In a bid to give game developers some tips on how to build better games for its Steam Deck portable game console, Valve Software will host a virtual conference next week. The Steamworks Virtual Conference will be held online (as the name suggests) and will be a day-long event. Of course, being virtual means that if you miss the live event, there's a good chance replays will be available after the fact.
Valve's team that developed the Steam Deck will share its knowledge, in-depth information, and proven practices to help Steamworks developers get the most out of the upcoming portable game console, providing gamers the best possible experience. Among other things set to be examined at the conference, Valve will discuss the Steam Deck hardware, offering a deep dive into the Van Gogh APU that powers the console, Proton support, and the Steam Deck Verified program.
Valve's Steam Deck is essentially a SteamOS-based PC based on a custom AMD accelerated processing unit (APU) featuring four Zen 2 cores and an RDNA 2 integrated GPU. The unit comes equipped with a 7-inch LCD with a 1280x800 resolution as well as console-like inputs.
On paper, the Steam Deck will support everything that works with SteamOS 3.0 (a heavily modified version of the Linux operating system), which is why Valve offers no development kit. Meanwhile, a title tailored for the Steam Deck's particular hardware and software will work best, which is why developers interested in addressing Steam Deck users will need to work with Valve to learn how to better use its capabilities.
From a hardware perspective, the most interesting part of the Steamworks Virtual Conference will be AMD's Van Gogh APU that has a brand-new RDNA 2-based GPU, an innovative memory subsystem, and a new audio technology. Keeping in mind that AMD has tailored its Van Gogh for mobile gaming, the APU could potentially have other new features (versus existing APUs) that AMD yet has to reveal.
The Steamworks Virtual Conference: Steam Deck will take place on Friday, November 12, 2021 and will start at 10AM PT. The event will be available to registered Steamworks developers free of charge.