The Steam Deck will not be the last handheld PC that Valve creates. Cover designer Greg Coomer says he intends to "continue to make devices in this product line" and that while he expects people to set an example, he doesn't intend for other manufacturers to join their own versions.
While this is what Gabe Newell himself has stated as one of the intentions of the Steam Deck, "to establish a category of products in which we and other PC manufacturers can participate." This is a category he believes will "have long-term benefits for us."
Coomer reiterates this during our recent chat with him at Valve HQ.
"We hope that this category will become a real category in which there are several options," he says. "We intend to continue manufacturing devices in this product line.
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"But we also think it's logical for other people to fill that space. So if we're right about that, there will be more options within the category, where other manufacturers will be involved, which will make the laptop gaming units and calling- something else. "
Therefore, these third-party devices will not all be called Steam Decks, just as they were not necessarily all called Steam Machines …
“Yeah, I guess it’s similar,” Coomer says. "Unless we are betting on the existence of the category, and we are solving the problems ourselves. And we intend to continue to do so."
With the Steam Machines, Valve was completely confident that its PC manufacturing partners would manufacture and sell the systems it promoted as a new type of non-Windows gaming PC, which was to use its first iteration of SteamOS. Unfortunately, SteamOS took longer than expected to ship, and Alienware ended up sending its versions of the Steam machine to Windows.
On this occasion, Valve encourages other manufacturers to participate, but is leading, developing its own software and hardware hand in hand to ensure the best possible experience.
No doubt Valve has learned many lessons from its steam engines.
"But there are many other ways to fix it," Coomer suggests, "with different functions that have priority, different calculations about cost and value benefits."
He’s talking about taking different approaches to the handheld PC than the all-in-one approach Valve has taken with the Steam Deck. After all, this isn’t the only way designers can go, where other manufacturers moving into the booming category might have completely different ideas about what makes the ideal laptop.
"Someone might, for example, want to make a version that is well-suited for long-lasting battery life and streaming games from another PC. Which is a pretty interesting product. And, you know, it's just a version we're not thinking about doing right away, that someone might want … Lower cost, higher battery, very different architecturally and technically. "
This only highlights the different places where gaming laptops can reach, but the Steam Deck is a one-size-fits-all approach, offering both local games for 30,000 feet in the air and streaming performance offer time. of marathon. Here we hope you will truly fulfill all the promises we have made so far.