Valve employee clarifies that the Steam Deck does not have a 30fps cap

Image of the Steam Deck portable PC by Valve

A few days ago, Valve unveiled its first handheld gaming device, namely the Steam Deck. The machine features a 7-inch 60Hz display with a native resolution of 1280 x 800px. Valve partnered with AMD to power the device, with it touting an APU that has a Zen 2 four core eight thread CPU paired with an RDNA 2 1.6 Tflops GPU. It also has 16GB of LPDDR5 ram and internal storage that goes up to 512GB of NVMe. Starting at $399, the Steam Deck sounds neat on paper, but many have been worried about performance since a statement from a Valve employee was interpreted as suggesting that the company is targeting 30fps on the handheld.

The same developer, who is Pierre-Loup Griffais, has now clarified his statement saying that he meant that the 30fps is the minimum that Valve is targeting with games on the Steam Deck. In a tweet, Griffais went on to say that:

The "30 FPS target" refers to the floor of what we consider playable in our performance testing; games we've tested and shown have consistently met and exceeded that bar so far. There will also be an optional built-in FPS limiter to fine-tune perf vs. battery life.

This certainly clarifies a few misconceptions. Although Valve had initially stated that its hardware could handle any game thrown at it, the comment about the "30 FPS target" had led many to believe that games would be capped at 30fps. While it is now clear that titles won't be locked at 30fps and that gamers can go opt between performance and battery life, the responses to Griffais' tweet have now delved into why 60fps was not chosen as the floor for the machine.

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