Valve says the Steam Deck is capable of playing every piece of software the company has tested on it at 30fps or more.
The company announced the portable console earlier this month, and explained it uses a custom APU described as a “Zen 2 + RNDA 2 powerhouse” to run the latest triple-A titles “in a very efficient power envelope.”
Digging into what that means, Valve coder Pierre-Loup Griffais told IGN that the Steam Deck has been tested and tweaked at length over the past couple of years, to the point where it’s now capable of comfortably running releases from as late as 2020.
“We’ve been looking at various games over the past few years in the back catalog, but the real test for us was games that were coming out last year. They just couldn’t really run very well on the previous types of prototypes and architectures we were testing,” Griffais said.
“So far we’re looking pretty good, I think — everything that’s been coming out this year has been running without issues, that we’ve tried. I think this is largely a factor of industry trends. If people are still valuing high frame rates and high resolutions on different platforms, I think that content will scale down to our 800p, 30hz target really well.”
Following the interview with IGN, Griffais clarified that the “30fps target” Valve is chasing refers to the floor of what the company considers playable during performance testing, and isn’t the upper benchmark. They added that the Steam Deck will also feature an optional built-in FPS limiter to let users fine tune performance versus battery life.
The Steam Deck, which was only unveiled on July 15, will begin shipping in December 2021 — although many of those who pre-ordered the device won’t get their hands on the console until 2022 due to high demand.