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Valve Makes A Bold Claim About Steam Deck Performance

Valve is feeling very confident about its brand new handheld PC, the Steam Deck, so much so that it has said that every game tested on the machine has been able to run without any issues. In a video interview with IGN, Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais said that the current trend of PC games running at high resolutions and frame rates, allows for even 2021 games to be scaled down easily for the Steam Deck.

"We've been looking at various games the past few years in the back catalog, but the real test for us was games that were coming out last year, said Griffais. According to him, newer games weren't performing up to Valve's standards when tested on previous prototype consoles. However, that has all changed.

"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," Griffais explained. "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."

Valve reiterated that while the handheld doesn't quite have the full power of a high-end gaming PC, it is made with modern components. With a brand new AMD CPU and GPU, along with LPDDR5 RAM, Valve believes these components will make the Steam Deck a viable platform for years to come. In fact, the Steam Deck's architecture is one of its biggest advantages in the handheld console market.

Modern architecture in Valve's Steam Deck

In IGN's chat with Valve, hardware engineer Yazan Aldehayyat said that Valve might be the first company to use the console's new memory technology, which adds another layer of future-proofing to the system. Aldehayyat said that any optimization made by developers using this new architecture will benefit the Steam Deck's performance.

It is important to remember that while Valve has said that every game it has tested ran without issues on the Steam Deck, there are still some outstanding issues that may prevent certain titles from running on it at launch. The Steam Deck runs on SteamOS, which is Linux-based. Using Steam's patented Proton tech, games that are not necessarily designed for Linux should still be compatible with the Steam Deck. However, a number of Steam's biggest games employ anti-cheat software that isn't compatible with SteamOS. 

Luckily, Steam has announced that it is dedicated to getting these problems fixed before launch. It would be a shame for the Steam Deck to be able to run just about any game, only for conflicting software to cut out some heavy hitters.