Steam Deck 2: 5 features Valve’s next-gen handheld needs
Valve is working on a Steam Deck 2, and we’ve assembled a list of changes that we’d like to see from Valve on what their next-generation PC-handheld-hybrid needs.
Valve’s Steam Deck is a disruptive machine in the tech space. Yes, some companies were making gaming handhelds beforehand, but none of them had really had the power under the hood, or the kind of development power that the Steam Deck has to round out all of the kinks.
Now, Valve appears to be working on a next-generation Steam Deck 2, according to a recently-released booklet that details what the device is all about for the Steam Deck’s release in Asian territories.
Additionally, Valve calls the Steam Deck a “Multi-generational product line”. They go on to state an open question to the community: “What would you want to see in a future version of the Steam Deck?”
So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves, as ardent Steam Deck and handheld PC fans to talk about what Valve’s next-generation Steam Deck 2 needs to succeed in an increasingly competitive product space.
1. Hall-sensing analog sticks
Valve’s Steam Deck 2 is likely to focus on feedback from the community, which is already developing things like non-driftable analog sticks from Gulikit, whose King Kong Pro 2 is one of our favorite controllers. They even sell a kit to upgrade your Steam Deck’s sticks, but it does require some soldering. This would ensure that no matter how you might throw it in your bag, the Steam Deck’s hardware will never drift due to using magnetic hall sensors, instead of a film that can degrade and fail over time.
2. Stronger hardware
However, since these competitor companies are throwing out rapid iterations, Valve would do well to keep up, especially on the hardware side of things. Until recently, the Steam Deck was the most powerful handheld console, but as soon as Ryzen 6800U-based systems emerge, that crown will be taken.
However, if Valve once again works with AMD on a custom SoC that might bring better graphics processing and lower power draws, the Steam Deck 2 might be something incredibly special indeed.
3. An OLED screen
Nintendo’s OLED Switch was a thing of beauty, it boasted smaller bezels, in addition to greater color accuracy, and this is something that we’d like to see reflected in the Steam Deck 2. Handheld manufacturer AYANEO released the first OLED Windows gaming handheld in this class, the AYANEO Air. Since we’ve been testing it, it’s absolutely beautiful, and we’d love to see something similar from Valve.
Comparatively, the Steam Deck’s screens currently have large bezels, and it doesn’t have the brightest panel in the world.
4. Easier access to storage
When you look at the PS5, you might see that you have space for an additional NVMe SSD, this is something that we’d like Valve to address in a Steam Deck successor. It’s difficult to find the right SSD for your Steam Deck, and ensure that it fits. We’d love an easily-user-replaceable option, just so we have better access to upgrading our storage. Speaking of which, the Steam Deck should have never really launched with a paltry 64GB of storage. While we’re here, UHS-II SD Card support would be nice, too.
5. A dock included in the box
When the Nintendo Switch launched, its main gimmick was that it came with a dock, and while Valve is releasing their own official dock, it’s been delayed. We’d love to see a simple dock included in the box that allows you to hook up a display, keyboard, and mouse to the Steam Deck for a full desktop experience. Though, if you want something a bit more complex like more USB ports, or multiple displays, we wouldn’t mind paying a little bit extra, it’d just be nice to have something out of the box to use immediately.