Valve coder Pierre-Loup Griffais shared a pair of images on Twitter showing a bunch of early iterations on the handheld from 2019 up to the current version that's available today. There's a couple with neat little white accents around the edges and on the buttons, there are some with rounder edges and bigger bezels than the production model, and there seem to be different dimensions to each of them. They all look pretty good, but there's one in the first image with circular trackpads that's just a e s t h e t i c.
As part of the Asia launch press event, we made the design lab into a showroom of development history. My favorite are the playable prototypes: bootable Deck family tree from mid-2019 to now, from a couple of hand-built units onto gradual mass production. pic.twitter.com/TpU5I8D50p— Pierre-Loup Griffais (@Plagman2) September 12, 2022
There's nothing wrong with the way the current Steam Deck looks, but to me, there's something just a little, well, Game Gear-esque about its design. It's a little bulkier than I've come to expect from a handheld after five years with my Switch, and it very much looks like it's made of hard plastics. However, the prototype smack dab in the middle of the first image appears more minimalist, sophisticated, and premium. Here's the one:
I'm not the only one enamored by this specific prototype. A bunch of replies gush about its trackpads, clean lines, and "concaveness." One observer suggested Valve reimagine the handsome prototype as "the future Steam Deck Mini."
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