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Valve will spill Steam Deck secrets soon

Two players using the Steam Deck
(Image credit: Valve)

Valve’s Steam Deck is due to arrive in December, not long away now – though far from everyone will get their device next month, of course – but we’ll soon know a lot more about the handheld PC.

That’s because Valve is holding a virtual conference next week, on November 12, aiming to answer questions from Steamworks game developers on topics that include not just the hardware inside, but game compatibility issues too, as you might imagine.

Specific topics include how to begin development without a dev kit, issues around Proton Support (the compatibility layer that will drive the Steam Deck, ensuring Windows games can be played on a Linux system), and an ‘APU deep dive with AMD’.

The broad idea is to educate devs on the “best practices to help you make your games a seamless experience on Steam Deck”, Valve notes.


Analysis: A chance to build up more Steam Deck hype?

The most interesting nuggets likely to surface from this Steamworks conference will probably be around game compatibility, which everyone is hungry to know more about, and further details on Steam Deck Verified – the system of ratings to show how well a game will run on the portable.

The most exciting element, though, must surely be the ‘deep dive’ with AMD looking more closely at the engine of the Steam Deck. Thus far, we know that the custom APU running the handheld show will be a Zen 2 chip (with RDNA 2 integrated graphics) which is a quad-core effort (with 8-threads), featuring boost speeds of up to 3.5GHz (performance-wise, the CPU is capable of up to 448 GFlops in FP32).

As PC Gamer, which spotted this, points out, this is a single day event which is only open to game devs and not the general public. However, there’ll doubtless be plenty of feedback spilling forth after this virtual conference, and maybe some footage shared via the Steamworks YouTube channel (previous Steamworks sessions have seen material posted to that channel, at any rate, so we can remain hopeful – particularly as it would be a good opportunity for Valve to stoke the Deck hype fires a bit more, ahead of release).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).