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Steam Deck Was Intentionally Designed Without Docked Performance Mode

Credit: Valve

Valve made quite the surprising announcement when they unveiled the Steam Deck. This was a new handheld gaming device but made to be considered a portable gaming PC. It was quick to see reports and comments from players comparing the upcoming Valve Steam Deck with the Nintendo Switch. Both are mobile handheld gaming devices that offer a similar build style. However, unlike the Steam Deck, the Nintendo Switch offers a performance mode when docked.

That’s not what Valve had in mind for the Steam Deck. There is a docked mode so players can connect this device to another display. Players will also be able to increase the resolution. As a result, there might be some slight performance issues that popped up due to upping the resolution. PC Gamer recently had the chance to speak with Valve’s product designers for the Steam Deck, where docked performance mode came up in question. 

Apparently, Valve designed the Steam Deck with how they thought the device would be used most. In their eyes, they felt that most gamers would prefer having a portable device. Most will find that the device will still provide the same performance docked if the resolution is the same as their default handheld mode 800p. As a result, there wasn’t much effort to dive into a performance docked mode. Although, only time will tell just how well the device performs when it’s readily available in consumers’ hands.

Currently, the targeted goal for the Stream Deck is AAA games at 800p with 30fps. Ideally, some games will surpass 30fps target goal. In fact, there is always the potential to see Valve release a new model of the Steam Deck in the future. So again, it should be interesting to see how the handheld does when it launches for consumers this December. In the meantime, there is plenty of pre-orders going out with the initial batch already claimed for. Unfortunately, this means the latest pre-orders won’t be available for consumers until 2022.

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