Valve is already planning a follow-up to its hotly anticipated Steam Deck (opens in new tab), according to the company's president Gabe Newell.
Speaking to EDGE Magazine (opens in new tab), Newell was discussing Valve's surprise when the most expensive version of the Steam Deck proved to "far and away" be the most popular version of the handheld. "That's why we always love to get something out there and ship it. Because we learn a lot from that, and it helps frame our thinking for Deck 2."
This new version of the Steam Deck will likely be a more powerful version of the device, reflecting what Valve believes its customers are saying in purchasing the higher-end deck. "They're basically saying 'We would like an even more expensive version of this' in terms of horsepower capabilities or whatever," Newell said.
Indeed, it appears Valve already has a long future planned for the Steam Deck, with Newell envisioning it as a "permanent addition" to PC gaming. "The second iterations are going to be more about: What are the capabilities that mobile gives us, above and beyond what you would get in a traditional desktop or laptop?"
What's interesting about this is that Valve's vision for the Steam Deck seemingly ties into its ongoing pursuit of VR gaming, with Newell stating that the Steam Deck represents "battery-capable, high-performance horsepower that eventually you could use in VR applications as well".
It's true that one of the main barriers to making VR gaming accessible is the physically inconvenient nature of the hardware, which is why Facebook/Meta's Quest headsets are by far the most popular VR devices. Could Valve be planning a Steam Deck that somewhat integrates into a VR headset, one that simultaneously reduces the cost of investing in VR hardware and makes it easier to use? Or perhaps just a Steam Deck with enough graphical power to push a tethered VR headset, such as the Valve Index (opens in new tab).
Whatever Valve's plans are, Newell says "We're not really there yet." But it seems like a second Steam Deck is very much in the pipelines regardless.