Steam Deck has only just launched, but Valve is already looking to the future and teasing its successor, the Steam Deck 2.
Gabe Newell, the co-founder of Valve, has teased in an interview that the next-gen Steam Deck will be much more powerful and may offer virtual reality (VR) capabilities. Does that mean it’s better to wait for Steam Deck 2 rather than to buy the new handheld right now?
Steam Deck is Valve’s handheld gaming PC. Offering access to a robust Steam library, it allows for gaming on the go in a way no other console has been able to replicate, mainly due to the large number of titles that the Steam Deck can play. From its inception, it has garnered a lot of interest, and pre-orders have started shipping to customers today.
Newell talked about the Steam Deck, as well as Valve’s plans for the future, in an interview with Edge Magazine. Although it’s obviously far too soon to talk about any concrete details, Newell makes it clear that Valve plans to make a Steam Deck 2, and that it intends for the handheld to be much more powerful than this first version we’re getting today.
“The first step is to let you play the great games that exist today. The second iterations are going to be more about what are the capabilities that mobile gives us, above and beyond what you would get in a traditional desktop or laptop gaming environment?” said Newell.
He then went on to mention VR applications specifically as something that could be possible in a future version of the Steam Deck. If the company truly does intend to keep upping the specifications of this portable gaming PC, VR could definitely be possible in the future. VR is typically very resource-heavy, but many people deem it to be, at the very least, a big part of the future of gaming. Providing access to VR on the go without needing a beefy gaming PC to support it could give the Steam Deck a major edge over its competitors.
It seems that these VR-related musings could have been, to some extent, prompted by the surprising success of the Steam Deck’s pre-orders. When the Steam Deck was initially up for reservation, customers could reserve one of three variants, each at a different price point.
The base Steam Deck comes with just 64GB of storage on an eMMC SSD and costs $330. The midtier handheld is priced at $530, ups the storage to 256GB, and switches out the eMMC for an NVMe SSD. Lastly, the top-tier Steam Deck costs $650, comes with 512GB of NVMe SSD storage, and is equipped with premium antiglare etched glass. Although there is a large price gap between the low-end Steam Deck and the high-end option, it seems that gamers gravitated toward the expensive model.
According to the interview, most of the pre-orders were for the $650 Steam Deck, and it seems that Valve did not expect that to be the case. The difference in pre-order numbers could stem from a number of reasons. The 64GB version offers very little storage, which for many gamers may not be enough, and the gap between the midtier and top-tier units is not near as big, while the $650 Steam Deck has a lot to offer.
On top of that, pre-orders often go to gaming enthusiasts who may value quality over the price. It’s possible that when the Steam Deck enters the mainstream market and is out of its pre-order phase, customers may be more interested in the base version. It’s hard to speculate right now.
In any case, it seems that the sales figures for the brand-new Steam Deck were so encouraging that Valve has huge plans for Steam Deck 2. With possible VR capabilities, the second iteration of the handheld may offer unprecedented performance. This could encourage undecided users to just wait out the first generation and buy Steam Deck 2, whenever it comes out.
Is it worth waiting for Steam Deck 2 instead of buying right away? That depends entirely on how badly you want to try out the current version. Steam Deck 2 is nothing but a whisper in the wind right now, with no determined release date or specifications, which means it could be a very long wait.
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