If you’re waiting for a Steam Deck capable of running Starfield at a decent clip, you’re going to be waiting a while yet. Valve has said that a more powerful Steam Deck will arrive at the end of 2025 earliest, with no major performance upgrade expected in the meantime.
That’s per Steam Deck dev Pierre-Loup Griffais, who told The Verge that the portable PC would likely remain fixed to its current spec for at least a couple more years. The given reason is to help developers work towards a consistent bar for performance on the machine, rather than making incremental upgrades that risk fragmenting what devs are coding for and confusing players.
“It’s important to us that the Deck offers a fixed performance target for developers, and that the message to customers is simple, where every Deck can play the same games,” Griffais explained.
As such, Griffais said that the Steam Deck would only look to overhaul its hardware “when there is a significant enough increase to be had”.
A big part of that consideration is also balancing the handheld’s battery life, with Valve unwilling to sacrifice longevity in favour of raw power – something that apparently can’t be reasonably achieved at the moment, but is being looked at constantly by the PC giant.
“We also don’t want more performance to come at a significant cost to power efficiency and battery life,” Griffais confirmed. “I don’t anticipate such a leap to be possible in the next couple of years, but we’re still closely monitoring innovations in architectures and fabrication processes to see where things are going there.”
The European Union announced earlier this year that all portable electronic devices – including the Steam Deck – sold after 2024 will need to allow their batteries to be removed and replaced from 2027 onwards as part of a fresh push for sustainability, which may also factor into Valve’s plans for juggling power and performance.
As it stands, the current Steam Deck’s battery lasts anywhere from a handful of hours to less than 90 minutes depending on what’s being played. With newer games like Starfield already pushing the machine past its capabilities, that may drop even further by the time a Steam Deck 2 arrives.
Valve might also choose to hurry along its plans to compete with other contenders for the portable PC throne, with the likes of Lenovo and Asus trying to muscle in on the space – with mixed results.
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