Steam Deck 2.0 could focus on battery life over better performance

No word yet on whether the upcoming Steam Deck will aid in preserving the deck’s timber.
Machkovech, Sam

Customers are becoming curious about what Valve may have in store for an eventual “version 2.0” of the convenient PC gaming portable now that it has been theoretically accessible for roughly 10 months (and has been generally available for about two months). Hardware designers Lawrence Yang and Pierre-Loup Griffais said that battery life and screen quality are the most probable “pain points” they’d want to solve in a future edition of the “Steam Deck Pro,” even if some gamers may be asking for a more powerful model.

That information comes from a thorough interview with The Verge, in which the two Valve designers mentioned that it could be advantageous to maintain the same minimum spec objective for future gear. There is a lot of value in having just one spec, Griffais told The Verge, “right now, the fact that all the Steam Decks can play the same games and that we have one target for users to understand what kind of performance level to expect when you’re playing and for developers to understand what to target.”

Griffais said, “I believe we’ll decide to stick with the current performance level for a little while longer and only consider modifying the performance level when there is a meaningful benefit to be achieved.

It’s challenging to claim that giving consumers a “substantial benefit” by installing more potent CPUs in a new Steam Deck would be the case right now. Currently, well over 6,000 Steam games have been designated as “Verified” or “Playable” on Steam Deck, indicating that they would run at least smoothly at the system’s 1200800 resolution at a frame rate of 30. Many recent AAA releases, like Death Stranding: Director’s Cut, Spider-Man: Remastered, and Elden Ring, have been completely Deck Verified. It’s not only heritage games that are being verified, though.

Of However, some of those games may be able to run at a slightly better resolution or frame rate on a more powerful “Steam Deck Pro.” But Valve is less interested in enhancing performance and more keen in improving battery life as long as a sufficient number of games are playable on the hardware. We wouldn’t mind, however, if maintaining the specifications allowed a new Steam Deck to be slimmer and/or lighter than the unwieldy present one, but that’s just wishful thinking on our side.

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The Valve designers discussed some covert internal modifications they made to newly produced Steam Deck devices elsewhere in the Verge interview. This includes a modification to the glue keeping the battery in place that should make it simpler to remove and replace, fixing a problem found by the iFixit teardown experts.

In recent models, a whining fan from Delta Electronics in certain older Steam Deck units has also been swapped out with one with thicker foam padding; if you have the loud version, you may purchase and install it yourself. According to the designers, the spongy Steam and Quick Access buttons that are located next to the screen feel better on the newest Steam Deck devices.

In the next months, Valve has loose plans to provide more Steam Deck features through software upgrades. To start, those include the option to choose a different Bluetooth profile or codec to lessen latency in wireless audio and use Bluetooth microphones. Users of Steam Deck may soon be able to share power profiles, similar to how they can already share personalized control profiles for certain games, to aid crowdsource battery life and performance.

However, it will still be left to individual developers to integrate the “trippy” dynamic cloud sync function of the Steam Deck, which enables you to take up a game elsewhere as soon as you put the Steam Deck to sleep. According to the creators, there are no plans to make such functionality a requirement for Valve’s Deck Verified program.

Thoughts about Valve possibly bringing back the discontinued Steam Machines line were the interview’s most intriguing hint. That could imply updated third-party mini-PCs that can connect to TVs and run the updated SteamOS for the Steam Deck. Even if the first Steam Machines initiative was unsuccessful for a number of reasons, it’s possible that it may succeed now if it adopts the much better game compatibility and feature set that have been so popular on Steam Deck.

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