Valve wants to continue making handheld devices like the Steam Deck after launch

Written by Neil Soutter on Mon, Aug 9, 2021 4:25 PM

Valve may have surprised everyone when they officially announced the Steam Deck, a handheld gaming device that is essentially a portable, mobile PC rather than an actual console. But they won’t be stopping there apparently, as they will continue to make handheld gaming devices like the Steam Deck after launch.

Greg Coomer, a Designer on the Steam Deck, recently said that Valve wants to “continue making devices in this product line” and even possibly start a new line of devices that other manufacturers will follow. Valve CEO and co-founder Gabe Newell himself even iterated they want other manufacturers to make their own version of a Steam Deck.

Our view is, If we're doing this right, that we're going to be selling these in millions of units,” Newell said. “And it's clearly going to be establishing a product category that ourselves and other PC manufacturers are going to be able to participate in. And that's going to have long-term benefits for us. So that's sort of the frame in which we're thinking about this.

Coomer even commented how other manufacturers can offer different choices with the device, not just in terms of hardware, but cosmetically too. “We are hopeful that this category becomes an actual category where there are multiple choices within it,” Coomer said. “We intend to continue making devices in this product line.

But we also think it makes sense for other people to fill this space. So, if we're right about that, then there will be more choices within the category, where other manufacturers are participating, making handheld PC gaming units themselves, and calling them something else.

However, despite their optimism that other manufacturers will follow in their footsteps, Valve is also taking precautions by making sure they do it right anyway: “we're not banking on that for the existence of the category, and we're solving the problems ourselves. And we intend to continue doing that.

So it’s not going to be the same situation with the Steam Machines all over again, where Valve relied too much on their manufacturing partners. Instead they are now leading by example, but that doesn’t mean all other handheld gaming devices will be different versions of the Steam Deck, as Valve wants much bigger variety for customers:

Somebody might want to, for example, make a version of this highly tuned for long battery life and streaming games from another PC. Which is a pretty interesting product. And, you know, it's just one version that we're not planning to do right away, that somebody else might want to… Lower cost, higher battery, very different architecturally, technically.

What do you think? Are you excited for the Steam Deck? Are you interested in more, updated models of the Steam Deck in the future? Would you like to see other manufacturers jump on board as well? Let us know your thoughts!

Are you excited for the Steam Deck?

Would you like to see different models made by other manufacturers?

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09:41 Aug-10-2021

Sure I would love to a tablet version of a device like this that can
1 play indie games, Side Scrolling platformers and old school indie games
2 Stream games right from my pc so i can play at max settings but enjoy a lazy afternoon on bed

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14:26 Aug-10-2021

We can already do #2! No need to buy a separate device

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15:39 Aug-10-2021

Yeah, pretty much any Android or iOS tablet/phone can do streaming. The latency sucks, though, so I'd still prefer the Gabe Gear to run things local on :D

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18:26 Aug-10-2021

Not to talk bad about Valve, but I've heard that the steam link hardware really suffered from latency issues. Not sure if it's fixed by any firmware updates, as I don't own one.

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10:06 Aug-11-2021

I had the Steam link and the 1080p streaming latency was considerably higher than I get when streaming 4K to my Shield TV box - I tried them one after the other with a rhythm game.


That being said - Steam Link is old and long-discontinued. They were selling them for a dollar at some point years ago xD
It's irrelevant when talking about the Steam Deck and modern 3rd party streaming solutions.

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20:58 Aug-09-2021

But why. Do you guys actually travel so often that you need this? Like I don't see myself in a situation in which I would ever need a device like this. I'm genuinely both surprised and confused. I appreciate any insight from someone who wants to buy this as to why and when are you going to use it?

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22:06 Aug-09-2021

I've placed a pre-order on this. I also have a Switch, PSP, PS Vita, 3DS, Game Boy and a GBA - quite a few hand-helds!
I don't travel much at all, actually, but I really like portables for home use - in the bed, on the sofa, on the crapper, etc. I don't always want to sit at the desk with a mouse an keyboard - there are plenty of places for gaming around the house for that when you have a hand-held :D
I also dislike phone "games" and the touch-controlled phone gaming in general, so a hand-held with physical buttons wins every time.


I'm actually really looking forward to when mine ships. A hand-held PC like that for comfy gaming is crazy IMO!

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22:09 Aug-09-2021

Oh and when me and my friends go to each others' places, we often have a Switch handy just in case for some Smash, Mario Kart, Mario Party or other multiplayer games. The Gabe Gear here would be pretty cool to dock in and play some Mortal Kombat on, I'd bet :D

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22:23 Aug-09-2021

Oh, I mean I know what you mean. Sometimes I'm also lazy to sit at my desk, but I just connected my TV in front of my bed to my pc and I use a controller and wireless headphones If I want to chill :D Not a fan of spending more than 10 minutes on a toilet tho haha and whenever friends come over, they just bring

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22:24 Aug-09-2021

..their controllers and connect up to my pc. We all like to see what happens on everyone's screen so we prefer split-screen games.

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09:53 Aug-10-2021

I have a TV opposite from my PC in the living room, though it's a large room, so I'd need a 10m+ cable if I wanted to go wired, so the other option is to stream to the Shield TV box... three problems: 1 - my missis always plays her games on TV when she's not at the PC, so that would leave her hanging, 2 - I don't like to play on the TV and 3 - latency, because streaming...


I guess I'm just used to hand-helds since my school days with the PSP, so I see no problem with having a Gabe Gear or a Switch or whatever, aside from my PC. I'm certainly not used to TV gaming.

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19:28 Aug-09-2021

Linus tech tips has got his hand on a steam deck and it looks good to me, plays doom eternal very well..watch his video

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22:01 Aug-09-2021

I'd say this video by Tested is better than the one Linus made, since this guy asked some really good questions about the software side (BIOS, drivers, dual-boot, etc). Aside from the thermal camera and the latency mouse test, Linus didn't really touch on much new.

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19:10 Aug-09-2021

The delivery can't come soon-enough O_O


It's honestly the most exciting thing in the last 10 years, IMO.

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20:42 Aug-09-2021

It really is, it kinda reminds me how psp used to be. When you get it please report your experience on gaming with sd cards

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21:59 Aug-09-2021

Ah, the PSP... I went everywhere with that thing! Gaming at school was the best xD


And yeah, will do! I'm very curious about the SD performance as well, though I'll also most likely buy an upgrade SSD, likely 1TB, to put the games on.

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22:42 Aug-09-2021

yeah at that time when phones used to run some really s#itty java games psp was pretty much like portable ps2-ps3. It had really good games i loved gta series, i even completed silent hill franchise on that, gran turismo was really good. The fact that you could play basically full AAA games on the go was unreal. The only bad thing i can remember was its resolution, it was pretty bad especially when iphone was released and ipod touch.

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22:46 Aug-09-2021

i remember i bought special memory card adapter from china, it could fit 2 micro sd cards in one and i had something unheard of memory capacity on that thing, 12-14gb cant remember now. When i get steam deck i will definitely download psp emulator.

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10:01 Aug-10-2021

OMG lol, you bought a Photofast adapter as well? I remember dropping 400Lt on the adapter and 2x 16GB cards at the time... when 32 and 64GB cards didn't yet exist xD Considering that my PSP cost me 720Lt - that memory investment was huge!


In fact - here's my adapter - I was just tinkering with it not long ago. But I have a better single-SD adapter now with a 128GB card in my PSP.


The resolution may not have been the best, but considering the content was above and beyond anything on even the first iphones/ipods at the time (and arguably STILL now) - it wasn't really a problem :D

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10:52 Aug-10-2021

yes that exact one, adapter itself was pretty cheap like 10lt +shipping or something at the time, but i didnt buy such an expensive sd cards. Man its so weird seeing LT currency in the comments :D its been long time since anyone used that

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10:55 Aug-10-2021

Dude, euros suck... I left for the UK 10 years ago when we still had our OG currency and sometime then it changed over to euro... No soul in euros at all :/

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18:03 Aug-09-2021

this is pretty much untapped market, nintendo is the only currently in it. nintendo switch has ancient hardware and barely can run its new ports with 20-30fps, their recent oled model was a fail. Very happy that steam is coming with its deck and much more open approach compared to nintendo.

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17:58 Aug-09-2021

There is a youtuber called "tech deals" i usually like his content, but his recent statement kinda triggered me. He said that its not comfortable to play world of warships and civ6 on it in result of that it is nintendo switch competitor. With that, he compares steam deck against nintendo switch and says that its overpriced and waste of money

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17:23 Aug-09-2021

Absolutely can't wait for the second generation of the steam deck, but the first generation is a bit too weak and power hungry IMO.

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15:44 Aug-10-2021

I think you'd just end up saying the exact same thing when the "second generation" comes, etc. You have to consider the form factor. The tech isn't there yet (nor will it happen anytime soon) to give us 3090 performance in a hand-held. And by the time it is - there will be even better in the desktop space, so you'll feel like the hand-helds are too weak again for AAA or whatever games of the time. Rinse and repeat.

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16:58 Aug-10-2021

I'm considering that batteries will become better in the next few years and so will hardware.
We should get at least 12 CUs for the GPU, even better if it's RDNA3 and a Zen4 quad core. I'm considering current games in mind mostly with those specs.
Also at least 3 hours gaming time batter worst case scenario.

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10:07 Aug-11-2021

Well... good luck waiting then.

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13:07 Aug-11-2021

I don't really have a choice now, do I? XD
Also the storage will get bigger and cheaper, which I totally forgot about the steam deck. Not much can be done on a 256-512GB Drive.

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15:28 Aug-11-2021

Sorry to butt in.
Imo storage can and maybe likely improve. But I was under the impression batteries havent done anything in a very long time. Its only the processors that have improved and used less energy. This works for small laptops as the power u need to browse webpages is constant, but the power efficiency is improving. For gaming, they’ll always just cram more power in to offset.

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16:39 Aug-11-2021

Yeah, batteries are the bane of portable electronics. They have improved somewhat over the last 20 years, but ridiculously little, compared to the silicon chips they power. And you are also very right, Penoys, on the part about cramming more power - that's what people want and you can't have both power AND along battery life, at least not if you're playing something current.


@Rattlehead - I'm just gonna buy a large SD card and a 1TB 2230 SSD, lol, the storage is really not a problem. How many terabytes do you even need on a portable device anyway?

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17:10 Aug-11-2021

If you are actually interested in buying steam deck or similar device for that price and capabilities you would be getting it now, when its available. To be honest i really dont think you will actually ever get it if you are waiting for never ending "battery and device performance improvements", with portable devices its always a balancing act and it has been somewhat similar for many many years.

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19:24 Aug-11-2021

The real battery improvement has started happening in the last 4 years, but it still hasn't trickled down to low voltage, low capacity, low power batteries, but it should in the next few years.

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19:50 Aug-11-2021

i have to admit that im not that knowledgeable about mobile batteries, but there havent been any "recent" significant battery tech breakthrough which caught my eye, there definitely have been improvements, but manufacturers usually use more powerful components to balance out the ratio. Also since im comparing mostly with mobile batteries the workload type is extremely important and "spec sheet" battery expectancy in most cases are not really genuine or with bunch of asterisks.

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20:29 Aug-11-2021

I'm with Gerulis here in thinking that you're not actually interested if this is your excuse. These portables have been popping out for a while from quite a few companies, GPD being the main one. The Gabe Gear is at a point where it finally makes a lot of sense, the price is insane compared to what was and is available - it's a no-brainer if you're ACTUALLY interested. Otherwise you'll just wait and wait and wait.


I was not interested in the other offerings myself, but this one just knocked it out of the park regarding everything. The battery life is still better on Switch, but I'll be able to live with the reduction, considering how I use the portables (mostly at home in bed/sofa)

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22:08 Aug-11-2021

Well they'd be too expensive if they made the densest batteries possible.
Also I'm interested, portable gaming is amazing, but just like the rest, the steam deck is not there yet. That's why I hope it's successful so that the future generation(s) can get to a point where they are great all around.

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23:08 Aug-11-2021

You're entitled to your opinion, of course, but I don't see anyone doing what Valve did here with the quality parts and that many HID options at the price point the Gabe Gear hits anytime soon. I'd rather enjoy this now for the sake of £460 + mods than wait for the world to come up with something better and not scalp me for it :D


At the end of the day - I enjoyed the PSP, Vita, Switch and the other portables I have. If you're realistic about the form factor, then the limitations should not bother you. And this is coming from a guy with a 3090 in the rig, mind you. I love my graphics, but I'm not bothered by something less either.

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07:47 Aug-12-2021

But that's why I'm waiting for Steam Deck 2.0 XD
Now don't compare consoles to PCs, consoles will have great games made for them and their specs, PC don't have that luxury. I love my PSP, PS Vita, DS and 3DS as well, I personally do not care about graphical fidelity and quality. I care for longevity though.

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09:42 Aug-12-2021

I still don't quite get why, though. If it's the current games you wanna play (either now or in the future of whatever deck 2.0) - that point will always be sub-par on a portable because artists will keep pushing the boundaries - happens all the time, so no difference there. If you want a big back-catalog to play - this is available now too (because PC). Where's the real problem?

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