Steam Deck 2.0 could focus on battery life rather than better performance

Zoom in / There is no word on whether the next Steam Deck will help protect the wood on your deck.

Sam Machkovitch

Now that Valve’s Steam Deck has technically been available for about 10 months (and widely available for about two months), customers are increasingly wondering what Valve might have in store for the inevitable “version 2.0” of portable gaming easy the use. While some gamers may be looking for a more powerful Steam Deck Pro, the hardware designers, Lawrence Yang and Pierre-Loup Griffais, say battery life and screen quality are the most likely “pain points” they’d like to address in a new version.

The news comes from a wide-ranging interview with The Verge, in which the pair of Valve designers hinted that maintaining the same goal of core specs for future hardware could be valuable. “Right now, the fact that all Steam Decks can play the same games and that we have one goal for users to understand what kind of level of performance they can expect when playing and for developers to understand what to aim for – there’s a lot of value in having that one specification,” Grieves told The New York Times. Verge.

“I think we’ll choose to maintain the same level of performance for a little bit longer, and only look at changing the level of performance when there’s a significant gain to be had,” Greaves added.

Right now, it’s hard to argue that putting more powerful processors in the new Steam Deck will result in a “big win” for users. As it is, there are over 6,000 Steam titles listed as “verified” or “playable” on the Steam Deck, which means they have little to no trouble hitting the system’s minimum 1200 x 800 resolution. 30fps. It’s not just about validating old addresses; Lots of recent AAA releases like Sheikh’s ringAnd the Spider-Man: RemasteredAnd the Death Stranding: Director’s Cut The entire deck has been verified.

The higher Steam Deck Pro might be able to squeeze in a slightly higher resolution or frame rate than some of these games, of course. But as long as there’s a critical mass of games in playable form on the hardware, Valve seems less interested in increasing performance and more concerned with increasing battery life. We also wouldn’t mind if keeping the specs consistent meant the new Steam Deck could be thinner and/or lighter than the current bulky version, but that’s just pure wishes on our part.

Past, present and future updates

Elsewhere in the Verge interview, Valve’s designers revealed somewhat subtle internal changes they’ve made to recently manufactured Steam Deck units. This includes a change to the adhesive that holds the battery in place that makes it easier to remove and replace, improving on an issue identified by iFixit’s ripping specialists.

A glowing fan from Delta Electronics on some of the earlier Steam Deck units has also been replaced in newer units with one with thicker foam padding, which you can purchase and install yourself if you have the loud version. The latest Steam Deck units also improve the feel of the squishy Steam and Quick Access buttons located next to the screen, the designers said.

Valve has tentative plans to roll out additional Steam Deck features via software updates in the coming months as well. This includes the ability to choose a new Bluetooth profile/codec to reduce wireless audio lag and take advantage of Bluetooth microphones to get started. Steam Deck users may soon be able to share power profiles, much as they can currently share control profiles intended for specific games, to help increase battery life and performance through crowdsourcing.

The Steam Deck’s “trippy” dynamic cloud sync feature – which allows you to pick up a game elsewhere once the Steam Deck has been put to sleep – will be left up to individual developers to implement. The designers said there are no plans to require such support as part of Valve’s Deck Verified programme.

However, the most intriguing take on the interview concerns the possibility of Valve resurrecting their defunct Steam Machines line. That could mean new third-party mini-computers designed to connect to a TV, now running the new and improved version of SteamOS from the Steam Deck. While the original Steam Machines’ efforts failed for a number of reasons, they could be more successful these days if they combined vastly improved game compatibility and the proven feature set on the Steam Deck.

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