Gamers have made a habit out of comparing Valve’s Steam Deck with the Nintendo Switch for a variety of obvious reasons. One is that both of these devices happen to include a dock, but it turns out that they will work quite differently.
Although both docks enable additional connectivity options, Valve confirmed in a recent interview with PC Gamer that the Steam Deck’s dock won’t result in any kind of performance enhancement for the handheld. The Steam Deck will perform exactly the same when it’s docked, unlike the Nintendo Switch, which switches to a higher-performance mode when it no longer has to run on battery and limit itself to conserve power for longer usage.
Steam Deck designer Greg Coomer admitted that Valve was toying with the idea of a higher power mode that would be enabled whenever the handheld PC was docked, but the idea was ultimately scrapped. The explanation is that Valve wanted to concentrate on maximizing the Steam Deck’s potential strictly as a portable device.
Sold as a separate accessory, Valve’s Steam Deck dock can be used for propping the portable up and projecting it to monitors and other external displays. The dock features DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, Ethernet, USB 3.1, and 2x USB 2.0 ports.
“We really wanted to prioritize for using it in what we thought would be the highest use case, which is actually mobile,” Coomer explains. “And so since we were focusing on that, and we chose like a threshold where the machine will run well, and with a good frame rate with AAA games in that scenario. We didn’t really feel like we should target also going after the dock scenario at higher resolutions. We wanted a simpler design target and to prioritize that.”
Source: PC Gamer