Everything We Learned From The Steam Deck Conference

Everything We Learned From The Steam Deck Conference

A simple answer to a simple question: will there be Steam Deck exclusive titles? No.

The Steam Deck will be out in February 2022 according to Valve, who pushed back the initial release date of December 2021 earlier this year. It’s definitely a console we’re all quite excited for, considering the success of the handheld Nintendo Switch, as well as the freedom of PC gaming in general. Me personally? I’ve been debating building my own PC for years now, but I also happen to be clueless and lazy when it comes to even beginning to think about how I’d do it.

Thanks to the transparency of Valve, we’ve been able to get some information about the platform following a recent virtual event held on November 13 to give developers and publishers a deeper insight into plans for the console. While the event was not open to the public, the documentation from the round-up has been published publicly through the Steamworks website, including an FAQ featuring questions asked by attendees of the event.

We thought it might be nice to go through it and pick out some of the most interesting and insightful answers for you. For the full list, you can head to their website.

Would Valve be interested in having any Steam Deck exclusive titles?

No, that doesn’t make much sense to us. It’s a PC and it should just play games like a PC.

Does Deck only support full-screen mode?

The Steam Deck will automatically run games in full-screen by default.  However, if you drop to desktop, you can run games in windowed mode.

How Much VRAM does Steam Deck have?

Steam Deck has 16 gigabyte of unified memory. One gigabyte that’s dedicated for the GPU, but depending on workload the GPU can access up to 8 GB.

Does the Steam Deck support Local Multiplayer/Couch Co-op?

Definitely – you can play local co-op on the Steam Deck in a few different ways. You can hook controllers in via Bluetooth, or directly via USB.  You can also play with Remote Play Together, where other players are on other Decks or PCs.

Do you support using Steam Deck as an external controller?

Currently, you can remote play into another machine to treat the Steam Deck as a controller, which will recognize all of the Deck’s controls. You can test your game on a desktop PC, use remote play or have multiple controllers using a Steam Deck.

Are there any plans to add 5G or LTE at this point in time?

No plans to add cellular, however you can always tether to your phone.

Will Steam Deck support VR?

Technically it’s possible. We’ve seen people jury rig it, but we didn’t design and optimize Steam Deck for VR.

Will Steam Deck performance be any different, depending on if it’s plugged in or if it’s running on battery?

We are focused on providing you the full performance available from the APU both on battery and when you’re plugged in. Our expectation is that performance is the same across the board in either configuration.

Do you plan to release SteamOS as a standalone, general-purpose operating system?

We definitely plan on releasing SteamOS as a separate operating system. We don’t have exact timing on that. We’re really focused on making sure that Steam Deck is a great experience, and we’ll release it for other hardware soon.

When will Steam Deck be available in more countries?

We’re still finalizing plans with a bunch of other countries and territories. Nothing solid to announce or confirm yet, but we can say that we’re working really hard on making Steam Deck available in Japan and Australia.

A really interesting thing to note from the FAQ is that it makes sense Valve’s handheld wouldn’t have exclusive titles considering it’s going to be built to be a handheld PC. If we don’t consider PC as a console, games on the platform that were exclusively on PC could be considered console exclusives. However, you’d really have to twist around technicalities to make that point. Another is that Valve have now confirmed the Steam Deck will not be available in Australia on release, but that they’re working on making it available eventually. While this is a bummer, there’s probably going to be ways around it until it’s officially available here.

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