The Verge recently conducted an interview with Valve’s Lawrence Yang and Pierre-Loup Griffais – arguably the two most vocal employees about the company’s handheld device that is the Steam Deck. I wanted to mention it because there was an interesting tidbit regarding AMD’s Ryzen 7 6800U APU, which is currently shipping in devices like the AOKZOE and the OneXPlayer Mini handhelds.

As I had alluded to in my Aya Neo 2 post, the 6800U is using Zen 3, RDNA 2 680M graphics, eight cores, and can clock up to 4.7 GHz. In other words, it has power that rivals that of the Deck’s Van Gogh semi-custom APU; perhaps even a little more powerful. But that doesn’t phase Valve. Griffais said in the interview:

The performance level you get between 8 and 12 watts, which is kind of the sweet spot in terms of efficiency… I don’t think you’ll see off-the-shelf offerings based on mainline notebook product lines significantly outperforming that in maybe a few generations.

The 6800U has a power draw of 40 W. The Deck’s APU is 29 W. A handheld would need an even bigger battery than the Deck’s already massive one to get more than an hour of playtime. The Aya Neo 2 is 10 Wh higher than the Deck’s 40 Wh battery, but still, that’s only giving an extra 10 minutes or so of playtime. You’d end up having a handheld that’s three inches thick and a good five pounds in weight to get any decent battery life.

Aya Neo 2

Matter of fact, instead of seeing other companies as rivals, Valve actually wants to work with other PC manufacturers “to make sure that, if they want to use SteamOS or offer a SteamOS-based alternative, that can be done.”

That’s all I had really wanted to mention from that interview, but here’s some more notes from the interview (basically the TL;DR of it):

Update Cycle

  • updates will be pushed “as long as there’s people playing” (i.e. the Deck won’t ever become “stable”)
  • Valve is moving to a slower, monthly cadence for stable updates in order to prevent bugs from being shipped to said branch
  • updates are trying to be more “painless” by having them download in the background and applying them on restart


  • new hardware revisions will allow the Deck’s battery to be more easily replaced by changing the “geometry of the adhesive”
  • Delta fans now have “an engineered foam solution to reduce fan noise”
  • in a future model, Valve would like to look at screen and battery life improvements, but as far as performance they’re currently interested in keeping “one performance level” until there is “significant gain” to be had
  • if your MicroSD gets destroyed somehow from being written too much, you can still send your card over to Valve for inspection. Most of these issues should have been solved though with the quick format feature rather than full
  • it took two years to make the final Steam Deck product that we see today

Resting Steam Deck on cat


  • Valve is still working on SteamOS 3 so third-party manufacturers can make their own handheld and dedicated SteamOS machines with it

Dynamic Cloud Sync

  • dynamic cloud sync support is up to the game developer, not Valve

Future Plans

  • an update for balancing audio between different applications on the Deck should be coming out “at some point”
  • Bluetooth mic support is being looked into, as well as profile/codec selection
  • you may be able to share your per-game power profiles with the community in the future
  • mobile games that are touch-only could be coming to the Deck
  • anti-cheat support is still being worked on, including support for Halo: MCC and Fall Guys


  • Valve is paying over 100 developers to work on Proton, Mesa, and Vulkan
  • Steam Controller 2 is planned, but we don’t know when or how
  • Valve has “spent years” working on their own Vulkan GFX drivers to make specific titles like Elden Ring, RDR2, Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, etc. work
  • Valve is keeping their lips sealed regarding how many Decks have been sold