In a new video with IGN, Valve talked a bit more about the technical capabilities of the Steam Deck and its AMD processor, stating that even games releasing this year "have been running without issues."
"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. They just couldn't really run very well on the previous types of prototypes and architectures we were testing," Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais said. "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."
Griffais said that current PC gaming trends that favor high frame rate performance and high resolutions help the Steam Deck, because it means games will easily scale down to its lower resolution 800p display and run at at least 30Hz.
Valve reiterated that it's using a brand new AMD CPU and GPU, along with LPDDR5 RAM, an especially fast new memory standard. "We might actually be one of the first products to showcase this memory technology," said Valve hardware engineer Yazan Aldehayyat. "That gives a lot of future proofing, especially since we're not the only people with this architecture. Any optimization that game developers make for this new architecture will carry forth to benefit us as well."
The architecture Alderhayyat's referencing is the one-two punch of AMD's Zen 2 found in Ryzen 3000 CPUs and RDNA 2 in the Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards. (you can read a deeper dive into the Steam Deck's hardware here).
"It wasn't until now that we felt the entire Steam catalog is available to people who have this device," Alderhayyat said. "That's when we knew we had a product that is going to deliver the experience we're looking for."
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Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.
When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).