Igor Bubelov About Blog Photos

Steam Deck

July 22, 2021

I’m not a fan of mobile gaming, mostly because touch controls are awful and the average business model of a mobile game is pretty scammy. There is nothing wrong with mobile gaming per se, and Nintendo Switch is a good example of an amazing mobile gaming platform, both hardware and software-wise. I own a Switch and my only problem with it is the fact that it’s a closed product. Nintendo did a good job with Switch, but we can do better.

Steam is probably the biggest game distribution platform, but it’s not a monopolist, and it has a good track record of fair play. It looks committed to openness and interoperability, and its actions speak better than its words. This month, Valve presented its unique take on mobile gaming hardware, and I like what I see.

Steam Deck will have a conventional x86 architecture, it will run Linux, and it will be able to run pretty much any game from your Steam library. Crucially, Steam Deck won’t force you to use Steam software. You don’t need to own a Steam Deck in order to be able to enjoy what’s coming. The technology which is responsible for running all Windows games on Linux is open source, so you can use it in any way you find suitable, on any hardware.

Open platforms are good, but why would anyone buy a Steam Deck and use it for something other than playing Steam games? Here is a real world use case I’m actually looking forward to. It looks like nothing will stop me from installing something like RetroPie on a Steam Deck, which can make it an ultimate retro meta-console able to play thousands of classic games at least up to PS1.

Aside from more exotic use cases, bringing all Windows games to Linux is no small feat, I’m looking forward to buying this thing.