Steam Deck: the prototypes show us the evolution of the hardware

Steam Deck: the prototypes show us the evolution of the hardware

Steam Deck

It's been several months since Steam Deck was launched on the market, and today there are many gamers who have decided to combine this portable hardware with their PC gaming experience. The shapes and composition of the keys proposed by Valve are now common, but thanks to a series of images of the prototypes of the device we discover how the US company has modeled its portable hardware over time.

As Griffais declares on his Twitter profile As part of the Steam Deck launch press event held in Asia, Valve created a real showroom that showcased the history of hardware development. "My favorites are playable prototypes, like this Steam Deck family tree from mid-2019 to now," Griffais added with a comment to his post.

As part of the Asia launch press event, we made the design lab into a showroom of development history. My favorite are the playable prototypes: bootable Deck family tree from mid-2019 to now, from a couple of hand-built units onto gradual mass production.

- Pierre-Loup Griffais (@ Plagman2) September 12, 2022

Valve Shares Images and Video of Playable Steam Deck Prototypes

Valve has revealed it went through a number of playable hardware prototypes before deciding on the final design of the Steam Deck.

Pierre Loup Griffais, a developer working at Valve, used his Twitter account to share images(Opens in a new window) of all the prototypes and a video of one of the prototypes booting(Opens in a new window). The images reveal that the design didn't vary much in terms of size of the unit, but Valve played around with the controls quite a bit.

You'll notice that the D-Pad was replaced by buttons on some of the prototypes, and Valve flirted with round haptic trackpads below the analog sticks along the way.

The prototypes were made from mid-2019 onward and brought out of storage as part of the Asia launch (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong) event for the Steam Deck. A 52-page booklet was made available last month to support the launch, which also confirmed Valve will be making a Steam Deck 2.

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When the Steam Deck launched it proved difficult to order one due to sheer demand and component shortages, with people having to wait several months before they were shipped. The situation has improved markedly since June when Valve announced it could start shipping double the number of Steam Decks. Ordering one today(Opens in a new window) will see your handheld shipped in the October-December timeframe.

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