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What Could Come in the Steam Deck 2

Valve designers explain how the console and its potential sequel.

Valve Steam Deck handheld console showing game selection screen
Dan Ackerman/CNET

The Steam Deck was one of the best new devices to come out in 2022, and earned one of our Editors' Choice awards. A new interview with Steam Deck developers has answered more burning questions about the PC-powered mobile console -- and what could come in the next version.

In an extensive interview with The Verge, Steam Deck designers Lawrence Yang and Pierre-Loup Griffais explained what's happened with the game system since it launched back in February. The team behind the console has continued to release updates with quality-of-life improvements and new features, but there are several new extras they want to release on the device, including what they want to improve in the next generation.

We know Valve is thinking about future generations of Steam Deck, and the designers called attention to two shortcomings they'd want to improve in the next version: the screen and the battery. In the current Steam Deck, the battery is glued in place with adhesive and difficult to dislodge, unlike other internal components. The Steam Deck team is already working on new hardware revisions to make the battery easier to remove yet able to stay in place so it won't rattle around.

While the next Steam Deck will probably have a different spec, Valve won't follow Sony and Microsoft in releasing a more powerful mid-generation Steam Deck Pro -- instead, they're more keen to keep all consoles on the same performance spec. Like Nintendo refraining from making a Switch Pro despite having the capability to do so, Valve wanted to keep it simple for game developers and users to know what performance to expect.

It wouldn't be surprising if that battery fix was implemented in future shipments of the current Steam Deck, as Valve has already made hardware tweaks to fix issues. After customer complaints that the internal fan was making a high-pitched whine, Valve swapped out one from another manufacturer -- and later even resumed shipping consoles with the first fan after introducing an "engineered foam solution" that quieted it down. 

In the meantime, Valve won't neglect the current Steam Deck, noting its software feature list will keep growing, but so will the bugs. The devs acknowledged that the console will never be supremely stable and owners can expect bugs to crop up here and there, but after some updates destabilized the experience too much, the team has settled on releasing updates every month for the so-called 'Stable' software tier. 

And as for a Steam Controller 2, Valve wants to make it happen -- but "it's just a question fo how and when."