The Steam Deck is a pretty miraculous machine, managing to play various triple-A games with only a couple of changes made. Despite how powerful Valve's handheld is, many assumed that it wouldn’t be able to handle path tracing, but someone has proven that wrong.
YouTube channel NightSightProductions revealed that certain games can handle path tracing, showing Portal RTX in action. Changes were made to make this version of Valve’s puzzler play properly on the handheld with RTX but it managed to work.
According to the video (via PC Gamer), they were able to make Portal RTX run on the Steam Deck by lowering the resolution to 864 x 486, which is pretty low for the handheld. Normally, Valve’s powerhouse system can handle games at 1280 x 800, but these folks had to make changes for RTX.
It seems that the tweaking worked, as Portal RTX is a pretty playable game with these settings. While some gamers might be annoyed at this version being stuck at 30fps, there’s no denying that it looks like an impressive showcase for the handheld.
Most Steam Deck users are pretty used to lowering the settings of triple-A games since players want the most time possible with this handheld. The common solution seems to be putting most games at 40fps, though some have settled for 30fps so they can at least have pretty visuals. We do think movement feels better at 40fps, but it’s all up to the player at the end of the day.
Despite the impressive power of this machine, most gamers use their Deck to play indie games or emulate PS2 titles. Having triple-A games in the system is a plus, but those who want to maximize their time outside with the handheld don’t mind playing weaker games. It’s why games like Hades and Vampire Survivors are so popular on the handheld.
Gamers who are curious about Valve’s handheld can pick up a Steam Deck from most gaming stores. Valve also sells the handheld on, well, Steam itself.