The idea of a Steam Deck prototype might have sparked debate about what might have been

The idea of a Steam Deck prototype might have sparked debate about what might have been ...

During the process of being developed and enhanced, the Steam Deck was somewhat altered, as some recently released footage of prototypes demonstrate.

PC Mag (opens in a new tab) reports, but Valve developer Pierre Loup Griffais posted pictures of older prototype models of the Steam Deck left out for a press conference in Asia on Twitter to demonstrate how the device slowed.

As part of the Asia launch press event, we transformed the design lab into a museum 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. pic.twitter.com/TpU5I8D50pSeptember 12, 2022

These are coming soon, according to Griffais, and it''s interesting to see how the hardware for the handheld gaming console evolved.

Although the overall design is roughly the same throughout, there are some key differences. The earlier models are particularly more curved, with more noticeable faces at the side and front.

The trackpads are similar to those that were previously used, and instead of a D-pad, there are four distinct directional buttons on the deck. The thumbsticks on the previous hardware are also relatively smaller.

Griffais reveals that the prototypes are mostly functional and working fine, with a video shown showing Half Life 2 being loaded.

Analysis: A History of the Future Steam Deck Mini?

It''s a pleasure to see such an evolution, and the prototypes have certainly sparked some debate online, as you might imagine. Those early models are quite clunky in some aspects, while the middle incarnation has sustenanced interest. Wed agree that it is impressively clean and sleek, as well as quite more compact than the Steam Deck''s final design.

If a Steam Deck Mini version is ever made, it might be beneficial to everyone. While a smaller portable might be beneficial, it would certainly not be for everybody, and there are certain reasons, both ergonomically and functionally, why Valve didnt follow this path.

Very much respect exists for the circular trackpads, but none from everyone. What was certainly pleased to hear Valve moved away from is the slightly smaller and shallower thumbsticks, which we don''t see as a good idea.

Our understanding of the Steam Deck''s future is lacking at this stage, but what we do know is that Valve is planning several generations of the handheld, which is not a surprise given its popularity and that the concept is they will be more open and capable than the current Deck. A lofty promise.