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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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CatKiller Mar 4, 2023
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Quoting: MohandevirI don't see the point in the resolution race.

Game devs are more likely to test their UI at 1080p than 720p (unless they're targeting the Deck specifically, in which case the actual resolution doesn't matter, since they're testing for whatever it is). The bezels are too big so, if you get rid of those, you either get a smaller screen, bigger pixels, or more pixels. Of those (assuming there's adequate performance), more pixels is best. That's why I suggested it, anyway; OEMs just like putting big numbers on spec sheets.
Mohandevir Mar 4, 2023
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: MohandevirI don't see the point in the resolution race.

Game devs are more likely to test their UI at 1080p than 720p (unless they're targeting the Deck specifically, in which case the actual resolution doesn't matter, since they're testing for whatever it is). The bezels are too big so, if you get rid of those, you either get a smaller screen, bigger pixels, or more pixels. Of those (assuming there's adequate performance), more pixels is best. That's why I suggested it, anyway; OEMs just like putting big numbers on spec sheets.

My point is more pixels means more strain on the APU. Unless the Steam Deck 2 comes with a much more powerful APU, which may mean shorter battery autonomy, that's a tradeoff I would avoid. Actually the Steam Deck is 800p and many devs already take that into account. Lots of games have been updated to cope with that. I have confidence they will continue to do so, no matter what Valve settles for.

As for the bezel thing it might be caused by the internal components that require too much space? Since Valve didn't want bigger/more pixels, they may have decided to fill the space with bezels? Just a mechanical designer perspective on the matter and only one example of what may have been. Personally, I'm fine with them.

But hey, your opinion is as good as mine.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 4 March 2023 at 9:57 pm UTC
CatKiller Mar 4, 2023
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Quoting: MohandevirMy point is more pixels means more strain on the APU. Unless the Steam Deck 2 comes with a much more powerful APU, which may mean shorter battery autonomy, that's a tradeoff I would avoid.

For sure, it's definitely a balance that need to be struck. APU and battery tech improvements might cover it by the time the next gen is ready, and if they don't just stick with the lower res.

QuoteAs for the bezel thing it might be caused by the internal components that require too much space?

Nah, it's because they were trying to hit a price point, the same as it not having great colour reproduction. The bezel is the (quite chunky in this case) part of the screen that doesn't display anything. Having pixels that go all, or almost all, the way to the edge is an engineering challenge, so displays where they've managed to do so are more expensive.
Mohandevir Mar 5, 2023
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: MohandevirMy point is more pixels means more strain on the APU. Unless the Steam Deck 2 comes with a much more powerful APU, which may mean shorter battery autonomy, that's a tradeoff I would avoid.

For sure, it's definitely a balance that need to be struck. APU and battery tech improvements might cover it by the time the next gen is ready, and if they don't just stick with the lower res.

QuoteAs for the bezel thing it might be caused by the internal components that require too much space?

Nah, it's because they were trying to hit a price point, the same as it not having great colour reproduction. The bezel is the (quite chunky in this case) part of the screen that doesn't display anything. Having pixels that go all, or almost all, the way to the edge is an engineering challenge, so displays where they've managed to do so are more expensive.

Still, I wonder what design choice they would have made in using a 1280x800 8" no bezel screen... Meaning, keep the exact display size surface and just remove the actual bezels. Could the Steam Deck get smaller? Would it cause airflow issues? Does these no-bezel screens generate more heat than the one they chose?


Last edited by Mohandevir on 5 March 2023 at 5:17 pm UTC
Eike Mar 5, 2023
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I would have never seen this b(r)etzel thing if you had not talked so much about it, and now I cannot unsee it!
Mohandevir Mar 5, 2023
Quoting: EikeI would have never seen this b(r)etzel thing if you had not talked so much about it, and now I cannot unsee it!

Lol! Sorry.

Personally, it's not really an issue.

This said, I didn't even mentionned possible interferences... Valve warned user to be careful when replacing the original nvme because it could cause interferences. Could be similar with the screens. Some may cause interferences, other may be too sensible to them. Every time you change a component in such a compact design, you must revalidate the whole thing. There are always unforseen surprises... Sometimes good, sometimes bad.
CatKiller Mar 5, 2023
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Quoting: MohandevirStill, I wonder what design choice they would have made in using a 1280x800 8" no bezel screen... Meaning, keep the exact display size surface and just remove the actual bezels. Could the Steam Deck get smaller? Would it cause airflow issues? Does these no-bezel screens generate more heat than the one they chose?

If they'd known for sure what the demand would be, so they could order in sufficient quantity to still hit their price point with a better screen, I think they'd have kept everything else the same without the bezels. Same resolution, since the APU has solid performance at 1280×800 but would be too weak for too much of the catalogue at a higher resolution, and the same size, since they had to work hard at the cooling and fitting everything in. Just with physically more of the front of the device showing an image.
RealChris Mar 6, 2023
Games That Won't Work At All Due To Incompatibility Issues On Linux For SteamOS Steam Deck -

Entropia Universe
Fallen Earth
The Chronicles Of Riddick, DVD Complete Set.

So Far, Those Are The Games That Won't Even Boot Up Due To Either Launches Or Default Video Resolution Not Correcting Itself Automatically Under SteamOS. Which Crashes The SteamDeck.

That Said, We Need Steam Deck 2, To Fully Run Older Exe Launchers That Rely On Programs Like Internet Explorer And So On, We Need More Development On These Issues That Aren't Being Focused On, To Fully Get Off The Reliance Of Windows Desktops. So For Me, I'm Okay With The Battery Life, I'm Okay With My 512GB Model, However.. SteamDeck 2 Should Have The Maximum Of 2TB By Standard And Minimum Should Be 250GB For The Cheaper Models. I Think It Was A Mistake For The 64GB Model Bc Of SSDs Having Limited Writing Before The Drives Fail Compared To HDDs.

If They Can't Focus On Older Games To Launch Properly Like Fallen Earth For Example, My Primary Focus For Steam Would Be To Focus On Us Desktoppers That Want To Ditch Windows Entirely And Focus On Desktop SteamOS Whereas We Can Put Our Own HardWare Into Our Machines And Run Older Or Games Like Entropia Universe At Our Higher Frame rates Or Resolution Sets To Get Some Games To Boot.
scaine Mar 6, 2023
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Quoting: RealChrisGames That Won't Work At All Due To Incompatibility Issues On Linux For SteamOS Steam Deck -

Entropia Universe
Fallen Earth
The Chronicles Of Riddick, DVD Complete Set.

So Far, Those Are The Games That Won't Even Boot Up Due To Either Launches Or Default Video Resolution Not Correcting Itself Automatically Under SteamOS. Which Crashes The SteamDeck.

That Said, We Need Steam Deck 2, To Fully Run Older Exe Launchers That Rely On Programs Like Internet Explorer And So On, We Need More Development On These Issues That Aren't Being Focused On, To Fully Get Off The Reliance Of Windows Desktops. So For Me, I'm Okay With The Battery Life, I'm Okay With My 512GB Model, However.. SteamDeck 2 Should Have The Maximum Of 2TB By Standard And Minimum Should Be 250GB For The Cheaper Models. I Think It Was A Mistake For The 64GB Model Bc Of SSDs Having Limited Writing Before The Drives Fail Compared To HDDs.

If They Can't Focus On Older Games To Launch Properly Like Fallen Earth For Example, My Primary Focus For Steam Would Be To Focus On Us Desktoppers That Want To Ditch Windows Entirely And Focus On Desktop SteamOS Whereas We Can Put Our Own HardWare Into Our Machines And Run Older Or Games Like Entropia Universe At Our Higher Frame rates Or Resolution Sets To Get Some Games To Boot.

So weird that I can't really read this comment, just because every word is capitalised! I keep having to re-read each word to understand why, and I can't quite bring myself to form the full sentence, because of that. It's like, every three words becomes a Title and then they lose meaning in the wider structure of the sentence.
slaapliedje Mar 6, 2023
Thinking about it... I think they'll release an Index 2 or Steam Controller 2 next. It actually makes sense to do an SC2 first, to bring it up to par with the new features on the Steam Deck. I certainly hope their release cadence is more in line for game consoles than computers as far as the Steam Deck goes. A 5 year release cycle makes a lot more sense than people wanting a 2 in a year or two.
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