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!