Valve’s Steam Deck turned the market on its head last year, creating an arms race for portable gaming PCs you can throw in a bag. But if you were hoping for yearly upgrades to the design, a la the cell phone or laptop categories, you’re out of luck. According to a recent interview, Valve is taking a more console-style approach, aiming for a hardware upgrade several years down the line at the earliest.
A year after the gadget’s debut, Valve designer Lawrence Yang told Rock Paper Shotgun that a sequel device won’t be here for quite a while. “A true next-gen Deck with a significant bump in horsepower wouldn’t be for a few years,” he said. That certainly dashes the hopes of at least some fans, who were hoping for an upgrade to the AMD Zen 2 internal hardware now several years old.
That doesn’t mean that the design will remain completely static—Valve has already made a few adjustments like a quieter exhaust fan. But, if you’re looking for a dramatic increase in power, you’ll have to look elsewhere, perhaps to one of the dozens of competitor devices that have popped out of the woods in the meantime.
But if the Steam Deck is hurting for horsepower, it isn’t showing it. The Deck Verified certification program, which guarantees that games will run on the portable hardware is adding new titles all the time, including heavy-hitters like Hogwarts Legacy and Cyberpunk 2077. And the community continues to embrace the current machine, with a wide array of accessories to buy and tweaks for adventurous owners to try out.