The Steam Deck has been a big hit. So, a sequel appears one thing of a certainty. However any Steam Deck 2 with a serious efficiency improve stays no less than a “few years” away.

So says Steam Deck designer Lawrence Yang. Chatting with ye olde Rock Paper Shotgun, what Yang stated particularly was, “a real next-gen Deck with a big bump in horsepower wouldn’t be for just a few years.”

This should not actually be a shock. In any case, the Steam Deck is barely now celebrating its first birthday. It is a very slick little bit of equipment with plenty of custom-engineered and commissioned {hardware}, not least of which is its AMD APU. 

That makes for a big funding. So, identical to the massive video games consoles, Steam Deck likes requires a multi-year life cycle to recoup that funding. Rolling out a serious improve inside, say, 18 months, is not gonna fly financially.

Yang and his fellow Steam Deck designer, Pierre-Loup Griffais, additionally level out that there are advantages to offering a steady goal for game builders. “If high-end current-gen titles are capable of scale to Deck and be an excellent expertise, it additionally allows smoother efficiency on a greater variety of PCs, and enhance the expertise for the entire playerbase,” Griffais says.

And, once more very similar to extra typical consoles, the total capabilities of the Steam Deck are nonetheless being unleashed, because the current update to Doom Everlasting with added ray-tracing operating on the Deck demonstrates.

Steam in your fingers

Steam Deck with an image from Elden Ring overlayed on the screen

(Picture credit score: Future, FromSoftware)

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As we reported late final 12 months, earlier than a correctly next-gen Deck emerges, we might even see an interim update with an upgraded display and higher battery. However it’s clear sufficient {that a} severe efficiency improve is not going to occur anytime quickly.

That is slightly irritating when you think about what’s theoretically potential on the bleeding fringe of as we speak’s chip expertise. However we suspect that the prevailing Steam Deck will nonetheless be able to some fairly magical and as but surprising stuff over the subsequent few years.

As RPS factors out, there’ll probably be one thing of a shift in angle from ‘issues the Steam Deck can do’ to a extra particular ‘issues video games can do on a Steam Deck’, as builders drill down into the {hardware} and tease out each final drop of efficiency.

Because the saying goes, necessity is the mom of invention. With that previous chestnut in thoughts, Steam Deck’s relative limitations might but spark some compelling gaming creativity.