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A Steam Deck refresh could be coming soon

Valve appears to have found a way to sneak the new Steam Deck through certification without anyone noticing.

Published onOctober 5, 2023

Baldurs gate 3 steam deck featured
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
  • Valve appears to have pushed a new Steam Deck through the  FCC’s certification process without anybody noticing.
  • No one noticed until now because Valve snuck the device through using its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip vendor.
  • The refreshed Steam Deck could have more to it than just a new Wi-Fi 6E chip.

Valve’s Steam Deck developers have made it painfully clear not to expect a Steam Deck 2 until at least 2025. But that doesn’t mean we can’t expect Valve to release a revised version of the current handheld PC. In fact, it looks like a refreshed Steam Deck snuck its way through the FCC not too long ago.

According to The Verge, a Steam Deck with a new model number stopped by the FCC back on August 13. That model number happens to be the same model number that was attached to a mystery Valve device that went through South Korea’s National Radio Research Agency — 1030.

You might be wondering how no one noticed this until now. Well, it appears Valve hid its presence by filing the gaming system under a company called Quectel. This company happens to be Valve’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip vendor.

Discovered by internet sleuths Brad Lynch and @TVKilledMi, it looks like Quectel filed for a Class II Permission Change. The company was aiming to have the regulatory body allow its already certified Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth chip to run on the new Steam Deck. They argue that the chip doesn’t need to be retested because it has a weaker antenna than other devices, so the radio emissions will be lower.

Valve Corporation Model: 1030 seems to be a revised Steam Deck model with AT LEAST a new Wi-Fi card capable of the 6E (6Ghz) spectrum
— Brad Lynch (@SadlyItsBradley) October 4, 2023

Since the Wi-Fi chip certification process is only focused on regulating radio emissions, other features can be hidden. You really have to hand it to Valve for coming up with such a trick to hide the existence of this new hardware.

So, is a new Wi-Fi chip the only new thing in this mysterious Steam Deck? The outlet hypothesizes Valve probably wouldn’t need a brand new model number for such a small change.

The developers have talked a lot about the Deck’s battery life; it’s possible Valve could give this new Deck a bigger battery. When Nintendo updated the Switch, it gave the console an OLED screen. Developer Pierre-Lou Griffais did say, “We’re looking at all avenues,” when talking about the possibility of adding an OLED display. However, he also added, “I think it would be a bigger amount of work than people are assuming.”

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