Steam Deck is just the start for the portable gaming PC category, according to Valve


Will Steam Deck be unique? While this is a difficult question to answer before the units even reach early buyers, it appears Valve has ambitions to make more portable gaming PCs in the future, although more companies do not rush to join them.

“We hope this category becomes a real category where there are multiple choices,” Steam Deck designer Greg Coomer told our partner site PC Gamer. “We intend to continue to manufacture devices in this product line.”

You might want to make that commitment with a pinch of salt, given the company’s uneven history of material support, but the ambition is there for now at least. And the company is hoping it won’t be the only one building pocket PCs optimized for gaming.

“We also think it makes sense for other people to fill this space,” Coomer continued. “So if we’re right about that, then there will be more choice in the category, where other manufacturers are participating, making portable PC gaming units themselves and calling them something else.”

It’s no surprise that Valve wanted this, given that it would ease the pressure from the company while also bringing more people to the Steam storefront. But what other hardware developers would get out of it is less obvious.

The aggressive starting price of $ 399 for Steam Deck is something Valve chairman Gabe Newell previously described as “painful” but “critical.” Valve can afford to take a hit on the hardware, as the assumption is that buyers will then spend more money on the Steam storefront, where Valve takes a 30% discount on each sale. For Razer, Alienware, and other PC hardware makers, it would have to be making money on hardware alone, which would be a daunting task with Steam Deck at such a competitive price.

Still, if a hardware maker takes up the challenge, there are a lot of things they could do to differentiate themselves. Reducing the size would be something that would have some appeal, given that the current model eclipses the Nintendo Switch and every other handheld ever made, as seen in the tweet below, but that only scratches the surface. .

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“Someone might want, for example, to create a version of this software that is highly optimized for long battery life and streaming games from another PC,” Coomer continued, describing it as a possibility. “quite interesting”. “And, you know, this is just one version that we don’t plan on doing right now, that someone else might want… Cheaper, higher battery, very different on the architectural, technical plan. “

While it is still possible to book a Steam Deck directly from Valve, the initial allocations have long since been recouped and buyers will have to wait “beyond Q2 2022” for their units to arrive.

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