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You’ll never guess which Kubrick film inspired Steam Deck OLED trailer

Back in November 2023, the handheld gaming PC was revealed courtesy of an awe-inspiring trailer, and now we know where Valve got the idea.

A giant orb constructed of around 100 Steam Deck OLED models

It’s not every day that a business like Valve dives into the origin of the inspiration for a major advert, but that’s exactly what just happened, and we’re quite surprised at who inspired the Steam Deck OLED trailer back in November.

Following its release, the Steam Deck OLED shot to the top of our list of the best handheld gaming PCs. We loved this new generation of portable gaming PC and it did far more than just add a new type of display.

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Funnily enough, it was the OLED screen that Valve wanted to be the focus for the launch trailer, and in doing so, it sought inspiration from one of the world’s most influential film directors of all time, Stanley Kubrick.

But rather than taking inspiration from The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, or 2001: A Space Odyssey, Valve instead looked to one of Kubrick’s less-critically or commercially successful films, Barry Lyndon.

One unique aspect of Barry Lyndon was that many scenes were lit only using candles, a feat that even today is still considered incredibly difficult without the aid of visual effects. Back in 1975, this was a mammoth task, overseen successfully by Oscar-winning director of photography John Alcott.

In the Steam Deck OLED trailer, Valve wanted the vibrant display to be the center of attention, and lit the entire trailer using only the brightness of around 100 Steam Deck OLED handhelds. The short 37-second trailer is all the more impressive now that Valve has shown how the sausage was made. Its giant orb of OLED devices still has a home in its head office, but is yet to be plugged in again since the trailer was completed.

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If you jumped on the OLED bandwagon back when the console was announced, or have been a long-time owner of the original LCD model, we’ve got a great list of the best Steam Deck games you need to play.