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Well today is the big day. Valve has now formally revealed the Steam Deck, a portable handheld gaming console powered by a new version of their Linux-based SteamOS operating system.

"We think Steam Deck gives people another way to play the games they love on a high-performance device at a great price," says Valve founder Gabe Newell. "As a gamer, this is a product I've always wanted. And as a game developer, it's the mobile device I've always wanted for our partners."

Since it's based on Linux, we now know a big reason why Valve has been investing in Linux gaming with the likes of Steam Play Proton. It will play your Linux native titles, with support boosted by Proton. Not only that, Valve said "we're vastly improving Proton's game compatibility and support for anti-cheat solutions by working directly with the vendors". This is pretty amazing, as anti-cheat was the big missing piece. In their FAQ, they make it clear that they are working directly with BattlEye and EAC to get support for Proton.

Anti-cheat support is coming too! That's huge!

The new SteamOS has been optimized for handheld and touchscreen gaming, while it will also have a desktop mode for those who want it. SteamOS 3.0 is also being based upon Arch Linux, with the desktop mode being powered by KDE Plasma.

We also know why Valve has been heavily investing in AMD GPU drivers for Linux too now then. It's a custom APU they partnered with AMD on for Zen 2 + RDNA 2.

Quick specs:

  • Powerful, custom APU developed with AMD
  • Optimized for hand-held gaming
  • Full-sized controls
  • 7" touchscreen
  • WiFi and Bluetooth ready
  • USB-C port for accessories
  • microSD slot for storage expansion
  • 3 different storage options available

The Steam Deck will also have a dock, much like you see with the Nintendo Switch with more ports to play with like USB, wired networking and enabling external displays. More tech info can be seen here.

It's an open system too, since it's basically a PC in your hands. Valve said "you can install third party software and operating systems".

Valve also did a session with IGN where they answered some questions. IGN also has hands-on video to give a better look at the device.

Steam Deck starts at $399, with increased storage options available for $529 and $649. The two higher models have bigger storage space, plus the two higher models actually use an NVMe drive for faster loading time and the top end has an anti-glare screen too.

Reservations open July 16th at 10 AM PDT; shipping is slated to start in December 2021. Currently it's limited to United States, Canada, European Union, and the United Kingdom with more regions becoming available in 2022.

For developers, Valve put up a video overview:

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See more on the Steam Deck website and the Steam Deck store page.

Is this the holy grail of Linux gaming? Could be.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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232 comments
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Quoting: elmapulConnectivity
"Bluetooth
Bluetooth 5.0 (support for controllers, accessories and audio)
Wi-Fi
Dual-band Wi-Fi radio, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, 2 x 2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac"
no 3g/4g/5g? they are crazy or expect people to pair it with their phone to play on the go?
I think they're expecting people to play single player games on it when out of Wi-Fi range. Would potentially be interesting to see phone networking connectivity in a 2.0 version, though I imagine that increases the complexity considerably because now you have to include some way of handling phone plan subscriptions and such.
mylka 17 Jul
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: mylkai think they should make it more clear, that they do not sell a WINDOWS PC and you may not be able to play some games and you wont be able to install windows software like you do on windows
Nobody expects a thing like a Nintendo Switch to be a Windows PC. I don't think they need to sweat that a whole lot.

but switch owners expect to play their switch games
steam deck players wont be able to play all their steam games
CatKiller 17 Jul
Quoting: mylka
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: mylkai think they should make it more clear, that they do not sell a WINDOWS PC and you may not be able to play some games and you wont be able to install windows software like you do on windows
Nobody expects a thing like a Nintendo Switch to be a Windows PC. I don't think they need to sweat that a whole lot.

but switch owners expect to play their switch games
steam deck players wont be able to play all their steam games
I agree with you that it's something that needs to be addressed head on, but it seems clear that compatibility will be indicated in some fashion (that's how the rumours started in the first place). I think that Valve's aspiration to remove all barriers without specific game dev intervention is unrealistic.

However, the fact that not all PCs can play all PC games has been known to PC gamers for decades. My current desktop can play every game I can throw at it, but my ultrabook, my NUC and my now-retired Sandy Bridge machine simply can't. It is a pain that there are additional technical barriers if game devs don't make their products work on this machine, but the existence of titles that can't be run shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
slaapliedje 17 Jul
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Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: Purple Library GuyBy the way--Steam Deck, huh? Not a terrible name. Sure better than "Steam Pal".
I wonder if they'll release different coloured models? I'm hoping for "The Colour Of Television, Tuned To A Dead Channel."
This reference is awesome. There was a discussion I saw somewhere that kids these days wouldn't understand that description at all. Kind of like how they do a 'answer the phone' movement by holding their palms up to their ears, where as older individuals would hold pinky / thumb outward if asked to act like they're picking up a phone.
slaapliedje 17 Jul
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Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: mylka
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: mylkai think they should make it more clear, that they do not sell a WINDOWS PC and you may not be able to play some games and you wont be able to install windows software like you do on windows
Nobody expects a thing like a Nintendo Switch to be a Windows PC. I don't think they need to sweat that a whole lot.

but switch owners expect to play their switch games
steam deck players wont be able to play all their steam games
I agree with you that it's something that needs to be addressed head on, but it seems clear that compatibility will be indicated in some fashion (that's how the rumours started in the first place). I think that Valve's aspiration to remove all barriers without specific game dev intervention is unrealistic.

However, the fact that not all PCs can play all PC games has been known to PC gamers for decades. My current desktop can play every game I can throw at it, but my ultrabook, my NUC and my now-retired Sandy Bridge machine simply can't. It is a pain that there are additional technical barriers if game devs don't make their products work on this machine, but the existence of titles that can't be run shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
Funny thing is, with Windows 10, the opposite can be true as well, where games haven't been updated to work with it, and you're hosed if you run anything newer than Windows 7. Linux in this case with Proton/Wine has way better compatibility.
slaapliedje 17 Jul
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Quoting: ElectricPrismI've seen saying this would happen for 4 years. If you watch what people are doing not saying, you can see this kind of thing in advance.
Damn your vulcan logic!
slaapliedje 17 Jul
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Something people keep seeming to miss about the performance of such a thing. The resolution is only 1280x800. That's a resolution that is really really low and old. So crank up the effects and play away, should be pretty fine, as it's rather amazing how much resolution actually affects performance. Especially if things are optimized in the drivers to really target that resolution. If you look at various benchmarks these days, everyone is trying to hit that 4k resolution mark at 60+fps, but most cards still can't do it in the majority of games made in the last ~3 years. Drop the same games to 1440p and boom, you have great performance. It's the whole reason DLSS exists. A 'cheat' to get to 4k resolutions.
ageres 17 Jul
PC 2 is finally announced...
elmapul 17 Jul
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: mylka
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
Quoting: mylkai think they should make it more clear, that they do not sell a WINDOWS PC and you may not be able to play some games and you wont be able to install windows software like you do on windows
Nobody expects a thing like a Nintendo Switch to be a Windows PC. I don't think they need to sweat that a whole lot.

but switch owners expect to play their switch games
steam deck players wont be able to play all their steam games
I agree with you that it's something that needs to be addressed head on, but it seems clear that compatibility will be indicated in some fashion (that's how the rumours started in the first place). I think that Valve's aspiration to remove all barriers without specific game dev intervention is unrealistic.

However, the fact that not all PCs can play all PC games has been known to PC gamers for decades. My current desktop can play every game I can throw at it, but my ultrabook, my NUC and my now-retired Sandy Bridge machine simply can't. It is a pain that there are additional technical barriers if game devs don't make their products work on this machine, but the existence of titles that can't be run shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
Funny thing is, with Windows 10, the opposite can be true as well, where games haven't been updated to work with it, and you're hosed if you run anything newer than Windows 7. Linux in this case with Proton/Wine has way better compatibility.

except for, wsl...
and most people dont care that much about old games as they do care about new games
Supay 17 Jul
Quoting: slaapliedjeFunny thing is, with Windows 10, the opposite can be true as well, where games haven't been updated to work with it, and you're hosed if you run anything newer than Windows 7. Linux in this case with Proton/Wine has way better compatibility.

This is very true. I mentioned to a Windows 10 friend that I was finally going to play Fallout 3 and New Vegas. He described the misery of getting them working under Win10 and I expected similar under Proton. Aside from the Windows Live DLL needed for Fallout 3, they both ran perfectly with no fixes required whatsoever and I have yet to experience the regular crashes reported by Windows 10 users. He was very surprised by this, assumed it would be even worse for me than it would be for him.
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