The exciting forthcoming Steam Deck handheld gaming PC won’t glean extra power when docked, Valve has revealed.
The word comes from Valve designer Greg Coomer who said the company considered boosting the power when the console was in TV or monitor mode, but ultimately decided against it.
The soon-to-be-rival Nintendo Switch natively offers higher resolution gaming than when played in handheld mode. In TV mode gamers can expect 1080p HD gaming via HDMI, but only 720p in mobile scenarios.
The Steam Deck’s touchscreen display offers 1280 x 800p (with a 16:10 aspect ratio) and a max refresh rate of 60Hz. The device will support higher resolution monitors via the dock but because there’s no performance boost, gamers may experience a hit in those instances.
In an interview with PC Gamer, Coomer said that because the “highest uses case” will be in mobile mode, the best experience should also be on mobile too.
He said: “Yes [we considered it], but we didn’t choose to make it a really high priority design target. We felt that it was actually better all things considered to not modify based on docked status or mobile status.”
The designer added that Valve eventually “chose a threshold where the machine will run well, and with a good frame rate with AAA games in that scenario.”
He explains: “We didn’t really feel like we should target also going after the dock scenario at higher resolutions. We wanted a simpler design target and to prioritise that.”
The Steam Deck will provide on the go access to the entire Steam library, with the company claiming the hardware is yet to encounter a game it can’t handle. It is planned to launch on December 11 this year, starting at £349.
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