Discussion Steam Deck

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blckgrffn

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May 1, 2003
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www.teamjuchems.com
My guess that to get featured in a Steamdeck portion of the Steam Store you might need to have a out of the box preset (60 FPS pretty/120fps fast) built into your game and support the fast resume features. Some indie publishers will likely race to implement those types of things because getting visibility leads to sales which leads to buzz and there you go.

I mean Steam has tons of options there. There could offer greater revenue percentages for Steamdeck optimized games, etc.

I am not saying they’ll do those things but they have the ability to impact to some extent the software they sell.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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I'm curious how the game pause/suspend works. That is actually a really nice feature on a handheld. Its a nice feature on a standard console actually but really nice on a handheld. I would have thought there would be a need for the games to be aware of it but even dosbox has a rogue build with save states so maybe its not that hard.
i am assuming it will be simular to hitting the ESC in games or start button on consoles.
 

mooncancook

Platinum Member
May 28, 2003
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I'm really intrigued by a portable system that can play my steam library already with couple hundred games. But the rational part of me says I should save the money for a gpu upgrade instead. I don't really have a use case for portable gaming, I can't remeber the last time I took my Switch outside the house, and at home it's in the dock most of the time.
 

TheELF

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Dec 22, 2012
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I'm curious how the game pause/suspend works. That is actually a really nice feature on a handheld. Its a nice feature on a standard console actually but really nice on a handheld. I would have thought there would be a need for the games to be aware of it but even dosbox has a rogue build with save states so maybe its not that hard.

I'm talking about this: https://gamingbolt.com/steam-deck-features-fast-suspend-resume-works-similar-to-quick-resume
You just copy all of the memory that the game uses to your hard drive and load it back up when you resume, just like a page file.
This technique has been around since dos times where you could do this with the action replay.
 

Magic Carpet

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Oct 2, 2011
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What’s TDP of the SOC? Any fans? How’s throttling is done?

That info is far more important to me, than what Gabe has released so far. Performance is useless if it’s not consistently cool and silent in a small portable device.
 
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Justinus

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Oct 10, 2005
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What’s TDP of the SOC? Any fans? How’s throttling is done?

That info is far more important to me, than what Gabe has released so far. Performance is useless if it’s not consistently cool and silent in a small portable device.
Your first two questions are clearly answered on the product page.

APU power: 4-15W
1 fan
 
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Justinus

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Oct 10, 2005
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Yeah because the rest of it is going to be bottlenecked by that, right?!
Keep your expectations in check here, this will be fine for the resolution it targets but it's not going to be a high end desktop gaming PC.
On a hard drive or slow media like a UHS-I MicroSD card, game loading is entirely bottlenecked by storage.

It's been proven empirically that the move from a hard drive to a ~500MB/s sata ssd vastly improves game loading times. The move from sata to NVM-e does not affect them nearly as much, if at all (until we get directstorage).

If you think you aren't going to get stuck waiting a minute or longer for a large AAA game to load from the MicroSD card, you're silly. That's wasting a minute of battery life, and a minute of your play time.

I'm not saying the thing needs 1000+MB/s MicroSD express, but 100MB/s is only going to provide acceptable load times on small lightweight games. They really need to offer UHS-II at minimum for ~300MB/s, which would make the MicroSD slot an actually viable game storage solution.

Obviously MicroSD Express is pie in the sky, but my point was that there are multiple standards vastly faster than UHS-I they could have implemented that would make it that much more usable.

At UHS-I speeds I don't even see why anyone would bother killing themselves with old age over waiting for games to load from it.

If it's viable to remove the back cover and replace the m.2 2230 SSD I'd suspect very many people will.

I reserved a 512GB model and if my options are 100MB/s microsd or replace the SSD with a 1TB, I know what option I'm going to take.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
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IGN posted a video on the Steam Deck's OS today, and they go into the suspend/resume feature a little bit. (That specific portion starts at around a minute into the video.)

A couple takeaway points:
  • It has been a planned feature since the beginning.
  • It required work on the OS-level, which included assistance from AMD.
  • Given the feature's priority, it works quite well.
The one thing that they didn't touch on was whether it uses RAM to disk for storage. I would assume the prior over the latter... especially given the 64GB model would likely run into issues suspending larger games (given a number of game installs).
 
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TheELF

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Dec 22, 2012
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On a hard drive or slow media like a UHS-I MicroSD card, game loading is entirely bottlenecked by storage.

It's been proven empirically that the move from a hard drive to a ~500MB/s sata ssd vastly improves game loading times. The move from sata to NVM-e does not affect them nearly as much, if at all (until we get directstorage).
Yeah if the CPU is fast enough to load the game that fast in the first place.
Maybe a faster drive will improve loading somewhat on the deck but it's not at all a given with a max 15W CPU (most of it GPU) .
 

Justinus

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Oct 10, 2005
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Yeah if the CPU is fast enough to load the game that fast in the first place.
Maybe a faster drive will improve loading somewhat on the deck but it's not at all a given with a max 15W CPU (most of it GPU) .
4c/8t zen 2 at the advertised frequencies is more than enough to saturate game loading on a slow drive.. A lot of games only use a single thread to load, which will likely result in peak singlecore boost over 3 GHz.

You're still thinking in Intel 15W terms: slow as a dog. The ryzen APU's have phenomenal performance even in a 15W envelope.
 

TheELF

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Dec 22, 2012
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4c/8t zen 2 at the advertised frequencies is more than enough to saturate game loading on a slow drive.. A lot of games only use a single thread to load, which will likely result in peak singlecore boost over 3 GHz.

You're still thinking in Intel 15W terms: slow as a dog. The ryzen APU's have phenomenal performance even in a 15W envelope.
Maybe connected to the dock it will hit 3Ghz single thread, running on battery ryzen hasn't shown much promise.
We will have to see reviews on the finished product but chances are not that great.
 

guidryp

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Apr 3, 2006
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theres a lot of companies making portable computers and frankly all of them look unimpressive. Way too much money for something thats kinda limited.

IMO, they cost what you expect given a small volume niche product and a reasonable profit margin.

It's what enables Valve to make some waves, by eating most of the profit margin, and blow everyone else out of the water on pricing.

If Steam Deck was priced even $200 higher across the board, the reception to Steam Deck would have been overwhelmingly negative IMO, even though it still would be less than competing devices. Sucks to be anyone else producing devices in this niche now.

If Valve would have taken this same approach for Steam Machines, they probably would have sold every one the could build and generated the same kind of positive buzz, but instead, they just basically provided Steam OS and encouraged the OEMs to build some kind of gaming box to to go with it at normal full profit margins. Which was bizarre because most people could see that was doomed from the start.

They thought things through much better this time. A niche that was less saturated, and huge price cut vs competing devices, means they will sell well, and get positive buzz. Not only that it's form factor enforces gaming usage. You aren't buying one of these to do office work.

Though it was a bit of laugh when Valve said they would like other OEMs to build Steam Decks. Yeah sure, they would love to make Zero Margin products to boost Valves ecosystem.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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i really think the next gen handhelds will be the TCL glasses with usb dongle to your cell phone paired with a Bluetooth controller.

Or just a controller with a ARM chip and ram, and a usb port to connect the TCL glasses to.

This is what i mean about TCL glasses..
 

guidryp

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Apr 3, 2006
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i really think the next gen handhelds will be the TCL glasses with usb dongle to your cell phone paired with a Bluetooth controller.

Or just a controller with a ARM chip and ram, and a usb port to connect the TCL glasses to.

This is what i mean about TCL glasses..
I don't. That's a $700 dumb display, you will be over $1000 to attach some kind of low end gaming capable HW to it, and its field of view will dramatically highlight the low resolution of low end gaming hardware.

Valve made a good decision attaching their low end gaming HW to a small screen that will help hide it's deficits.
 

TheELF

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Dec 22, 2012
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Though it was a bit of laugh when Valve said they would like other OEMs to build Steam Decks. Yeah sure, they would love to make Zero Margin products to boost Valves ecosystem.
Oh, I could see MS willingly loosing money on making something like this since they are all about getting people hooked into their eco system and don't care where you play their games on.
Of course that would be locked down and wouldn't allow you to install linux or windows.

For other OEMs, well if gabe gives out the plans for free so there would be no R&D budged for the OEMs and all the parts are readily available it could leave them with enough margin maybe.
 

guidryp

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For other OEMs, well if gabe gives out the plans for free so there would be no R&D budged for the OEMs and all the parts are readily available it could leave them with enough margin maybe.
If the pricing is painful for Valve, and they have a secondary motive, it won't be enough for OEMs that only have the profit motive. Just look at the price of existing products in this space.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
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If Valve would have taken this same approach for Steam Machines, they probably would have sold every one the could build and generated the same kind of positive buzz, but instead, they just basically provided Steam OS and encouraged the OEMs to build some kind of gaming box to to go with it at normal full profit margins. Which was bizarre because most people could see that was doomed from the start.
One other big aspect is that Valve pushed Steam Machines back when Linux wasn't as good of an option as it is today. Yes, it isn't as good as using Windows itself, but it's far more effective and that's (partly) due to Valve's work with features like Proton. There are also the SteamOS software features that the Steam Deck will have (such as suspend/resume) that give it more value. Essentially, I guess I'm suggesting that Valve has put in far more time into the software side this time around, and I think that helps quite a bit.

Plus, I think it's easier for Valve to convince a consumer of the worth of a portable, weaker PC given the prevalence of the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo essentially showed people that portability and stationary capabilities are handy, and Valve can just point to that.
 

guidryp

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One other big aspect is that Valve pushed Steam Machines back when Linux wasn't as good of an option as it is today. Yes, it isn't as good as using Windows itself, but it's far more effective and that's (partly) due to Valve's work with features like Proton. There are also the SteamOS software features that the Steam Deck will have (such as suspend/resume) that give it more value. Essentially, I guess I'm suggesting that Valve has put in far more time into the software side this time around, and I think that helps quite a bit.

Plus, I think it's easier for Valve to convince a consumer of the worth of a portable, weaker PC given the prevalence of the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo essentially showed people that portability and stationary capabilities are handy, and Valve can just point to that.
They did a lot of things better. Software in a better state. Their own machine, portable with small screen that make low performance less noticeable/objectionable.

But without pricing it to the bone, it would still be DOA just like Steam Machines were. Imagine if this had launched at a profitable $699 with 64G of eMMC storage. People would be laughing at it, not queuing to buy it.

It's ultimately the price that is generating all the interest.
 

aigomorla

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im not really holding my breathe on this.

Reason is everything valve has made hardware wise so far flomped.
This is just another one in the books honestly for Gabe.


And Index doesn't have much left on life support as well as there really hasn't been much if any AAA VR titles, nor would they be announced.
Im also kinda sure a good majority of those VR headsets are used playing "Mature Content" on steam, as steam does have a large library in VR on that. :T

Maybe Gabe should open a SteamTube-VR and have a location where you can watch VR movies as rentals like netflix, or even a subscription based model to allow you to play unlimited amount of VR games like Xbox Live, but just dedicated to VR gear.
 

guidryp

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im not really holding my breathe on this.

Reason is everything valve has made hardware wise so far flomped.
This is just another one in the books honestly for Gabe.


And Index doesn't have much left on life support as well as there really hasn't been much if any AAA VR titles, nor would they be announced.
Im also kinda sure a good majority of those VR headsets are used playing "Mature Content" on steam, as steam does have a large library in VR on that. :T

Maybe Gabe should open a SteamTube-VR and have a location where you can watch VR movies as rentals like netflix, or even a subscription based model to allow you to play unlimited amount of VR games like Xbox Live, but just dedicated to VR gear.
Though it is essentially standard PC HW, and you can apparently install Windows on it, so if you actually want this kind of Form Factor, why not let Valve subsidize it for you?
 

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