Steam Deck fans will be waiting years for a “true next-gen” model

Valve has revealed that a “true next-gen” model of its Steam Deck handheld will be “a few years” away, though the company is already looking to see what it can improve.

Speaking to Rock Paper Shotgun, Valve designer Lawrence Yang reflected on the success of the company’s handheld gaming PC, which celebrated its first anniversary last month.

The Steam Deck was a critical success when it launched in 2022, with NME awarding it four stars out of five in our review.

The handheld’s success has made Valve “even more excited to look closely at what can be improved,” according to Yang. However, Yang added that “a true next-gen Deck with a significant bump in horsepower wouldn’t be for a few years” – meaning that Steam Deck fans will have to wait a while for Valve’s next major upgrade.

Looking at the existing Steam Deck’s future, Valve engineer Pierre-Loup Griffais said it would be “hard to say” how it would hold up as future games will become more graphically demanding, and suggested it would depend on the game’s developers.

“I believe the Deck has the potential to be a solid target throughout the generation, but the work involved is trickier than the typical Deck UX tweaks that developers have had to do for games that already perform well,” shared Griffais.

“That said, there are benefits to game developers doing this work,” he continued. “If high-end current-gen titles are able to scale to Deck and be a great experience, it also enables smoother performance on a wider variety of PCs, and improve the experience for the whole playerbase.”

Yang added that Valve is “optimistic” about the topic, and says recent “demanding” games have worked well on the Steam Deck due to their developers considering the handheld during testing.

A number of 2023 launches – including Hogwarts legacy and EA’s Dead Space remake – were made available on the Steam Deck, with Naughty Dog’s upcoming port of The Last Of Us also set to arrive on the handheld.

In other news, Valorant‘s latest update has introduced Gekko, an agent that can remotely plant or defuse Spike bombs.

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