Valve may have already released “the best handheld around” as we coined it in our Steam Deck review, but the company is already hard at work putting together Steam Deck 2. This isn’t too surprising given how many people are clearly interested in the Deck, with the amount of reservations already pushing the expected availability of the device all the way back to ‘after Q2’ of this year. Time will tell, however, how much of an upgrade it will offer and whether it can stand up to competitors like the Ayaneo Next.
Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve, nonchalantly confirmed the existence of Steam Deck 2 in an interview with Edge magazine, saying that the release of the company’s handheld gaming PC would “help frame our thinking for Deck 2.” Newell elaborated that the design of a new Deck would concern itself with capitalizing on “the capabilities that mobile gives us, above and beyond what you would get in a traditional desk or laptop gaming environment.”
Unfortunately, Valve is keeping the finer details of what it’s cooking up in its Washington offices under strict lock and key. However, we do have some ideas of what to expect from the Steam Deck 2’s specs compared to the company’s current portable powerhouse.
Here’s everything we know about Steam Deck 2:
Steam Deck 2 release date speculation
Given that Valve just launched the inaugural Steam Deck, we shouldn’t expect the Steam Deck 2 release date to come around anytime soon. However, this doesn’t mean that we couldn’t see refined versions of the existing Deck in the near future, similar to how Nintendo refreshed its Switch line-up with the OLED model.
Steam Deck 2 price speculation
Gabe Newell previously described hitting the $399 USD / £349 MSRP of Steam Deck’s base model as “painful”, so it’s possible that Steam Deck 2 could cost more, especially given that the price of materials needed to make PC components continues to rise. However, Valve may be able to offset the lower profit margins of entry-level Steam Deck 2 models by producing more high-spec variants.
Speaking with Edge magazine, Newell shared that the Deck’s “most popular SKU is the most expensive one”. He says that the company is reading this concentrated demand as customers saying, “we would like an even more expensive version of this, in terms of horsepower capabilities or whatever.” So, we could see a premium version of Steam Deck 2 surpassing the existing $649 USD / £569 GBP ceiling.
Steam Deck 2 specs rumours
There’s no official word or any substantial leaks surrounding Steam Deck 2 specs, but we can make some educated guesses based on the makeup of the existing Deck. Battery life could be much improved over the current Deck by increasing the battery capacity above 40Whr which would help to address one of the core complaints about it.
An OLED or QD-OLED display would offer much greater colour accuracy over the current IPS LCD panel, while also allowing Valve to significantly reduce the borders surrounding the screen.
The current version of Valve’s handheld wields an RDNA 2 chip, but the Steam Deck 2 could come equipped with a new AMD Ryzen APU. Dubbed “Little Phoenix”, it aims to be an “ultra low powered” version of the next-gen Phoenix point CPU, featuring four cores, eight threads, and four WorkGroup Processors.
Steam Deck 2 performance rumours
Until we get closer to its launch date, there won’t be any official or leaked Steam Deck 2 performance benchmarks to pour-over. As such, we hope at the very least to see Valve make improvements to battery life and gaming performance compared to the current deck. Either way, playing videogames on a Steam Deck 2 should require less guesswork, as more Steam games’ compatibility levels should be documented.