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Steam Deck With OLED Display is “a Bigger Amount of Work Than People Think”

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Despite the success of the Steam Deck, Valve is hesitant to talk about upgrading the system in the future, even because of the possibility of a Steam Deck with an OLED display. According to Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais, the company is looking at ways to improve the Steam Deck’s display, but fitting an OLED display to existing hardware is more complicated than a simple screen replacement.

“I think people look at things as an incremental version and assume it’s an easy drop-in,” Griffais said in an interview with PCGamer. “But really, the screen is at the heart of the device. Everything is anchored to him. Basically everything is built around everything when you’re talking about such a small device. I think it would be a lot more work than people think it would be. […] I don’t think we rule anything out. But the idea that you could just swap in a new screen and be done – it would take more than that to be practical. “

As for some of the Steam Deck’s display features like the ability to change the refresh rate and its backlight dimming capabilities, Griffais said that these things are definitely possible to do with an OLED display.

“It’s just something you have to plan ahead,” Griffais said. “When we were working on this [IPS LCD] screen, we made sure these could be supported, even if the refresh rate change wasn’t ready at release. It was very important to us that all of that would be supported. So it’s something you need to keep in mind when you’re evaluating and choosing potential options. But there is nothing about LCD vs OLED, different screen technologies that makes that a solution. It’s about how you design the whole system, and what’s between the screen and the SOC (system-on-a-chip).”

Valve is celebrating the first anniversary of the release of Steam Deck with the first discount that the device has seen since its launch. Currently available at a 10% discount for all versions, the Steam Deck has also received a recent update that allows users to change its startup animation.

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