Steam Deck was revealed pretty recently, and Valve’s online systems struggled to cope under the sheer volume of traffic pre-orders attracted. With that issue subsiding somewhat, a new one is rising to the surface. The question of whether your shiny new handheld computer can actually run games like Destiny 2 or not. There’s word that the device both will and won’t be able to do this. As far as I’m concerned, it’ll be dead in the water before it’s even in the customer’s hands if it can’t. These games are a huge part of the industry, and it won’t forgive such an oversight. Neither will those who buy the product.
Everyone who enjoys games plays at least one form of MMO. Whether it’s a light entry like Fortnite, or heavier ones like GTA Online and Destiny 2, we all dabble in them at the very least. These games use technology that helps the developers kick cheaters and keep them out. That same technology is what might keep the games from running on Steam Decks worldwide. You see, the software relies on certain bits and pieces of Windows OS, and without it, they can’t function. If the anti-cheat software won’t run, the game won’t run.
This all stems from the fact that Steam Deck is going to use a version of SteamOS, which is Linux-based. As it is, SteamOS won’t allow for these MMOs to function. However, Valve has made it clear that it’s working on a new SteamOS specifically for Steam Decks. If that OS allows MMOs to run, then it’ll mean that the devices live at least a few months after they launch. If it doesn’t, then these handhelds are pointless.
I don’t know about you, but for me, I want a portable computer to play all of my Steam games. If I wanted a device that only plays a certain segment of my collection, then I’d play my consoles. Steam is about being accessible, it’s all or nothing. Valve is compromising that if not every game on Steam will run on Steam Decks. I really hope for Valve’s sake that it works this out. If it doesn’t, there’s no point in getting a Steam Deck over getting a gaming laptop. The laptop plays more and will probably have more power too.