Valve Reveals Steam Deck Prototypes and Shows What Its Console Could Have Looked Like

On the occasion of the Tokyo Game Show, Valve presented several prototypes of its Steam Deck, in particular the evolutions of the design of its hybrid console. What to learn more about the process of designing a computer product.

Valve Steam Deck test (8)
Source: Anthony Wonner – Frandroid

In our test of the Steam Deck, we noted the perfectibility of its operating system as well as its design. However, Valve is far from having the only version that is marketed. The manufacturer of this rather special PC unveiled several prototypes of its machine at the Tokyo Game Show to show the evolution of the project. It’s the developer of Valve Pierre-Loup Griffais who posted photographs of these copies on Twitter.

The Steam Deck has gone through several designs

A priori, since the beginning of the design of the Steam Deck, the outline of what makes this console is already written. We find the screen in the central position, the joysticksbuttons and pads touchscreens on the sides. But in the developments that we can note, there is the directional cross, which was not separated into four buttons in the first versions. Also, the height of joyticks seems to have been increased and the latter have gone from a domed shape to a hollowed shape. As to pads tactile, their shape changed from a circle to a square.

Also, the color of the Steam Deck has changed several times. The first imagined version had a gray body and a black front. The second iteration meanwhile had a white body. As for all subsequent releases, Valve has settled for an understated black.

The first model dates back to mid-2019 and the versions designed were basically handcrafted in a few copies to move towards increasingly industrialized and massive production.

Prototypes (almost) all functional

In another tweet, Pierre-Loup Griffais made a video demonstration of one of the Steam Deck prototypes (the third version). These almost all work and give an idea of ​​the evolution this time of the Valve console software.

The best part is that they (mostly) all still boot, serving as an exciting reminder of how far things have come since.

This one has a Picasso APU, at about half of the GPU power of the final Deck. The flatter ergo was an interesting experiment and taught us a ton about comfort. pic.twitter.com/yLwTtDDYlo

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

The featured Steam Deck has a Picasso APU that offered half the power found on the final Steam Deck. The Valve developer clarifies that the flatter ergonomics “was an interesting experience and taught us a lot about comfort“.


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