Whether you think Steam Deck is the next big problem for PC games, or just a small Steam machine waiting, if you’re a gamer, you’re likely to have some sort of opinion about it. Announced today by Valve, it’s a powerful (and expensive) machine that makes the entire Steam library portable.
What’s potentially even more interesting, though, is that you can treat it like a conventional PC if you prefer. Unlike, for example, the Nintendo Switch, the Steam Deck will allow users to run pretty much whatever they want: if you want to erase everything and replace the pre-installed SteamOS with Windows, well, fine. Your performance may not be great, as the new version of SteamOS is optimized for Steam Deck hardware, but if you agree with that, so is Valve.
But where do things get really Interesting is its ability to run other game showcases, such as Epic or GOG. Because you can run Windows, you can run other game clients, and if you have any questions, Steam Deck hardware page it exposes it: "Browse the web, watch streaming videos, do your normal productivity things, set up other game stores, whatever."
This approach made a big impression on Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, who became enthusiastic about the device on Twitter:
Amazing Valve move! A hybrid PC / handheld that runs the ArchOS SteamOS fork and is an open platform where users can install free or open source software, including Windows and other stores. https://t.co/jf5TWUWGP5July 15, 2021
"Amazing Valve move!" Sweeney tweeted. "A hybrid of PC / handheld that runs the SteamOS fork of Arch Linux and is an open platform where users can install free software, including Windows and other stores."
Sweeney's praise for Valve may seem a little strange, given that Epic has been working hard (and spending a lot of money) over the past two years to reduce Steam's near-absolute dominance of the PC gaming market. But an even more pressing issue is Epic's ongoing lawsuit against Apple. Simply put, Epic wants Apple to allow iPhone users to install any app they want, including those not offered through the App Store, and to allow developers to use their own apps. payment processing systems. This is exactly what Steam Deck does. I don’t know what weight it will have in a future court proceeding (we’re still waiting for the first trial decision), but being able to point to the PC gaming monster as an example of free competition as Sweeney predicts. cannot harm the cause of Epic.
Steam Decks pre-order reservations, which start at $ 400, will open tomorrow. They are expected to start shipping in December and, unlike rival Tim, Gabe Newell has high hopes for them.