Steam Deck Custom APU Could be Used for VR, New Previews Show More Games in Action

Steam Deck

Valve promises their upcoming portable Steam Deck will be able to play pretty much everything on Steam (at 800p and at least 30fps), but thus far, they haven’t shown all that many games in action. Well, a new round of Steam Deck previews have gone out, which provide a better look at the machine, as well as a fresh peek at games actually being played on the device, including The Witcher 3 and Doom Eternal. First up, here’s The Verge’s preview, which shows both The Witcher 3 and Control running at Medium PC settings without bogging down.

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Meanwhile, Linus Tech Tips took an even more in-depth look at the new portable, including measuring its heat output (seems the Steam Deck might get a little toasty!)

In The Verge’s written Steam Deck preview, Valve provides a few interesting comments about what they’re planning to do with the hardware. Don’t expect Valve to make any new games specifically tailored for the handheld hardware – this thing’s all about playing existing games. That said, Valve’s Greg Coomer does hint that the Steam Deck’s custom Zen-2 APU could possibly be used for other purposes, such as a standalone VR headset like the Oculus Quest…

We’re not ready to say anything about it, but it would run well in [a VR] environment, with the TDP necessary... it’s very relevant to us and our future plans.

Haven’t been keeping up with the Steam Deck? The system sells in $399, $529, and $649 configurations, with the only difference being the amount of on-board storage. Here are the system’s basic specs:

The Steam Deck offers an AMD Van Gogh APU with 4 cores and 8 threads. The CPU will operate at a base clock speed of 2.4 GHz and will turbo up to 3.5 GHz. As for the GPU, you are getting the AMD RDNA 2 architecture with 8 Compute Units for a total of 512 stream processors which will clock up to 1600 MHz. The CPU will offer 448 GFlops while the GPU will offer 1.6 TFLOPs of FP32 horsepower for a total of over 2 TFLOPs performance, making it faster than the original Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.

The Steam Deck begins shipping sometime in December. The system is already back-ordered well into 2022.

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