Valve’s all-new Steam Deck OLED is obviously inspired by the Nintendo Switch OLED, a handheld console revision with a super-crisp screen. However, Valve’s version of the stunning upgrade only exists due to Nintendo’s success.
The new Steam Deck OLED upgrade comes with a brand-new OLED screen for better brightness, contrast and colour accuracy. With the better screen, the device also has 30-50% longer battery life, a weight reduction and even more storage options.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Valve product designer Greg Coomer didn’t confirm, but heavily suggested, that the Nintendo Switch OLED’s success inspired the team to create this upgraded Steam Deck model.
“[The Switch OLED] definitely showed people that the fidelity of an OLED screen is just generally higher," the product designer said. "It's just a great product from Nintendo that makes a ton of customers around the world super happy."
Coomer explained that Nintendo’s handheld upgrade is a very popular device with Valve employees. While the company may be more well-known for PC gaming, the snazzier Nintendo device can be seen everywhere at Valve.
The Valve Steam Deck has been a huge success for the PC gaming company. While PC handhelds like the GPD Win have been niche successes, Valve’s project has inspired a number of other devices including the ASUS ROG Ally and the Lenovo Legion GO.
Valve has confirmed that there are plans for a Steam Deck 2 following the release of its OLED refresh. However, due to the current standards of technology, the next-gen Steam Deck won’t be releasing until at least 2026.
With the current version of the Valve Steam Deck capable of playing Xbox One and PS4 era games, with some current-gen titles such as Baldur’s Gate 3, major improvements are needed for a follow-up. With three years until Valve’s next console, the upcoming device will hopefully be able to match the power of the Xbox Series S at least.
The Steam Deck OLED is currently available to pre-order on, well, Steam.