Last week Valve announced the Steam Deck, their portable Zen-2-powered gaming PC that they promise will be able to run most games at 1280×800, although resolution doesn’t really mean that much on its own if you don’t know what type of performance the machine is targeting. Well, Valve recently let a few more details about the Steam Deck slip in a recent interview with IGN, and those hoping for glorious 60fps or unlocked portable gameplay are in for a disappointment. According to Steam Deck developer Pierre-Loup Griffais, achieving 30fps in games is their target (thanks to PC Gamer for the transcription).
If people are still valuing high frame rates and high resolutions on [other] platforms. I think that content will scale down to our 800p, 30Hz target really well. If people start heavily favoring image quality, we might be in a position where me might have trade-offs, but we haven’t really seen that yet.
800p isn’t a big deal to me, you’re playing on a small 7-inch screen, but the 30fps target is kind of a bummer. Obviously, the Steam Deck is a PC, so some games will run better than that, but I imagine that’s what you’ll be looking at for many newer games. Speaking of which, according to Griffais, Valve has tested numerous recent Steam games on the Deck, and haven’t found any that couldn’t hit that 30fps target…
This is the first time we’ve achieved the level of performance that is required to really run the latest generation of games without problems. All the games we wanted to be playable is, really, the entire Steam library. We haven’t really found something we could throw at this device that it couldn’t handle.
For those who haven’t been keeping up, the Steam Deck runs on a custom AMD Van Gogh APU With Zen 2 CPU and RDNA 2 GPU Cores and costs between $400 and $650 depending on how much internal storage you opt for.
The Steam Deck will begin shipping sometime in December. The system is already backordered well into 2022.