There’s no denying that the Steam Deck is the current king of PC handheld gaming. Despite the handheld device having early production backlogs, Valve’s gaming device received a warm response from reviewers and users. But it launched a year back, which brings up the question, when will Valve release the Steam Deck 2?
Well, within a year, Steam Deck came across a lot of competitors. Recently, we even had a promising announcement from Ayaneo. Still, Valve’s device is on the top. And according to a recent interview, you really should not expect the Steam Deck 2 to arrive anytime soon.
Steam Deck 2 Is Not Releasing in the Next Couple of Years
Today’s market is driven by performance and upgrades. And in many tests, especially in modern AAA titles, the Steam Deck struggled. Also, it is not like Valve will be unable to find proper hardware for a new device. We have already seen how good the AMD 780M is. It could be an excellent APU for the next handheld device.
However, according to Lawrence Yang and Pierre-Loup Griffais from Valve, a more powerful Steam Deck is not expected to arrive any time in a couple of years. The Valve designer Yang admits that the current device’s success “has made us even more excited to look closely at what can be improved.”
But Yang is certain there is no chance that the existing Steam Deck will feel obsolete for years. At least in terms of performance, the current Valve handheld device is going to dominate the market. Yang further stated, “a true next-gen Deck with a significant bump in horsepower wouldn’t be for a few years.”
What Can You Expect from the Next-gen Device
According to what Yang stated in the interview, Steam Deck 2 will be focusing on delivering a significant upgrade. That is, Valve does not want to bring a brand-new device that will just offer minimal performance upgrades. And this statement is pretty much in-line with what we heard late last year.
The next generation of Steam Deck will likely focus more on battery and screen improvements. In other words, the next-gen device will not just push more pixels on the screen. It will bring an overall upgrade, making it much better than the existing device.
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Valve is also not expected to move beyond the custom AMD Van Gogh-based APU in 2023. Even if AMD makes a push in its APU category, Valve is likely to wait for proper new-gen hardware. So, it would be safe to say that gamers might have to wait till at least 2026 to get their hands on Steam Deck 2.
What It Means for the Competitors
Considering the fact that Valve has no plans to bring a next-gen Steam Deck anytime soon, the competitors currently have a large window. Companies such as Ayaneo and Razer could take advantage of better hardware and possibly offer something that is much more powerful than Valve’s handheld.
However, it goes without saying that the competitors will struggle a lot to get the attention of gamers, even with a powerful device. Not only the current alternatives are less refined, but they are extremely expensive than the Steam Deck. So, even if the market sees better alternatives, plenty of gamers are likely to hold tight to their Decks.
That said, it is not like Valve’s decisions are set in stone. When sales slide precipitously, it can surely be more forthcoming about its plans for a powerful device. Also, there can be a sudden announcement of Steam Deck 2 when some of the key games become truly unplayable on the first-gen device. In the meantime, we are truly excited to see what the competitors can bring to the table.