Valve is working on a Steam Deck API that will allow game developers to make sure their games are optimized for Steam’s upcoming handheld console. This will allegedly make it easier for developers to make their games look as good on the Deck as they do on the PC.
The news comes courtesy of PC Gamer, who got it from Steam Deck designer Lawrence Yang. In response to a question about the Deck’s optimization features, Yang said, “There will be an API that game developers will be able to call to say, ‘Is this Steam Deck? If so, use these settings.’” He also agreed that the API will be similar to the Nvidia GeForce Experience control panel. He added: “There’s a lot of stuff that game developers are already using to sniff out, like, monitor resolution settings. A lot of times like these games, they just do the right thing off the bat. Like, oh, it says 1280 x 800, I have a 16:10 mode I’ll just start in that. But something like that is already… is something that we’re planning on doing.”
The conceit of the Steam Deck is that it can play all Steam games on the go, no matter what they are. It makes sense that Valve would be working on a solution to make sure that developers don’t have to put in much more work to make their games run well on the Deck. So far we’ve seen a little of the Deck in action, but it’ll be interesting once the console is in the wild and we can see gamers really put it through its paces.
The Steam Deck has already had banner sales, so it’s safe to say lots of gamers will be using it to play their Steam libraries. At the time of writing, the pre-order page shows an estimated release time for new orders of Q2 2022, meaning if you reserve one now, that’s the earliest you could expect to see one.