — I certainly am. Valve don't exactly need much to make a Steam Deck 2 a success either.

As a gaming device, the Steam Deck clearly isn't perfect. Nothing is. However, it's clearly popular and overall it does the job quite nicely of making the PC as a platform more accessible to a wider audience. And putting Linux in the hands of many who previously didn't care about Linux. We already know Valve are looking to the future for more Steam Decks too, as they said it's a "multi-generational product line".

Valve need to be careful on the timing of the announcement and the release. We are after all, only one year since the original's release. They need to ensure people feel like their purchase and personal investment into it was worth it, and not do any announcement too soon. How soon is too soon though? Two years? Three years? By three is it too late?

They need to make the upgrade worth it too. Is it just enough to have perhaps a better battery and screen? The more I think on it, I don't believe it is. Don't get me wrong, you can pry my Steam Deck from my cold dead hands but I do want more power in my hands too. Really though, it very much depends on what type of games you're playing for what you'll settle for. People will argue both ends from just wanting a better battery to play longer, to wanting more power to keep those troublesome AAAs at at least a solid 30FPS (or better).

Valve doesn't need much to make the Steam Deck 2 a success, clearly. A little wait for AMD to come out with a fresh APU that's a decent step up, a better screen and battery and job done right?

Hold on, this is going the exactly opposite way to what I thought…

I'm not asking for much. Well, clearly I am. The Steam Deck 2 is not exactly an easy task. A better higher resolution screen would need more computing power, so a newer APU would end up essential if they ran a higher resolution and then you may not see such a big performance increase (and likely a higher power draw too) — but then you would get better and clearer looking games, a better battery would make it heavier and it can already be uncomfortable for playing longer periods. There's actually ups and downs to anything they could upgrade, then you have to take into account the pricing on it too (even if they stuck with the same resolution, but just had a better looking screen cost is a problem).

That's without even thinking about storage, gosh, the problems continue. The 64GB model is so often just too small, especially with the shader pre-cache system, every single day there's support questions on people confused as to why their 64GB is full. Valve need to go bigger. Games are getting fatter all the time too, have you seen how laughably massive some games now are? This problem will only get worse over time.

Given how clearly people are wanting to play some of the latest games, as well as plenty of older titles, I don't think they could just settle without putting in a new more powerful AMD APU. I just don't think it would make a whole lot of sense.

It's a very tricky balancing act, so it really doesn't surprise me when Valve's Gabe Newell said the pricing on the current Steam Deck was "painful" in an interview with IGN.

One thing we can at least count on, even with the original model, is continued improvements to compatibility thanks to their continued work on Proton (or Native Linux ports if the market share became big enough to make it truly worth it), GPU drivers and much more.

So actually, Valve have one heck of a job to improve on what is already a good product. Can they do it? What do you think? What exactly do you want from a Steam Deck 2?

Check out my recent Steam Deck news round-up video below if you missed it and be sure to follow me on YouTube.

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rkl Mar 3, 2023
I think 3 years after the Steam Deck 1 is the right period of time to launch a successor. By then, the latest APU should be much faster and probably more power efficient too (meaning the battery doesn't have to be that much bigger). Apart from APU improvements, they should have a better screen with smaller bezels to allow 8" 1080p without increasing overall size. Other hardware improvements could be: a fingerprint reader, a second USB C port on the bottom, move storage tiers up so they are all SSD between 256GB and 1TB and maybe a good Webcam with a privacy shutter. You will not see a $399 Deck 2 - I suspect it would start at $499 or maybe even higher.

They should also launch a Steam Controller 2 at the same time modelled on the Deck controls. Assuming SteamOS 3 is finally out as a standalone ISO by then (c'mon Valve, you're taking too long!), then Valve should offer SteamOS 3 and the Steam Controller 2 to major OEMs as a free or partly subsidised gaming bundle for desktops/laptops (Valve would certify SteamOS on the OEM hardware but insist that it's a simple radio button to switch between Windows 11 and SteamOS when purchasing [i.e. not hidden on a separate product page, which would kill sales as we've seen with Dell and Lenovo's Linux efforts in the past]).

We desperately need big OEMs to ship Linux pre-installed for Linux gaming to take off and SteamOS might be able to do it.

Last edited by rkl on 3 March 2023 at 8:17 am UTC
Marginalium Mar 3, 2023
What I liked to see in a Steam Deck 2 would be a removable battery. Maybe it would also need a more secure charger port so that the cable doesn’t fall out while you play.
I only play with the charger connected and the steam deck is just a bit heavy.
For this year though I agree with the previous posters: a new steam controller would be awesome!
kria Mar 3, 2023
The Steam Deck2 should have AirJet cooling, if it proves to be as good as they claim.

And it should be a foldable like the Gameboy advance sp was for better mobility.
dopeytree Mar 3, 2023
I think it's pretty good as it. Its come so far since release day. I remember it was a buggy mess lol.
We are only just getting to the good software updates. Doom has Raytracing on a handheld device! Lets wait till devs actually make something with the steamdeck in mind. Most current games have been 3-5years in the making so haven't been targeting the deck & lets be honest all these 'presets' that are being included are rubbish they just put everthing on low when it can do a few on high.

- I think they should actually keep the same res screen for the gen2 BUT give it a nice boosted shiny APU so it can run docked mode at higher res easily.
- OLED or MINI LED display and can go brighter (800-1000nits)
- Put some battery cells in the grips.
- Dimmable led behind some of the buttons like the steam button.
- Configurable LED GLOW aroudn the joysticks.
- Quick docking ports under the deck
- Better rumble
- I expect the PS5 will have a new update soon (they useally make it smaller & more energy efficient so maybe thats the way to go with the deck, upgrades rather than a revolution.

Last edited by dopeytree on 3 March 2023 at 5:16 pm UTC
RavenWings Mar 3, 2023
Right now I´d pay premium money for a simple Steam Deck 1.5 with:

- OLED Screen
- 2280 m.2 Slot
- Second USB-C port
- Easier exchangable battery
- A backplate with a built-in Deckmate connector

So of course these things would also be high on my wishlist for a Steam Deck 2. I also hope they stick with 800p as I don´t see the benefits of higher resolutions outwheigh the drawbacks anytime soon, unless there are some major jumps in technology. Apart from that, the topic of resolution turned out to be a fast and reliable way to determine if a reviewer knows what hes talking about or not, so thats a boon

Last edited by RavenWings on 3 March 2023 at 9:03 pm UTC
TheRiddick Mar 4, 2023
Given that other more expensive handhelds with a 6800U in them were doing similar performance at 1080p as SD and about 50% faster at 800p setting.

I think there is room to produce a SD2 at this stage given AMD has new generation APU's in house already which no doubt Valve has access too.

I would like to see Value attempt to use a 6c/12t CPU this time around, at least as the minimal.

Also I'd like to see them use several of those SOLID STATE COOLER CHIPS that company developed (forgot name now)

It would be a huge step ahead if they designed the battery(s) in positions where they can be interchangeable, just takes a bit of plastic mold like SOME mobile phones with back panels that pop off....

Last edited by TheRiddick on 4 March 2023 at 1:08 am UTC
BlackBloodRum Mar 4, 2023
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While I agree, I feel like the Deck was successful in achieving what it aimed to do, it hasn't gone overly smoothly. However, it's not valves fault, nor any developers fault this time around.

But rather.. the entitled gaming community. Generally being crappy as usual. For example, still, to this day, when a dev proudly announces "Hey, we're Steam deck verified", the community still sends a ton of crap and hate their way. For example, Cyberpunk 2077:

Most of the comments are:
- Misleading or incorrect regarding the decks capabilities
- Pure FUD
- Generally anti-Deck
- Some anti-linux
- Overall mocking

For it to be smoother, we need to get the community to stop effectively shitting on it for no particular reason other than "I know best, despite knowing nothing about it, so I'm just going to post some random crap comment to hate on it.", which appears to be the mind set of most of the commenters.

But why is this a problem? Simple, imagine your a game developer and you think "cool, we'll expand our customer base a bit by supporting this platform somewhat-officially as well". Then you read those responses. What would your next move be?
Eike Mar 4, 2023
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Quoting: BlackBloodRumBut rather.. the entitled gaming community. Generally being crappy as usual. For example, still, to this day, when a dev proudly announces "Hey, we're Steam deck verified", the community still sends a ton of crap and hate their way. For example, Cyberpunk 2077:

I didn't step through many pages, but aren't most people there angry about the game's quality itself and are using every chance to bitch around?
BlackBloodRum Mar 4, 2023
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Quoting: Eike
Quoting: BlackBloodRumBut rather.. the entitled gaming community. Generally being crappy as usual. For example, still, to this day, when a dev proudly announces "Hey, we're Steam deck verified", the community still sends a ton of crap and hate their way. For example, Cyberpunk 2077:

I didn't step through many pages, but aren't most people there angry about the game's quality itself and are using every chance to bitch around?
They are, but the sad part is they're also basically crapping on the deck too. Claiming it has poor performance and so on.

With that said, as a player of that game, on Linux using both Desktop & Deck, it really isn't as bad as they'd have you believe. So far my only complaints are lag after using map (restart game to fix) and extended sessions (4+ hrs) will cause it to eventually crash. Although, my own install is not a regular one (I use lots of mods). It has it's glitches, but honestly what game doesn't?
Mohandevir Mar 4, 2023
To begin with, I really like my Steam Deck the way it is.

If I had one wish, it would be egpu support integrated into the docking station. Some chinese company did miracles with the RX6600m mobile chip. Maybe something equivalent, at the current gpu gen? Along with the Steam Controller 2 release, It would make for an awesome Steam Machine.

I don't see the point in the resolution race. 1280x800 is pretty fine, imo. Maybe 1600x1000, but I wouldn't go higher than that. I'd use a more powerfull apu to try and reach stable 60fps in most AAA games, personally. But in any case, it would require better battery life, so...

I still think Valve hit the sweet spot, with the current Steam Deck. And please don't consider any modifications to the inputs layout. It's awesome as it is.
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