Valve declares, “More Steamdeck, more SteamOS.”
Although Valve has previously only hinted at the existence of future Steam Deck devices, the company has now made it clear that “new generations of Steam Deck” will be commercially available.
The announcement was made in a pamphlet that Valve released to mark the launch of Steam Deck in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, not in a press release or an interview. The final page of the 50-page paper will be of particular interest to those who long for a Steam Deck 2. It discusses the hardware design process and includes interesting images of prototypes.
The section starts with the statement, “In the future, Valve will follow up on this product with enhancements and iterations to hardware and software, bringing new versions of Steam Deck to market.”
Backwards compatibility comes as standard with PC-based goods because, as stated in the following statement, “Like the original, and like all PCs, these future products will continue to provide access to the same Steam game catalog that gamers currently know and love.”
Additionally, SteamOS will be modified. As these modifications are software-based, they should be advantageous to current Steam Deck owners. Since the initial devices were delivered, Valve claims that “hundreds” of updates have already been made to the OS, and that this will “continue throughout Steam Deck’s existence, well into the future iterations of the product.”
These changes will also benefit other platforms, with Valve citing a new version of “Big Picture” mode for desktop, as well as being integral to Steam’s arrival on Chromebooks.
“This is a multi-generational product line,” the page continues. “Valve will support Steam Deck and SteamOS well into the foreseeable future. We will learn from the Steam community about new uses for our hardware that we haven’t thought of yet, and we will build new versions to be even more open and capable than the first version of Steam Deck has been.”
It doesn’t seem like the feature set for the Steam Deck 2 is set in stone, either, and Valve directly encourages fans to get in touch with their own ideas and suggestions.
Previously, co-founder Gabe Newell has suggested that future iterations should consider “the capabilities that mobile gives us, above and beyond what you would get in the traditional desktop or laptop gaming environment.”
One tantilizing possibility is the potential for untethered, PC-quality room-scale VR if the hardware is compact enough. “One of the things [Steam Deck] represents is battery-capable, high-performance horsepower that eventually you could use in VR applications as well,” Newell said. “You can take the PC and build something that is much more transportable. We’re not really there yet, but this is a stepping stone.”
Hopefully Steam Deck 2 will prove to be another big step along that journey.