Steam Deck

Today, RockPaperShotgun posted an article about the one year anniversary where Hardware Editor James Archer sat down with Valve designer Lawrence Yang and engineer Pierre-Loup Griffais, both of whom work on the Steam Deck's development. While they talk about plenty, one of the more interesting tidbits was just thrown in as the last sentence of the entire article:

While the Steam Deck’s success has "has made us even more excited to look closely at what can be improved", according to Yang, he reckons "a true next-gen Deck with a significant bump in horsepower wouldn’t be for a few years."

James Archer - RockPaperShotgun

With this, it sounds like the Steam Deck is going to follow the console trend of releasing its next iteration years later. There could still be other smaller revisions earlier than that, since the quote only mentions horsepower, but there has been no confirmation of anything like that in the works. It is nice to see that there is some talk about the next generation and a slight timeline on its release!

Other than this, the article brings a couple of other interesting points that were talked about I would like to highlight!

42% of Owners Primarily PC Game on Their Steam Deck

In one of the first few paragraphs, the Archer writes about how Lawrence Yang brings up a statistic to show just how utilized the handheld is. While he mentions that they loved using the Deck through prototype stages, he also talks about how 42% of Steam Deck owners are "spending the majority of their Steam gaming time on Steam Deck – preferring it over their other devices." As someone who is proudly in that 42%, I prefer it much more myself!

Future Updates In Line With Current Community Feedback

A little bit further down, Pierre-Loup Griffais talks a little bit more about the future updates coming to the Steam Deck. While it's said that Valve has other ideas they haven't talked about publicly, a lot of what they are working on is already in line with what they are currently working on or have plans to. There is an internal list they are going through. This comes hot on the heels of the recent Preview update to SteamOS which added Ray Tracing support to Doom Eternal.

"Value-Add Features" Are Prioritized Now

When it comes to compatibility with games, Valve has been on-point trying to patch them all up. These include anti-cheat compatibility and media codecs that could leave many games unplayable, and according to Griffais, not much of these remain. Due to this, they are shifting more towards "Value-Add Features" to enhance the user experience, which include HDR and Ray Tracing.

Game Compatibility Isn't Slowing Down

Over the last month or so, we have started to see more games come out that have issues running on the Deck even on the lowest settings, like Wild Hearts and Returnal. This hasn't stopped Valve though and they have been dedicated to fixing issues with new games as much as they can. For example, the SteamOS update that came with Ray Tracing for Doom Eternal also came with some important fixes for Wo Long (SDHQ Review) and made it more playable.

The team at Valve is optimistic about all of this though. Other recent releases have run well, like Wo Long, Like a Dragon: Ishin!, and Dead Space Remake. They have also been seeing a positive response from customers when titles become Verified or Playable.

Yang also talks about how the Steam Deck Verified Program has "evolved" the process, but didn't go into detail on how it has. While it is nice seeing this program, there is still a lack of transparency as to how these games are tested. For example, Trails in the Sky is rated Unsupported, but from our testing, works perfectly. If there is a reason it isn't supported, Valve hasn't mentioned why since the popup only says they are working on adding support. On the other hand, the Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection is rated verified, but the 2nd game has major graphical artifacting trying to do half the moves during combat.

This is a PC, Not a Console

Just as Archer points out in one of the final paragraphs, the first year has really highlighted that the Steam Deck is being treated as a PC, not a console. With so many updates and improvements, and new features like ray tracing and game compatibility, the Deck isn't being left to itself while a new hardware revision is in the works. This includes keeping the device open to allow users to heavily customize their own devices with tools like Decky Loader. There's still a lot of work going on and Valve shows no intention of slowing down.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety game reviews and news that are sure to help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for newstips and tutorialsgame settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got your back.