Valve held the Steam Deck Developer Event, on Friday, November 12, 2021.
Well, to begin with, Valve held the virtual conference to reveal more information about its handheld PC Gaming device, the Steam Deck, which we so far knew has faced a delay in its launch. We also knew that the units would be priced at $ 400 and above.
However, there was much we still did not know about the specifications or the hardware and so on. Now with almost four hours of footage, broken up into several videos, Valve has revealed quite some information about its upcoming hand held PC gaming console. Here is a quick recap of all you need to know that went down in the virtual conference.
The AMD Chip Used Inside The Steam Deck And The Collaboration With AMD
Valve has been collaborating with AMD for the development of the console. This is being done in order to optimize the games for Linux. And from the looks of it, it seems that the result will be pretty great. Throughout the conference, it was stressed that instead of trying higher clock speeds, the chip used would be focusing on maintaining the consistency.
The name of the AMD Chip used in the Steam Deck was revealed in the presentation. Referencing Aerith from Final Fantasy VII, the chip has been named, and quite aptly so, Aerith SOC. It will be featuring a 4-core, 8-thread and it can be traced back to the AMD Zen 2 micro architecture, CPU 2.4 – 3.5 GHz and 8 AMD RDNA two compute units of graphic power, clocked from 1 to 1.6 GHz. It will also offer a maximum of 1.6 teraflops of raw graphical compute power.
The above video is an overview of the hardware of the Steam Deck console along with what can be expected from its performance. Yazan Aldehayyat, a hardware engineer at Valve, breaks down how they made the console and more importantly why. He goes ahead to show how these decisions on their end would be helping developers in bring different types of games on the console as a part of creating an optimal experience for the players.
The Steam Deck Dev-Kit
In this section, designer, Lawrence Yang, has outlined how developers will be able to get their games up and running on the Steam Deck, smoothly, even without having a dev-kit to test them out. He outlines several practices and best options, in the above video, ranging from testing compatibility from what developers have lying around, to putting together a deconstructed Deck, to conduct all in one testing, to get ready for the console, even without a dev-kit.