Need even more information on the upcoming Linux-powered Steam Deck from Valve? We've got some more that has trickled through to talk about.
Firstly, in a newer IGN video the team at Valve went over the hardware and power of the Steam Deck and talked about what it's actually capable of. During the video Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais mentioned "We’ve been looking at various games over the past few years in the back catalogue but the real test for us was games that were coming out last year", he continued, "They just couldn’t really run very well on the previous types of prototypes and architectures we were testing and this is the first time we've achieved the level of performance that is required to run the latest generation of games without a problem. All the games that we wanted to be playable is the entire Steam library, we haven't really found something that we could throw at this device that it couldn't handle.".
Now that sounds pretty exciting. However, there's a difference between developers saying it can handle it and it works, and what we're all expecting the performance to actually be like. Griffais mentioned how most games will scale down "to their 800p 30Hz target really well" but "if people start heavily favouring image quality then we might be in a position where have trade-offs but we haven't really seen that yet".
In a follow-up Twitter post Griffais mentioned "The "30 FPS target" refers to the floor of what we consider playable in our performance testing; games we've tested and shown have consistently met and exceeded that bar so far. There will also be an optional built-in FPS limiter to fine-tune perf vs. battery life.".
Really interesting to know there's going to be an FPS limiter built in. There's already some available on Linux like libstrangle to tweak that.
What we also know as well from Griffais in a Twitter reply, is that the Steam Deck itself will be using the gamescope project that we mentioned back in January 2020 which is a Wayland compositor for the normal Steam gaming session (not the KDE Plasma desktop mode) - so it's likely the FPS limiter used is built into that directly.
Another very interesting bit of info is that Steam Big Picture is getting overhauled, using the new UI built for the Steam Deck which was confirmed by Valve developer Austin P on a Steam post where they said "Yes, we are replacing Big Picture with the new UI from Deck. We don't have an ETA to share yet though.".