There have been discussions about a picture circulating on some social networks (apparently from China in the first place, based on the kanji in the below picture) and while there is no official report as to where they came from, they are apparently circulating on Discord at the moment.
First, let’s see the said picture
The “current” Steam Deck hardware can be seen at the top. The new version is at the bottom.
There are a few of differences:
First, the whole heat sink system has been completely revised: both its shape and the parts it targets have changed in positionning, and we can also assume that the fan is potentially part of those changes, too:
On the motherboard, there are also a few components that clearly move from one place to another:
Finally and this is the most significant change, probably, the abomination that was the audio cable crossing over the battery has finally moved somewhere else (?) which should make it easier to replace the battery, as long as it’s not glued anymore… (but since there’s not battery screws to be seen, it might still be glued after all…)
So what to make of this?
- It could be a new revision of the Steam Deck, i.e. a soft-change that goes unnannounced but addresses some of the issues with the current hardware without fundamentally changing how the device operates. Maybe it will now have a better cooling performance following such changes, and thus create less noise.
- It could be a prototype, something that’s not released out yet but that’s being tested before going to the market.
In any case, it’s fairly frequent to see such changes on consumer electronic hardware. Pretty much every console out there goes through iterations and slight modifications time over time (also for cost saving reasons, or simply because certain components run out and you need to replace them), and the Steam Deck is unlikely to be an exception in that regard.
If you have any info about where such pictures come from, please share in the comments!