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Although it was released in February 2022, fans of the handheld gaming console have been asking for an upgrade, especially to the display. Well, Valve, the parent company of Steam, has announced a Steam Deck OLED that will become the new premium version of the handheld alongside the 256GB LCD model.

Valve Announce Steam Deck OLED, But It Is Not Deck Successor Which Is 2-3 Years Away
Steam Deck (Photo credit: Edgar Almeida/Pexels)

Valve has confirmed that the 64GB and 512GB LCD models will be gradually phased out. When that happens, only the 256GB LCD, 512 GB OLED, and 1 TB OLED versions will be available on the market. However, the Steam Deck OLED model will not just be a rehash of the LCD model.

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The screen of the Steam Deck OLED will be slightly larger at 7.4” compared to the 7” screen of the LCD model. Also, it will support HDR, come with upgraded Wi-Fi 6E (instead of Wi-Fi 5 in the older model), and a bigger 50Whr batter, a 10Whr bump from the LCD model.

Another interesting feature that will come with the Steam Deck OLED is an improved cooling system which will be beneficial for both comfort and battery life. Notwithstanding the upgrades, the Steam Deck OLED will be 30g lighter than the LCD model.

In an attempt to phase out the 64GB and 512GB LCD models, Valve has dropped their prices to $349 / £309 and $449 / £389 respectively. The price slash should help clear the stocks. On the other hand, players can start placing orders for the Steam Deck OLED from November 16 at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET / 5 pm GMT.

On the same day, a limited-edition version of the handheld console with 1TB storage, red buttons, and a transparent shell will be available in the US and Canada. The limited edition will only be available on November 16.

Steam Deck OLED will not be the next-gen Steam Deck successor

Valve Announce Steam Deck OLED, But It Is Not Deck Successor Which Is 2-3 Years Away
Steam Deck in a protective pouch (Photo credit: Egor Komarov)

Just to clear the air, the recently announced Steam Deck OLED is not the successor of the LCD model currently available on the market. Rather, it is just an upgrade that hopefully helps the handheld to compete better against the Nintendo Switch.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Lawrence Yang, the Steam Deck product designer revealed that the team is currently working on a ‘Steam Deck 2’ which will feature next-gen upgrades in power and performance. Yang’s comment corroborates that of Valve coder Pierre-Lou Griffais who told The Verge back in September that Valve wasn’t expecting Steam Deck’s next-gen successor in a couple of years.

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“It’s important to us that the Deck offers a fixed performance target for developers, and that the message to customers is simple, where every Deck can play the same games,” Griffais said at that time.

Valve Announce Steam Deck OLED, But It Is Not Deck Successor Which Is 2-3 Years Away
Steam Deck (Photo credit: Edgar Almeida/Pexels)

“As such, changing the performance level is not something we are taking lightly, and we only want to do so when there is a significant enough increase to be had. We also don’t want more performance to come at a significant cost to power efficiency and battery life. I don’t anticipate such a leap to be possible in the next couple of years, but we’re still closely monitoring innovations in architectures and fabrication processes to see where things are going there.”

Pierre-Lou Griffais to The Verge

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The Steam Deck OLED will definitely offer better color accuracy and visual fidelity to games. However, that may come at a cost to battery life. Therefore, inasmuch as Valve has bumped up the battery of the Steam Deck OLED, it may not be realistic to expect significantly longer hours of playtime.

Will you ditch your Steam Deck LCD for the Steam Deck OLED? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Anthony Emecheta

Anthony Emecheta has over a decade experience as a freelance writer. Gaming has always been a childhood hobby and he is excited to be collaborating with a gaming company as a content creator. It is like having all the things he loves in one place.