Valve recently surprised with the announcement of the Steam Deck handheld PC, and the statements on game compatibility are at least as surprising for many: The entire Steam library is mentioned again and again. Can it really work?
Where do the doubts come from? Inadequate performance is usually not seen as the problem. As our analysis of the specs of the Steam Deck shows, the performance for such a compact device is quite remarkable. Instead, the Linux-based operating system SteamOS raises questions.
If you want to know how we in the GameStar editorial team think about Steam Deck and the concept behind it, you can find out in our expert assessments:
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Steam deck: top or flop? That’s what our experts say
The questions about the Steam Deck operating system arise from experience with playing Windows titles on Linux. Currently this is mostly about Valves Proton-Software solved, which now often works very well. Like the database Protondb makes clear, however, not all Steam games run without problems.
For example, some anti-cheat measures in online titles such as Apex Legends lead to difficulties, but there are also other potential stumbling blocks that can limit compatibility. The big question now is how Valve intends to prevent this from happening on Steam Deck.
We answer all generally important questions about Steam Deck such as the release date, price, hardware and more in our FAQ:
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Valve Steam Deck: Everything You Need To Know
Review: what does Valve promise?
Already on the official product page of the handheld PC Steam Deck, Valve goes to great lengths when it comes to game compatibility. So it says there:
“Once you’ve signed in to your Steam Deck, you’ll see your entire Steam library, just like you would on a PC.”
In interviews with the US website IGN, it was also communicated at various points that the entire library should be usable without restrictions. So says designer Tucker Spofford in Video interview on Steam OS
“It’s your entire Steam library, your entire Steam Store, and not a scaled-down version of it.”
“We want the entire Steam library to be playable [mit Steam Deck, Anm. d. Redaktion]. We haven’t really found anything that this device couldn’t do, at least until now. “
The context is crucial
Griffais’s statement was made when hardware performance was an issue. So he is probably not even concerned with compatibility issues related to the software.
However, this does not change the fact that Valve repeatedly gives the impression that every Steam game will in principle also run on Steam Deck. It cannot be ruled out that Valve will succeed, but looking at the reports at Protondb, it seems rather unlikely.
Statements from Valve itself speak against the success of this venture. This is what it says on the Product page for the software restrictive:
“With the help of third-party developers, Proton’s game compatibility and anti-cheat solutions for the deck have also been significantly improved.”
That doesn’t sound like full support for all titles. We have already contacted Valve and asked for clarification. Should we receive it or learn more otherwise, you can read it on GameStar.de as soon as possible.
How do you assess the situation? Will every Steam game really run with Steam Deck or is Valve’s mouthful here? And have you already gained experience with Steam games under Linux yourself? Feel free to write it in the comments!