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We may see a Steam Deck refresh with WiFi 6E

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While we know that Valve have said repeatedly not to expect a faster Steam Deck 2 any time soon, it appears they may still be doing some kind of refreshed Steam Deck.

This isn't all that surprising though as Valve have been doing a number of tweaks to the internals of the Steam Deck since the original release. We've seen the different fans with one having that annoying high-pitched whine, different types of SSDs, and even adjustments to the internals.

Now as noted on X by Brad Lynch, Valve appears to have gone through approvals for a change to the WiFi chip inside the Steam Deck with one that supports WiFi 6E with Dual Band Simultaneous (DBS) and Bluetooth 5.2. Here's two of the images mentioned:

Various documents about this can be quite easily found via search engines, like this that lists plenty including the first shot above taken from this document.

It will be interesting to see what happens here. There's so many ways that Valve could refresh the Steam Deck, without changing the main performance profile with the APU that would be worth upgrading. Imagine a better WiFi chip, a better screen, better battery, updated thermals and more — so many areas Valve could improve on for a mid-gen refresh that would be worth picking up.

Eventually we should find out what Galileo and Sephiroth are that was leaked before. Perhaps it's related to this? What do you think Valve are doing?

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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12 comments
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Mohandevir Oct 5, 2023
All of the above proposed refresh would be nice, but I personnally would like to see them replace the 64/256/512 by something similar to 256/512/1tb storage options. Quite sure it would still fit in the same price brackets; the nvme 2230 prices have rocketed down since the Steam Deck release.
Julius Oct 5, 2023
They probably need this for their Deckard system (wireless VR streaming) and since it is rumoured to have very similar internals to the Steam Deck (and a Qualcomm based co-processor), it is probably easy to back-port this improvement to the Deck.
Marlock Oct 5, 2023
Any mention of what brand of wifi module and if they learned their lesson on choosing modules for linux?

If they dare say realtek again instead of a brand+model that has know good linux support, i say "sargent mustard with a candelabra in the master bedroom"
Cybolic Oct 6, 2023
Quoting: MarlockAny mention of what brand of wifi module and if they learned their lesson on choosing modules for linux?[...]
It's right on the title of the first picture: Quectel FC66E-B.
Marlock Oct 6, 2023
Quoting: Cybolic
Quoting: MarlockAny mention of what brand of wifi module and if they learned their lesson on choosing modules for linux?[...]
It's right on the title of the first picture: Quectel FC66E-B.
Thanks!
I've tried finding out how good or bad linux support is for that chip but found nothing...

...so I'm probably being as blind in that task as I was finding out which chip it is, LOL
whizse Oct 6, 2023
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Quoting: MarlockThanks!
I've tried finding out how good or bad linux support is for that chip but found nothing...

...so I'm probably being as blind in that task as I was finding out which chip it is, LOL
Unless I'm reading this wrong, that chip in turn uses the Qualcomm QCA206x Wi-Fi 6E chip.

Annoyingly I can't find anything about Linux support for that one either...
Marlock Oct 6, 2023
Quoting: whizse
Quoting: MarlockThanks!
I've tried finding out how good or bad linux support is for that chip but found nothing...

...so I'm probably being as blind in that task as I was finding out which chip it is, LOL
Unless I'm reading this wrong, that chip in turn uses the Qualcomm QCA206x Wi-Fi 6E chip.

Annoyingly I can't find anything about Linux support for that one either...
almost exactly where I stopped...

I did find some mentions about commits to the linux kernel regarding the QCA2066 but they were all about bluetooth not wifi.
https://lkml.org/lkml/2023/2/8/285
tarmo888 Oct 8, 2023
Sounds a lot like a Steam Deck VR, a Steam Deck variant that supports VR games and comes packaged with VR headset. Expect $2k price tag.
Marlock Oct 8, 2023
Quoting: tarmo888Sounds a lot like a Steam Deck VR, a Steam Deck variant that supports VR games and comes packaged with VR headset. Expect $2k price tag.
I see zero reason why Valve would develop a new VR headset and a new handheld but only sell them bundled instead of each on its own. They have already proven they're smart when it comes to reaching people in lower price tiers (which bundling prevents) and they already sold these things standalone.

They might offer both together optionally at a discount, that'd be sweet


Last edited by Marlock on 8 October 2023 at 11:44 am UTC
Pecisk Oct 8, 2023
Steam Deck gonna sell well for foreseeable future, for multitude of reasons. It has solidified brand, name and recognition how and why it is good in terms of price/performance, ergonomics, and just whole ecosystem. Yes, competition will try to weight in as well, but I don't expect them to change market any time soon.
I expect to see hardware evolutionary refresh at some point. They not gonna rush it though. And to be honest, that is smartest to approach this, as I expect anyone rushing in to expect fast ROI will burn themselves out.
Tbh besides higher VR resolution, I am not 100% sure you can add more hardware wise. Yes, small improvements, but overall, it is highly dependant on VR games and experiences, which move much slower than hardware, which is expected.
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