One of the biggest questions hanging over Valve’s new Steam Deck console is game compatibility. While on the surface it looks like the perfect portable PC, the technical prowess of the handheld device has been called into question over the past week as fans began speculating about what games could or couldn’t play on it. Now, Valve is setting the record straight.
In a recent interview with IGN, Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais claimed the team had been hard at work on compatibility issues, and they’d worked out the largest architectural barriers for the console.
“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,” Griffais said. “They just couldn’t really run very well on the previous types of prototypes and architectures we were testing.”
Despite these challenges, it appears Valve has been able to address them well enough to create a console which can play most games available on Steam.
“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 told IGN. “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.”
It’s important to note this doesn’t mean Valve won’t find games that can’t be played, but it does imply the company is satisfied with the performance of the games they’ve tested so far. By scaling down each game’s output for the Steam Deck’s 800p display and 30Hz display, it’s claimed the Steam Deck will be able to maintain solid, smooth gameplay for the vast majority of games on Steam — including recent AAA hits.
With a unique AMD Zen 2 CPU and RDNA 2 GPU combo backing this hardware, it should be the gaming powerhouse you’ve dreamed of.
We’ll know more about the console and exactly which games will be compatible as we get closer to its December 2021 release. While Australians can’t currently reserve their own console (unless they use very tricky means), we can all look forward to hearing more in future.
You can check out everything new revealed about the Steam Deck by Valve in the latest IGN video showcase below: