Steam Deck 2.0 could focus on battery life over better performance

There is no word on whether the upcoming Steam Deck will help protect the wood on your deck.
Enlarge / There is no word on whether the upcoming Steam Deck will help protect the wood on your deck.

Sam Machkovech

Now that Valve’s Steam Deck has been technically available for about 10 months (Y widely available for about two months), customers are increasingly wondering what Valve might have in store for an inevitable “version 2.0” of the handy PC gaming laptop. Weather Some players If you might be looking for a more powerful “Steam Deck Pro,” hardware designers Lawrence Yang and Pierre-Loup Griffais say battery life and display quality are the most likely “pain points” they’d like to address in a new version.

That news comes from an extensive interview with The Verge, where the pair of Valve designers hinted that keeping the same core spec goal for future hardware could be of value. “Right now, the fact that all Steam Decks can play the same games and that we have a goal for users to understand what kind of level of performance to expect when they’re playing the game and for developers to understand what to aim for, there’s a lot of value in having that specification,” Griffais told The Verge.

“I think we will opt to hold the performance level for a bit longer and only look to change the performance level when there is a significant gain,” Griffais added.

At this point, it’s hard to argue that putting more powerful processors in a new Steam Deck would generate a “significant gain” for users. As it is, there is Over 6,000 Steam titles that have been rated “Verified” or “Playable” on the Steam Deckwhich medium they have little to no trouble reaching the system’s 1200 × 800 resolution at a minimum of 30 fps. Not only legacy titles are verified; many recent AAA releases like ancient ring, Spider-Man: RemasteredY Death Stranding: Director’s Cut They have been fully deck checked.

Of course, a higher-end “Steam Deck Pro” could squeeze a slightly higher resolution or frame rate out of some of those games. But as long as a critical mass of games are in playable form on the hardware, Valve seems less interested in boosting performance and more interested in increasing battery life. We also wouldn’t mind if keeping the specs consistent meant a new Steam Deck might be thinner and/or lighter than the current bulky version, but that’s just pure wishful thinking on our part.

Past, present and future updates

Elsewhere in the Verge interview, Valve’s designers revealed somewhat stealthy internal changes they’ve made to recently manufactured Steam Deck units. That includes a change to the adhesive that holds the battery in place that should make it easier to remove and replace, improving a problem. identified by iFixit teardown specialists.

A whiny Delta Electronics fan on some older Steam Deck units has also been replaced on newer units with one with thicker foam padding, which can buy and install yourself if you have the loud version. The newer Steam Deck units also improve the feel of the Steam and Quick Access soft buttons that sit next to the screen, the designers said.

Valve also has tentative plans to roll out additional Steam Deck features via software updates in the coming months. These include the ability to choose a new Bluetooth profile/codec to reduce wireless audio delay and make use of Bluetooth microphones, for starters. Steam Deck users may soon also be able to share power profiles, just as they can currently share custom control profiles for specific games, to help maximize battery life and performance through crowdsourcing.

the steam platform “trippy” cloud dynamic synchronization functionHowever, allowing you to pick up a game elsewhere as soon as you put Steam Deck to sleep will still be up to individual developers to implement. There are no plans to require such support as part of Valve’s Deck Verified program, the designers said.

However, the most interesting tease in the interview concerned the possibility of Valve reviving the defunct Steam Machines line. That could mean new third-party mini PCs designed to connect to a TV, now running the Steam Deck’s new and improved version of SteamOS. While the original Steam Machines effort failed for various reasonsThey might well be more successful these days if they integrate the vastly improved game compatibility and feature set that have proven so successful on the Steam Deck.

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