The all-in-one portable gaming PC Steam Deck by Valve Corporation. It was released only in Europe and the United States, but reservations for Japan will finally start.
This time, the GAME*Spark editorial department was invited to Valve Corporation headquarters in Belvue, Washington, USA, and interviewed Steam Deck developers.
In this article, we will provide you with recommended settings for actually playing from Steam Deck’s secret story, and interviews that have jumped out to future developments. There, Valve’s extraordinary confidence was visible and hidden.
The interviews this time were engineers Pierre-Loup Griffais (right photo) and designer Jay Shaw (left photo). Both of them answered this question very seriously.
-First, please let us know the concept of Steam Deck.
Griffais: Steam Deck’s concept itself has been considered for 10 years. The goal of Steam Deck is to expand the PC platform. For this reason, Valve has been developed in Valve, etc., etc., which have been developed, such as SteamOS, Steam controller, Steam machine, etc., and the STEAM DECK is made as a culmination.
Ten years ago, the PC hardware side was still immature, so I created a Steam controller and Steam machine, but since the PC hardware production has matured, we will develop a portable hardware in-house. I aimed. It has been about four years ago to start the development of Stream Deck itself.
ー ー Development started four years ago, but in the meantime, I think that there was a major problem worldwide, such as the effects of corona and the lack of semiconductor supply. Did that affect development?
Griffais: There were some delays. The initial plan was to start selling in December 2021, but it has been released at this time. However, I think that it was almost as planned.
JAY: It’s true that the number of units I was trying to prepare at the time of launch. However, now the production pace has risen, and it has been catching up with the planned production of the original production.
Why did STEAM DECK adopt AMD APU?
Griffais: In the first stage, we considered various chips as prototypes. As a result, I adopted the AMD APU that the performance and power were balanced.
ー ー Steam Deck’s OS Steamos is based on Linux, but please tell us in detail how you run a game for Windows and its mechanism.
Griffais: I’m not emulation, but I add a layer called Proton on the Steam Deck OS. Proton is a wine derivative app and is a software that allows you to start Windows apps natively on other OS. By sandwiching it between Steamos and the game app, the game is moved without any problems on Steam Deck.
ー ー ー Comfortable operation with DECK The standards of the title and what kind of exchange with game developers for optimization?
Jay: First of all, Ideally, it is ideal that the developer can operate comfortably with Steam Deck without any particular work.
The criterion for working comfortably is that the control of the Steam Deck controller can be performed smoothly and whether the Steam Deck has a firm performance.
In addition, it can be one of the standards whether the game’s unique launcher can be launched correctly or the textbooks can be read well. Although there are other minimum examination standards, the major standard guidelines are that developers do not need to take special measures. If you have cleared that point, we will leave it to the developer itself.
The screening has an examination tool for Steam Deck, and the screening is performed using it. If a problem occurs, we will interact with the developer and Valve to solve the problem.
GRIFFAIS: Solving the problem is not required for Steam Deck only. Basically, there is no problem with software, so I hope that all PC game players will be modified in a better experience. Also, one of the criteria is that more than 30 FPS appears.
-The Steam controller reminiscent of VALVE’s hard development is how the Steam controller know-how is used in Steam Deck? And if you summarize the Steam controller at this point, what kind of evaluation will Valve be evaluated?
Griffais: The experience of producing the hardware called Steam controller is the cornerstone of Steam Deck. With this experience, it has become possible to develop hardware that can run high-performance PC games on mobile devices.
In the past, games that use mouse needed to play in front of a PC and monitor, but I think that it was one point that such games could be played on TV.
ー ー Steam controller eliminates analog sticks, but Steam Deck uses analog sticks. Did the User of the Steam controller want to have an analog stick?
Griffais: There was no such request from the user using the Steam controller. Steam Deck is developed as a concept that combines both a console machine that can play all PC games and a PC game machine, so it is equipped with an analog stick.
ー ー Steam Deck has a lineup of three kinds of storage versions. Among them, the more users who bought a 64GB thing, the purchase of a microSD card will be required. What kind of microSD card is the best Steam Deck?
Griffais: Although the loading speed of the SD card itself is limited, we have tested whether all the SD cards currently available on the market can be used on Steam Deck, so we have confirmed that none of them can be used without any problems.
ー ー ー Steam Deck has already been released in the United States and other countries, but what kind of evaluation has you received from the purchased users?
Griffais: Currently, I have a lot of good opinions. However, Steam Deck is not completed, and will continue to improve with more feedback.
Jay: Currently, there is no problem (such as Asia). If such a problem is discovered, I would like to respond. Anyway, we will continue to improve, so I would like to receive feedback from users.
ー ー How many wins do you have in Japan Deck in Japan? Also, what kind of user do you want to buy?
Griffais: There are not many people playing PC games in Japan. I want people who are interested in such PC games but have never played. I think Steam Deck thinks that such a person is very matched, so I believe that incorporating inexperienced PC games will lead to success.
ー ー Steam Deck in the future, will he have a hardware update like an iPhone? Or are you thinking about a business like a Nintendo Switch that has been fighting for many years with a single hardware that doesn’t depend on machine specs, deepening the construction of software and collaboration with game developers?
Jay: I can’t give a clear answer today, but I would like to find out various possibilities.
ー ー Are there any plans to develop console hardware other than Steam Deck in the future?
Griffais: We plan to continue developing console hardware that allows you to play various games.
Is there a plan to support AMD technology such as FSR in the future?
Griffais: FSR has already begun to respond. We plan to support other technologies systematically.
ー ー I actually used Steam Deck, but the battery consumption was very fast, and I had a hard time playing for a long time. Please let me know if there is a setting that will improve the battery.
Jay: The decrease in batteries varies depending on the game title, but it is shared between users to improve the battery life by adjusting the refresh rate. As an example, both refresh rate and FPS are 40.
-Is it effective to reduce the lightness of the monitor?
Griffais: Valid. There is a difference of about 1W for power consumption between the maximum lightness and the smallest lightness.
The scheduled time for the two is over here. The remaining questions were asked to another person in charge.
Steam Deck wants all functions of Steam
The following interviews were the programmer Tom Bui (left photo) and designer Lawrence Yang (right photo).
The two of us answered the interviews in a friendly manner, and proceeded in a friendly atmosphere from beginning to end.
ー ー ー ー ー ー ー 早 早 早 早 など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など など
TOM: First, we plan to sell dogs as additional attachments. In addition, replacement parts for each button are also available as repair parts. We have heard that third-party attachments are currently under development.
The release date of U-Dog was advertised as this spring, but when will the actual sales start?
TOM: It will be sold when it is not far away and will be released at least this year. In Japan, there is a possibility that the United States will be out of sale, but we plan to sell it through Komodo, which supports STEAM DECK sales in Japan.
– Are there any plans for game software specializing in Steam Deck or dedicated title in the future?
TOM: I don’t think about such a title because it won’t be the benefit of the user. Steam Deck is a PC, so I would like to make it so that users playing PC games can enjoy it. I don’t think the dedicated title will be produced because it deprives the strength of PC games.
ー ー I actually touched it and thought that Steam Deck was close to the console machine, but it means that Valve is just thinking as a gaming PC.
TOM: That’s not always the case. It’s a balance problem. Like a console machine, it is designed so that the user can play the game immediately without setting something, and at the same time, it can be used like a PC.
ー ー Currently in Japan, products such as the iPhone have been significantly increased due to the depreciation of the yen.
TOM: I’m consulting with Komodo, but I would like to offer it at a price range that is close to the selling price in the United States as much as possible.
-If you have any titles you want this game to experience this game with Steam Deck.
Tom: I’m still Elden Ring.
Yang: I connect Steam Deck to TV and play with the children with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revision. You can play with 5 people or a large number of people. Steam has more than 30,000 titles, so please play with your favorite title.
Is there a title that changes the experience when playing with Steam Deck with a title made by Valve?
TOM: We have confirmed that any title works to some extent, but there are few things that work perfectly. However, CS: GO and DOTA2 are adjusted over time.
TOM: I can’t give a numerical example, but I just want to meet the demand of users. STEAM DECK is what we are confident about, so we hope that Japanese people will be pleased.
Also, this is not the last, and there is no final goal because both software and hardware will continue to improve. However, the function of Steam implemented in the PC version will be updated so that it can be used at any time with Steam Deck. As an example, the mods introduced in Workshop can be operated with Steam Deck.
I see. I look forward to the future development of Steam Deck. Thank you for today.
This time, we interviewed four developers, but what everyone had said in common was that Steam Deck was the culmination of Valve for many years. And reliable confidence has been transmitted from many words. I actually touched Steam Deck, but I feel that it is a revolutionary hardware for those who have never played PC games.
Such STEAM DECK will be accepted in Japan as well. If you want to feel the wisdom of Valve for 10 years, of course, if you are interested in PC games but have no gaming PCs, please make a reservation and take a new game experience. What do you think.