Valve is committed to bringing Steam Deck OLED 'battery life improvements to the LCD models as well'

Valve Steam Deck OLED handheld PC
(Image credit: Future)

Now, I know you may be feeling a little glum at the announcement of the new Steam Deck OLED. You know your little ol' LCD Steam Deck can still play the same games at the same speeds as the shiny new Valve thing, but it's taken a little shine off your handheld PC, right?

Well, maybe this will make you feel a little better: Not only is Valve going to continue supporting the regular Steam Decks (indeed it's continuing to sell the 256GB version for $399) but it will also be bringing all the software-based battery life improvements it's created for the OLED version to your LCD-based one, too.

"We're still optimising the battery life for the LCD model, even now," Valve hardware engineer, Yazan Adehayyat, tells me, "and we will continue to optimise it for the LCD model. 

"In fact, a lot of the firmware and software improvements that we did for the OLED model are going to be ported over to the LCD models. So once we ship the OLED Steam Deck—not at launch date but soon after—we will be releasing a BIOS update that brings some of these battery life improvements to the LCD models as well."

The biggest battery life improvement for the OLED model, however, is something you're not going to get on the regular Deck; the bigger battery itself. That's only been made possible by the fact the bigger, brighter OLED panel doesn't need a backlight because of its self-emissive pixels, and so there's more space behind it to have a literally fatter battery.

So, you get a 50Wh battery in the new OLED models, while only a 40Wh battery in the original Steam Decks, and you're probably not going to be able to squeeze one of the new ones into your old chassis without getting out your Dremel.

The basic takeaway, though, is that Valve is going to keep looking after you and your old school Steam Decks. "We're really good at continuing to support all of our hardware devices," says Valve's Lawrence Yang, "and that'll continue for the Steam Deck LCD product as well."


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Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.