Valve has shared new information about the advancements to be made with Steam Deck 2, including increased battery life, and further expressed a desire to create a Steam Controller 2.
Valve has made no secret that there will be a sequel to the Steam Deck - in fact, multiple iterations of the portable gaming PC - and in an interview with The Verge (opens in a new tab), Steam Deck designers Lawrence Yang and Pierre- Loup Griffais addressed some priorities for Steam Deck 2.
When asked about the main pain points that needed to be fixed with the next incarnation of the handheld, the two said it was about longer battery life and better screen performance.
So what about faster performance and smoother frame rates? That's apparently not in the cards, as Griffais told The Verge: "Right now, the fact that all Steam Decks can play the same games and we have a goal for users to understand what kind of performance level to expect when you're playing and for developers to understand what to aim for… there's a lot of value in just having that spec.
He added: “I think we will choose to keep the performance level a little longer and only change the performance level when there is a significant gain.”
As we mentioned at the beginning, the topic of a Steam Controller sequel came up, and Yang responded, “Yes, we want that to happen. It's just a matter of how and when.
So there will be sequels to both of these pieces of hardware, although Steam Deck 2 is clearly Valve's focus, but Steam Controller 2 will likely be something that will be explored, Yang notes.
Valve employees are also helping with the company's extensive efforts to get games running properly on the Steam Deck and fix issues like fixing stutter with Elden Ring. Valve apparently spent about six months releasing Halo Infinite, including implementing new Vulkan features to make the game compatible; impressive lengths indeed.
Efforts to make games with anti-cheat systems compatible with the handheld are another area of focus, and engineers noted Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Fall Guys as examples of games we're actively working on that they should be playable in the Deck (eventually).
(*2*)Review: Boosting the battery would clearly help a lot
When it comes to Steam Deck 2, battery life is an obvious goal to aim for. Obviously, any laptop literally lives and dies by battery life, which can be especially problematic for demanding games. Therefore, getting an extra decent life will be a big step forward. Of course, a better screen is another obvious goal that will make a big difference to the overall portable gaming experience.
It's interesting to hear that the performance boost is apparently not on the table for Steam Deck 2, though it's clearly something that will happen in future iterations. Either way, while it might be tempting to imagine that a smaller-than-expected dent for the sequel could mean Steam Deck 2 is closer than expected, that's probably not the case. There's probably still a long way to go to give Steam Deck buyers enough leeway to benefit from their purchases (and don't forget that Valve struggled to supply all of these folks like it did).
The comment about working on the new Vulkan features for Halo Infinite is also very insightful, and there's an even more compelling snippet elsewhere in the interview. Namely, Valve "directly pays over 100 open source developers" working on Proton, Vulkan, the Mesa graphics driver, and more. serious things
As far as the Steam Controller 2 is concerned, this prospect, as vague as it may seem at this mention, has been greeted with enthusiasm by some, as there are certainly fans of the original controller, while also asking questions about, well, what? Why bother? Considering the original was canned and a bunch of leftover stock shipped around 2019. We'll have to keep our eyes peeled for more news on this, because we're really intrigued to see if that's actually something. Valve could sue.
Today's best gaming laptop deals