Valve may launch the Steam Deck 2 by the end of 2026

Steam Deck 2

A Chiphell poster states that Valve plans to launch the Steam Deck 2 sometime in late 2026. It is said to feature a 90 Hz 900p OLED panel and a 6-core CPU.

MSI has laid out an entire roadmap for its future handheld consoles well before the MSI Claw is due to hit shelves globally. Valve has done no such thing and continues to remain silent about its future iterations of the Steam Deck. A cryptic message posted on the Chinese tech forum Chiphell may have given us our first glimpse into what the next Steam Deck has in store.

It states the next Steam Deck ($555 on Amazon) will use a "6-cylinder fourth-generation gasoline engine" (machine translated). This could be referring to its CPU, which could be a 6-core model based on the Zen 4 architecture. Further down, it has been speculated that it could mirror Hawk Point's 4C (Zen 4) + 2c (Zen 4c) configuration. The poster further adds that it will use a 16 CU (8 WGP) GPU in conjunction with LPDDR5X 8,533 RAM without specifying the former's generation or the latter's capacity.

Lastly, the Steam Deck 2 may launch with a 900p OLED screen clocked at 90 Hz, but that could likely change in the future. It is slated for a Q3-Q4 2026 launch and will come with a significant price increase. Valve plans to carry forward its existing strategy and sell older Steam Deck variants at a discount once the new model is out.

While one can brush the above specs off as fiction, they make sense when looked at alongside the original Steam Deck. Despite Zen 3 being around for a while, Valve opted to stick with Zen 2 and RDNA 2. Therefore, it isn't outlandish to assume that Valve will use a Zen 4 CPU for its 2026-bound hardware instead of Zen 5, which will launch later this year. As far as the GPU is concerned, RDNA 4 seems like an ideal candidate, as it will undoubtedly bring improvements over already impressive RDNA 3-powered SKUs such as the Radeon 780M.

CPU: A 6-Core Powerhouse

The leaked information suggests that the Steam Deck 2 might be equipped with a 6-core CPU based on the Zen 4 architecture. If this holds true, it indicates Valve's commitment to staying at the forefront of processing power in handheld gaming devices.

Graphics Processor: RDNA 4 for Enhanced Performance

Speculations point towards a 16 CU (8 WGP) GPU, possibly based on RDNA 4 architecture. This choice aligns with the trend of leveraging the latest graphics technology to enhance gaming experiences on the Steam Deck 2, surpassing the capabilities of its predecessor.

Display: Vibrant 900p OLED at 90 Hz

The alleged 900p OLED display with a 90 Hz refresh rate promises a visually immersive gaming experience. However, with the potential for changes before launch, it remains to be seen how this display configuration will contribute to the overall visual quality of the Steam Deck 2.

Connectivity: Unspecified, Raises Questions

The leak does not provide details on connectivity features. This omission leaves users wondering about potential advancements in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other connectivity options that could enhance the Steam Deck 2's versatility.

RAM: LPDDR5X 8,533 for Smooth Performance

With LPDDR5X 8,533 RAM, the Steam Deck 2 aims for seamless multitasking and efficient performance. However, the leak does not specify the RAM's generation or capacity, leaving room for speculation about its actual impact on the device's speed and responsiveness.

Storage: Unrevealed Capacities

Details regarding storage capacities remain undisclosed in the leak. Users are left in the dark about potential advancements in storage technology and the impact on game loading times and overall storage convenience.

Camera: Absence Raises Eyebrows

The leak does not mention any camera specifications for the Steam Deck 2. In an era where cameras play a significant role in social sharing and streaming, the absence of this information prompts questions about Valve's decision regarding the inclusion of a camera in its handheld gaming device.

Dimension: Unknown Form Factor

No details are provided about the Steam Deck 2's dimensions. The lack of information regarding its form factor makes it challenging to anticipate the device's portability and overall design aesthetics.

Operating System: Continuation of Steam Deck Legacy

The leak suggests that Valve plans to continue its existing strategy, carrying forward the Steam Deck's legacy. This includes selling older variants at a discount, emphasizing software consistency for users transitioning to the Steam Deck 2.

Price and Other Features: A Significant Increase

Valve hints at a notable price increase for the Steam Deck 2. As consumers eagerly await details on additional features, the question arises: What enhancements justify the higher cost? The leak leaves this crucial aspect open for speculation and discussion among the gaming community.

Pros and Cons: Balancing Innovation and Tradition

The purported specifications of the Steam Deck 2 bring a mix of excitement and skepticism. While the inclusion of a 6-core CPU and RDNA 4 GPU signals innovation, the lack of details on connectivity, camera, and dimensions raises concerns. The anticipated price hike adds another layer to the ongoing debate about the value proposition of Valve's upcoming handheld gaming device.

Conclusion: Awaiting Official Confirmation

As the gaming community digests the leaked information, the spotlight is now on Valve to provide official confirmation. Until then, enthusiasts and critics alike will continue to speculate and analyze, eagerly anticipating the unveiling of the Steam Deck 2 and its potential impact on the handheld gaming industry.

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