Valve Steam Deck OLED is a possibility but it’s not going to be easy

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    Valve’s Steam Deck recently celebrated its first anniversary since its release, having progressed from pre-orders and delayed shipping to near-global availability today. However, not everyone is pleased with the hardware.

    Senior editor Wes Fenlon of PC Gamer contacted Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais to inquire about the possibility of an OLED model, inquiring about the manufacturer’s stance on Steam Deck display upgrades.

    Wes correctly claims that anyone who lays their eyes on the wide colors and deep brightness range offered by the high-end screen tech is unlikely to choose against it, drawing comparisons to the refreshed Nintendo Switch enhanced by an OLED screen.

    “(Valve) understands the limitations of the current tech that’s in the Deck, in terms of the screen. We also want it to be better. We’re looking at all avenues,” he says. But the longer answer is that there’s a lot more to swapping out a screen than just… swapping out a screen.”

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    Other handheld devices may not have the raw horsepower of real-time PC gaming, but our review of the Razer Edge demonstrates that cloud gaming alternatives with AMOLED panels show promise.

    Rather than speculating, Pierre-Loup told PC Gamer why Valve hasn’t pursued the idea of an OLED upgrade to the Steam Deck.

    Without considering the cost to consumers, simply replacing the standard LCD panel with an OLED alternative is not so simple. In terms of the Steam Deck, incremental upgrades appear to be a non-starter for Valve. However, a future successor appears to be more likely to use OLED or one of its alternatives to power the display.

    Despite hundreds of games verified for Steam Deck working out of the box, one of the portable handheld’s appeals is its open nature for optional tweaking. Customizable refresh rates and dynamic resolutions were tested with the default LCD screen in mind, so any mid-generational switch requires more significant considerations.

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    The current model has an unfortunate drawback: screen glare. Still, it is fixable with the best Steam Deck accessories, such as screen protectors designed specifically to combat reflections. We also mention community-created plugins like vibrantDeck, which can increase the saturation and gamma of any game.

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