This past week news broke that the Steam Deck would be targeting 30 frames-per-seconcd (fps) for games, with much of the PC community in disarray, though a Valve developer has come forward to clarify exactly what that means.
Taking to Twitter, Valve coder Pierre-Loup Griffais addressed the Steam Deck 30fps target, stating that it was the floor that the team was reaching for, and that games tested have exceeded that limit.
The "30 FPS target" refers to the floor of what we consider playable in our performance testing; games we've tested and shown have consistently met and exceeded that bar so far. There will also be an optional built-in FPS limiter to fine-tune perf vs. battery life.
— Pierre-Loup Griffais (@Plagman2) July 25, 2021
The “30 FPS target” refers to the floor of what we consider playable in our performance testing; games we’ve tested and shown have consistently met and exceeded that bar so far. There will also be an optional built-in FPS limiter to fine-tune perf vs. battery life.
From the sound of it, it seems that 30fps is the “sweet” spot between balancing the performance and battery life of the device, which is said to be 2-8 hours of gameplay depending on how much the performance is being pushed.
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It will be very interesting to see how this all turns out. Considering this is essentially a handheld PC, users should be able to tune graphical settings. Meaning if they wanted a 60FPS experience, they should be able to fine-tune the graphic options, such as running low textures and shadows. Of course that’s speculative and we don’t know exactly how Valve plans to offer options in-games or if they will be predetermined.
We’ll just have to wait and find out later this year when the device is in the hands of consumers.