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What we need to see in a Steam Deck 2: extra energy, much less noise, and brilliant colours

Two Valve Steam Decks edited to appear in purple and pink

(Picture credit score: Valve)

One in all our favorite items from the previous 12 months. Initially revealed Could 4, 2022.

Valve hasn’t confirmed whether or not it is genuinely engaged on a follow-up to the Steam Deck (opens in new tab), its handheld gaming PC. Nonetheless, it’s positively trying into one thing akin to a Steam Deck 2. Firm president Gabe Newell advised Edge (opens in new tab) that delivery the primary technology unit “helps body our pondering for Deck 2”, and that the corporate want to see the brand new handheld as a “everlasting addition (opens in new tab)” to PC gaming. Whether or not Valve makes the next-generation PC handheld or it lends its SteamOS to another person to do, we’ve loads of concepts as to what we would wish to see make the minimize.

A few of our options are pretty lifelike: enhancements we would wish to see after spending a while with the Steam Deck ourselves, and a few arguably much less so. In the case of pushing the boundary of what is potential with right now’s expertise, our pie within the sky dream decks are positively wild sufficient to make a Valve engineer sweat. However hey, a PC gamer can dream.

Finally, Valve will not have any rapid plans to improve the Steam Deck—like lots of you, we’re nonetheless ready for our authentic orders to be fulfilled, and who is aware of when there will probably be normal availability of the moveable PC. However which means there’s loads of time to determine what’s subsequent for the hand held, as a result of whether or not the Steam Deck is one of the best model of it or not, there’s an entire lot of potential for handheld PC gaming.

Jacob Ridley, Senior {Hardware} Editor: There is a main shift in built-in GPU energy on the way in which. A shift that might see each AMD and Intel providing far more efficiency in a compact system on chip package deal. For Valve, or simply handheld gaming PCs typically, that might be a option to provide far more than 720p efficiency on the go. We’re speaking discrete graphics card efficiency from a single chip incorporating CPU, GPU, and different essential methods.

For the reason that Steam Deck is already powered by an AMD processor—a four-core, eight-thread Zen 2 chip with 8 CUs of RDNA 2 graphics energy—I would assume a observe up would additionally play ball for the pink group. AMD has confirmed two new APUs, referred to as Phoenix and Dragon Attain, which might reportedly come sporting the upcoming Zen 4 structure—additionally destined for Ryzen 7000 processors on desktop. Hearsay has it even the low-end Phoenix chips may include as much as 24 CUs from both the present RDNA 2 or upcoming RDNA 3 graphics architectures. The precise GPU specification we are able to anticipate to see in these chips is but to be confirmed by AMD, however we’re speaking a serious enhance in body charges at increased resolutions right here—even on the low-end one thing akin to the efficiency of the Radeon RX 6500 XT (opens in new tab).

Arguably this can be a pipe dream, of kinds. The ability calls for of such a chip would seemingly be fairly appreciable for a conveyable handheld. Thus far we all know it intends to drop Phoenix chips right down to 35W, which is already fairly a bit thirstier than the present Steam Deck’s max 15W chip. And that is the extra parsimonious of the 2 next-gen APUs. Let’s simply skip over the half the place somebody has to determine tips on how to cool the factor and hope for one of the best, yeah?

Katie Wickens, {Hardware} Author: Half a month with the Steam Deck has transformed me from craving one of many finest gaming laptops (opens in new tab) to being a little bit of a Deck head. Whereas a laptop computer would let me pander to my system useful resource hungry metropolis constructing behavior, I’ve discovered that I nonetheless take pleasure in RPGs and strolling sims simply sufficient to warrant shopping for a Steam Deck. However over my time with it, there have been just a few niggles popping up, luring me again towards a lifetime of lidded luxurious.

At round 1.5lbs (660g) the Deck is slightly tough to deal with. Resting it in your lap means you are caught hunching over it for hours (opens in new tab), and if you wish to give the choice gyro controls a go in Euro Truck Simulator 2 (opens in new tab), your arms are going to finish up fairly drained after just some minutes should you do not elevate. I would love for the subsequent iteration of the Deck to be slightly lighter, although I get that it will not be simple becoming what I anticipate to be upgraded specs right into a lighter machine.

Failing that, just a bit much less top so I may press the topmost buttons whereas cradling my Deck, that might be fab. I would even be proud of slightly kickstand hooked up to the again so I can put the factor down with out dealing with it towards the ceiling and lacking the upcoming cutscene solely. Thanks, daddy Newell, you are one of the best.

The Steam Deck being used on an airplane.

(Picture credit score: Future)

Wes Fenlon, Senior Editor: Colours!! I am with Katie in that my ‘needs’ for the second technology are largely bodily. It is inevitable we get a extra highly effective chip in there, so I am not even daydreaming concerning the new tech. What I actually care about is a tool that is lighter and extra wieldy, although as I mentioned in my evaluate I feel Valve made the suitable trade-offs with this one. I would wish to see Valve minimize about 30% of the load right here, and shrink the general system only a bit to make it a extra moveable moveable. 

The Steam Deck may positively be extra fashionable. It looks like {hardware} designed by engineers, and I would like to see a tool designed with the stylishness of a Change Lite or Playdate. The bezel across the Steam Deck’s show is kind of massive, so there’s potential there for Valve to maintain the identical measurement display whereas tightening up the general system dimensions. The Change OLED is the right case examine for a gen two Steam Deck display, although Valve should make certain an OLED can deal with the refresh price adjustments it is simply beginning to introduce on the Steam Deck proper now. With the ability to lock a sport’s framerate and the show’s refresh to 40 or 50Hz provides a lot flexibility when efficiency and battery life are consistently at odds.

Chris Livingston, Impatient Shopper: Perhaps I’ve simply been spoiled, perhaps I am simply one other instance of the moment gratification, I-Need-It-Now Veruca Salt mentality, nevertheless it’d be good if the Steam Deck 2 may arrive within the mail just a few days or per week after I order one as an alternative of, y’know, one million years later? At present, should you reserve a Steam Deck right here in Could it’s important to wait till October “or later” to get it. October? That is the distant future. Or later? That is much more distant. We’ll most likely be residing on Mars and utilizing telepathy to play video games by the point “or later” rolls round. 

Hopefully, Valve will manufacture extra Deck 2’s upfront than they did with their first run—it is not like the corporate will wind up in monetary destroy if just a few Decks go unsold, proper? Or, perhaps it is on me to cease anticipating to get the issues I would like the second I would like them. Exhausting to say.

A white Steam Deck model made by Valve.

Valve really did manufacture no less than one Steam Deck in white. Find it irresistible. (Picture credit score: Marques Brownlee)

Alan Dexter, Senior {Hardware} Editor: I am torn with regards to the dream Steam Deck. A part of me needs extra energy to make increased resolutions and higher body charges a actuality, however on the similar time, I do not need to should take care of even noisier followers. So if we’re within the realm of fantasy, then an RDNA 3 GPU core with 24 CUs can be nice. Hook that as much as a 1080p display so you do not have to mess with any bizarre resolutions, and we’re good.

On prime of that, I would additionally love a extra premium chassis. The OG Steam Deck does really feel fairly first rate, however quite a few high-end laptops have given me a style for a top quality, CNC-machined chassis, and if this might assist with the cooling of the subsequent Steam Deck, then that is all for the higher. Clearly, such instances do have a notable affect on pricing, however that is for the engineers at Valve to work out.

The ultimate factor I would like from the Steam Deck 2 is a bit trickier to resolve—I would like a greater controller. I merely do not get on with the inputs supplied by the present Steam Deck. That is partially right down to the truth that the PC video games I are likely to play work finest with mouse and keyboard, and I’ve all the time seen console controllers as being poor cousins to the may of the PC’s inputs. I do not know what the answer is, nevertheless it is not a thumbstick and a trackpad. 

In abstract: I would like higher efficiency, a premium chassis, and an entire rethink of the controllers. And all for roughly the identical worth as the unique Steam Deck—the one factor that Valve completely nailed with the first-gen units.

The Steam Deck in use with a warm thermometer overlaid.

(Picture credit score: Future / Woraphon Nusen / EyeEm)

Dave James, {Hardware} Lead: Silence. That is all I actually need from the second technology Steam Deck. The quantity of the factor is what has most put me off utilizing it in public, and even sat on the couch subsequent to my spouse mainlining Beneath Deck like the truth TV opium it’s. Truly, it is largely the pitch of the followers moderately than the quantity that has aggravated me, however even the insistent whoosh of the Deck’s cooling nonetheless will get to me after some time. The dream can be passive chip-chilling that by some means retains the RDNA 3-powered APU at its coronary heart nonetheless capable of run at peak efficiency. However I do know that is a pipe-dream. Or a dream the place the warmth pipes are so damned massive the Deck 2.0 turns into three inches thick.

That is the principle factor, however there are additionally some nice-to-have options I would be up for, too. The customisation on the Deck means I can tweak it to make sure I get first rate battery life on most video games, however I would love a battery which means I haven’t got to. Once more, I do not know if that is potential throughout the tight confines of its chassis, no less than not with out the system drawing a lot much less energy than it does proper now.

Lastly, I would need Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. With the ability to dock the Deck has been an extremely pleasurable expertise; I wrote the whole thing of my tech evaluate on the Steam Deck itself whereas plugged into my workplace monitor, mouse, and keyboard. Nevertheless it would not essentially do nice on the next spec display for video games, although should you may plumb it into an exterior GPU dock, you’ve got bought a cell gaming machine that may develop into a full desktop PC again house.

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Jacob earned his first byline writing for his personal tech weblog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking issues as {hardware} author at PCGamesN, the place he would later win command of the equipment cabinet as {hardware} editor. These days, as senior {hardware} editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the most recent developments within the expertise and gaming business. When he isn’t writing about GPUs and CPUs, nevertheless, you will discover him attempting to get as distant from the trendy world as potential by wild tenting. blind fold fuck. queen of bath sheeba nude. sexvid block head.