When the valve and IGN last thursday that the new Steam Deck handheld targets 30 Hz gameplay, not everyone was impressed with that low pillar – but Valven Pierre-Loup Griffais has taken to Twitter to find out his original comment and reveal a new feature of the portable console.
First, he says that 30 frames per second is more of a minimum bar than anything else:
“30 FPS target” refers to what we consider playable in our performance testing; the games we have tested and demonstrated so far have met and crossed this pillar, ”he writes.
In other words, when Griffais said in that IGN video interview that “We really haven’t found anything we could throw at this device that it wouldn’t be able to handle,” you shouldn’t realize that every modern game runs at 60 frames per second. Wait less.
Interestingly, 30 fps mode is something you can start proactively to also get more battery life. “There’s also an optional built-in FPS limiter that fine-tunes battery life,” he writes. The company already said you can play Portal 2 up to six hours at 30 frames per second compared to normally four hours.
Is it a good 30 fps mode? It’s TBD. In the answers, Digital foundries Richard Leadbetter says Valve confirmed to him that Steam Deck has no variable refresh rate (VRR) evidence, and avoided by thought that V-sync may cause some nasty frame rate problems if you try to lock games to the 30 Hz cover screen. (Digital foundry is covered the matter many times; Dark souls and Sekiro Developer From Software is notorious for inconsistent framing even on consoles.)
The 30fps setting is great for demanding games, but when v-sync is active, make sure the new frame is synced with all other screen updates (typically on consoles) to ensure consistency. 30 frames per second limited but uneven speed of 16.7 ms / 33.3 ms / 50 ms is not a great experience
– Digital Foundry (@digitalfoundry) July 25, 2021
Griffais has not answered yet. Wait and see!