Valve’s Steam Deck Prototypes Depart Us Wanting Extra

Members of the press had the chance to see practically a dozen Steam Deck prototypes in the course of the console’s East Asian launch occasion. These prototypes date again to mid-2019, they usually function a variety of design quirks that we’d like to see in a next-generation transportable console.

Pictures of the prototype Steam Decks had been shared on Twitter by Pierre-Loup Griffais, a coder on Valve’s Steam Deck staff. In accordance with Griffais, the earliest prototype fashions had been made by hand earlier than the undertaking entered the early levels of mass manufacturing.

Notably, the early Steam Deck designs appear like a Nintendo Swap mixed with a Steam Controller. They’re comparatively small and use two round touchpads as a substitute of square-shaped touchpads. As a substitute of a typical D-pad, they’ve 4 analog directional buttons, they usually’re fully flat—no hand grips.

Plainly Valve added a little bit of girth to the Steam Deck to enhance ergonomics, improve {hardware} efficiency, and use bigger elements. Early Steam Deck prototypes use slower CPUs than the ultimate design, and their joysticks are outrageously small.

However we are able to’t recover from how glossy a few of these prototypes look. They’re harking back to the PS Vita, they usually appear far more transportable than the ultimate Steam Deck design.

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That stated, competing merchandise just like the Aya Neo use a glossy design language however fail to match the Steam Deck’s specs. Valve made a wise compromise when it adopted the large chunky Steam Deck design we all know right this moment. We simply hope that new know-how permits Valve to get the most effective of each worlds in future Steam Deck fashions.

A second-generation Steam Deck is within the playing cards, in keeping with Valve. However a launch date is unknown, and albeit, we don’t anticipate a brand new Steam Deck to return any time quickly. Valve nonetheless hasn’t completed fulfilling orders for the first-gen Steam Deck—why wouldn’t it rush into the second era?

Supply: Pierre-Loup Griffais by way of XDA Builders