With Steam Deck 2, Valve revealed some new information about the improvements that will be made, including better battery life, and also mentioned their ambition to create a Steam 2 console.
Steam Deck designers Lawrence Yang and Pierre-Loup Griffais discussed some of Steam Deck 2’s priorities in an interview with The Verge. Valve has made no secret that there will be a Steam Deck sequel and, in fact, several incarnations of gaming laptops.
Longer battery life and an improved screen were both mentioned as two major issues to be addressed in the next iteration of the mobile device.
Steam Deck 2 What about smoother frame rates and faster performance?
That won’t happen, according to Griffais, who told The Verge that “there’s a lot of value to having that one specification,” adding, “Now the fact that all Steam Decks can play the same games and that we have one goal for users to understand what kind of performance level to expect when gaming. And for developers to understand what to target.”
He continued, “I think we will choose to maintain the current level of performance for a little longer, and only consider changing the level of performance when there is a significant gain that can be achieved.”
As we indicated at the beginning, the topic of the Steam Controller sequel has come up. Yang added, “Yes, we want to make it happen. The only issues are how and when.”
There will be sequels to each of these hardware products, while Yang notes that Steam Controller 2 will likely be investigated given Valve is definitely focused on Steam Deck 2.
The Valve team also discusses the important work the company is doing to improve game performance on the Steam Deck and address issues such as eliminating stutter with the Elden Ring. It reportedly took Valve about six months to get Halo Infinite up and running, including adding new Vulkan functionality to accommodate the game.
Another area of focus is making anti-cheat systems compatible with handheld games. According to the engineers, Fall Guys and Halo: The Master Chief Collection are two examples of games currently in development that should be playable on deck (eventually).
Battery optimization will undoubtedly be very useful.
The Steam Deck 2’s battery life is a clear area for improvement. Obviously, the battery life of a mobile device determines its success or failure. This is especially true for demanding games, so finding a way to extend battery life would be a huge improvement. Obviously, a better screen is another obvious goal that will greatly improve your entire mobile gaming experience.
It’s nice to note that improving performance doesn’t seem to be a plan for Steam Deck 2, even if it will undoubtedly happen in the future with different models. It might be tempting to think that a less than expected delay to the sequel means Steam Deck 2 will arrive sooner than planned, but that’s not likely to be the case. It may still be a good long way to go to give Steam Deck owners plenty of breathing space to enjoy their purchases (and don’t forget, Valve had problems serving all of those individuals as it was).
The note about developing new Vulkan abilities for Halo Infinite is also very informative, and later in the conversation another, more impressive bit of news comes out. Specifically, work on Proton, Vulkan, the Mesa graphics driver, and other open source projects is being done by more than 100 open source engineers who receive their “salaries directly” from Valve.
There are undoubtedly fans of the first Steam Controller, and so the possibility of using the Steam Controller 2 has raised excitement and skepticism from different angles. Why bother, one wonders? Given that the original was discontinued and the rest was largely distributed in 2019, we’ll just have to keep an eye out for more information on this as we’re curious to see if Valve will actually follow through.