News Steam Deck , handheld by Valve - announced for December 2021

EdwardTivrusky

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I am annoyed nobody showed how Cyberpunk and Red Dead 2 are running on it yet.
Have Rockstar or CDProjekt Red said they have received a Deck yet?
Valve have asked people not to show other developers' games in your own videos so until some dev or journo who doesn't give a damn gets a Deck i doubt we'll see anything until Rockstar or CDP showcase their games.
 
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Mor

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I am annoyed nobody showed how Cyberpunk and Red Dead 2 are running on it yet.
I mean, Cyberpunk wouldn't be a good showcase given the state of the game, playable, yes, but not in optimal condition.
RDR2 needs greenlight from R* who doesn't give a fuck about anything, so... yeah....
Have Rockstar or CDProjekt Red said they have received a Deck yet?
Valve have asked people not to show other developers' games in your own videos so until some dev or journo who doesn't give a damn gets a Deck i doubt we'll see anything until Rockstar or CDP showcase their games.
CDPR in fact released official gameplay from TW3

R* might have received kits but unknown from official sources.
 

Paul

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So 2 out of the 3 most demanding games on PC (Flight Simulator) is all you want to see?
Yes, precisely, because if it can run well those (and I expect it can), then it will run well pretty much anything else for the next few years.

And I just find the idea of freaking Cyberpunk 2077 and RDR2 on a handheld rad as fuck
 

C-Dub

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So I've started doing some preparations for the Steam Deck. Setting up categories on Steam for games I'd like to play on it, and working out what SD card I should get to top up my 256gb NVMe.

But the thing that's really interested me is how I'm going to deal with non-Steam games and apps. From what I gather, Lutris will do a lot of the donkey work for me. But then there's adding them to Steam as non-Steam games, because I'm going to want see and launch those games with that sweet Steam Deck UI. I wish Valve would improve the non-Steam Game functionality because right now it sucks. They should look to Playnite for inspiration.

But games aside, what about other apps? I want to do pretty much everything handheld gaming on my Steam Deck, so I've made a list of some uses I want, and useful apps that I'm going to test as soon as I have mine.

Lutris [Link]
As mentioned above, Lutris lets you install games from nearly anywhere on Linux. It uses its own UI and is more desktop-focussed rather than for handheld or TV, and it doesn't add the non-Steam games itself so if you have a large library on other clients then you're going to have fun manually adding those.

Chiaki [Link]
Chiaki is an open source PS5/PS4 Remote Play client that works on Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Android, macOS, Windows and Nintendo Switch. The Android version in particular looks very good, with it supporting the touchpad (presumably on the touch screen). I'm hoping the developer is interested in the Steam Deck and adds some Deck-specific features to make it the ultimate PlayStation Remote Play app.

Xbox Streaming
Not found an app that allows this. There is an app for Xbox One generation systems, but that uses a different streaming protocol to the new systems and no one's made an app for it yet. However, Xbox Cloud Streaming does work on Linux in a browser. I'm wondering if we'll ever see it work inside the Steam UI browser, because that would be really awesome.

Syncthing [Link]
Useful for syncing your game saves that don't use cloud streaming. This will be invaluable for many of those free EGS games you want to play on your Steam Deck, since the developers care so little that they won't even set the feature up. I actually use Syncthing for a lot of other things and I have a whole share on my Unraid server just for my Syncthing folders. If you have a machine that's always on, it can pretty much be your own personal cloud folder syncing server.

Alternative to Steam Big Picture
I've found nothing that looks exciting on this front. There's Pegasus, but it's still in early days and doesn't support many launchers. Launchbox is an option but it looks hideous.

Legendary [Link]
An alternative client for the Epic Games Store.

Heroic [Link]
Another alternative EGS client. This one looks a bit more comprehensive and they want to support other clients like GOG and Itch. If they can pull it off, this may be the definitive non-Steam downloader for Steam Deck users.

MiniGalaxy [Link]
GOG Galaxy for Linux. But I think it only supports games that GOG has Linux versions for, and doesn't use any compatibility layers.

Moonlight [Link]
I'm sure everyone with a NVIDIA GPU knows about this app. It basically lets you use NVIDIA GameStream on non-NVIDIA devices. It's on pretty much everything, and is a staple of my current setup. I know 100% I will be installing this on my Steam Deck so I can stream games from my gaming PC to the device when necessary.

Parsec [Link]
I've had mixed luck with Parsec in the past, especially, when using an ultrawide monitor on my client. But I think it might be a good solution for the Steam Deck if you're having issues with Moonlight.

Steam Link [Link]
This may seem odd to want to install on your Deck, but if you opt for an alternative launcher and want game streaming you may want to consider Steam Link. There are also versions of this app available for Windows and Raspberry Pi, so you can make a little (or big) Steam Deck out of any open device you have.

Am I missing anything essential that I might find useful on the Steam Deck?
 
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kio

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Has Valve or anyone given any details about the dock? Am I misremembering or have they said it would be available when the deck was available, so in a couple of months?
 

Mivey

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I have already solved the non-Steam games issue: I don't have any non-Steam games :coffee-blob:
I recently tried out Lutris on my Linux laptop, and it's surprisingly easy to use and enables basically the same level of automation as Proton when it comes to running Windows games on Linux. I assume it's not as well supported as something like Proton, with Valve backing it, but if there was some way of customising the new Big Picture thing with custom menus and stuff it would make for a really neat way of playing games from other platforms such as GOG, uPlay and other things on the Deck too.
Alternatively, Lutris would just need some kind of fullscreen, controller friendly UI.
 

C-Dub

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I have already solved the non-Steam games issue: I don't have any non-Steam games :coffee-blob:
That sounds a lot like closed platform/ecosystem lock-in.

Valve should put their money where their mouth is and improve their non-Steam Game feature to import from third party launchers.

Plus I think we all need to accept the reality that people will have games from Battle.net, GOG, Steam, EGS, and so on and while Valve aren’t obligated to make those games/launchers work, they’d be making the Steam Deck a more compelling product and keeping the Steam client as the center of gravity in people’s setups by doing it. By not doing it they’re pushing people to third party apps that may not have the same pushes to the Steam store that their own client has.
 
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Alexandros

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That sounds a lot like closed platform/ecosystem lock-in.
I'd like to hear your argument on that. To me it seems like customer choice. I believe most of us agree that the other services are bad, so why buy from them? I am voting with my wallet.

Valve should put their money where their mouth is and improve their non-Steam Game feature to import from third party launchers.

Plus I think we all need to accept the reality that people will have games from Battle.net, GOG, Steam, EGS, and so on and while Valve aren’t obligated to make those games/launchers work, they’d be making the Steam Deck a more compelling product and keeping the Steam client as the center of gravity in people’s setups by doing it. By not doing it they’re pushing people to third party apps that may not have the same pushes to the Steam store that their own client has.
I am not interested in what's good for Valve so I don't have on opinion on that. For me as a customer I think it is more beneficial that other services are forced to improve than Valve doing everything. If everyone relies on Valve to do the work, all other services will remain crap as they'll have no incentive to improve.
Why would you constrain yourself that much?
SteamDeck seems like an ideal machine to play World of Xeen, which is a GOG-sclusive.
Also an ideal machine to play PS2 games.
And all those VNs that don't have a snowman chance in hell of releasing on Steam.
GOG doesn't count :D. It has no DRM so I can just plop in the exe,I do have some GOG games. As for other services, my distaste for their level of service outweighs any desire to play games that are only available there. I also don't much use emulators anymore and I have Visual Novel as an excluded tag on Steam.
 
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Knurek

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GOG doesn't count :D. It has no DRM so I can just plop in the exe,I do have some GOG games. As for other services, my distaste for their level of service outweighs any desire to play games that are only available there. I also don't much use emulators anymore and I have Visual Novel as an excluded tag on Steam.
Ah okay, I thought you were saying 'if a game isn't on Steam, I won't try to play it on deck'.
Sub VN for a genre you're interested in, say, PnC adventures or flash puzzle games, etc.
 
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Alexandros

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Ah okay, I thought you were saying 'if a game isn't on Steam, I won't try to play it on deck'.
Sub VN for a genre you're interested in, say, PnC adventures or flash puzzle games, etc.
Yeah I definitely will play non-Steam games, just not anything from the 'big' launchers. In fact since you mentioned emulators I might load up a few Amstrad CPC games for nostalgia's sake! Does Retroarch support home computer emulation? I haven't emulated anything in years.
 

C-Dub

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Apologies in advance for the essay. As you can probably tell, I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about this. :LOL:

I'd like to hear your argument on that. To me it seems like customer choice. I believe most of us agree that the other services are bad, so why buy from them? I am voting with my wallet.
On one level or another, choosing to go into someone's closed ecosystem exclusively is participating in a closed platform.

Steam is more open than others, but choosing to use only Steam to me feels like giving in and accepting Valve's lock-in versus not doing so. By choosing not to buy games on anywhere but Steam and accepting the limitations of that client, is that not a lock-in to their ecosystem?

I should add that I don't see anything wrong with that. As you said, it is your choice as a consumer.

On the flip side, Valve does allow keys to be sold on third party stores without them getting a cut. You wouldn't see some of the more aggressive lock-in purveyors doing that, and I do think Valve is a very good steward of their platform. But then that raises the question: if Valve wants to foster third party key market by cutting out their fee while making the Steam client the PC gaming Rome (i.e. all roads lead to it, etc.), then why make things more difficult for people who use third party clients?

It is without question that most people use Steam as their primary launcher, and many people have bought a game from somewhere that wasn't on the Steam store. Whether they buy it on EGS or GMG, Valve doesn't see a penny. So why is it only GMG purchases get an easy time on Steam Deck while people who bought games on EGS need to jump through hoops and use third party hacked together solutions, or simply eschew Steam as their frontend and opt for something else like Playnite?

To me it just feels like making things more difficult for people who use other clients is the line Valve have drawn in the sand, so that's their boundary for ecosystem lock-in. By choosing to limit your purchases within those boundaries, are you not caving to the limitations of said lock-in?

I should add I am more explicitly talking about the Steam Deck here, which is akin to an Android device loaded with Google play, rather than the PC platform as a whole. While the ecosystem lock-in is still there, Valve's pretty low wall is less of a hindrance in a desktop UI: launching an EGS or GOG or Origin game is as simple as loading the other launcher and clicking the icon. If you've chosen to accept those launchers onto your system, it is no more difficult to launch an EGS game than it is a game on Steam.

That is different on Steam Deck. The device has its own game launcher that is tied very closely to the Steam ecosystem. You can of course bypass that, but it requires extra effort and isn't such a turnkey solution. To get the turnkey solution, you need to play in Valve's walled garden, even if said wall is only waist-high and made of sand. You can kick it down, build a bridge out to another walled garden and put some semblance of the wall together again, but it's a mess.

That's like calling a very comfortable home a "prison". You can leave anytime you want, the doors not locked. But if you decide to stay there forever, because it's so nice to be there, then that's not a "lock in".
No ecosystem locks you in permanently. You can leave any one you want. How difficult that is depends on the ecosystem, but there's always a way out.

As I explained above, so long as you choose to use a device/service within the confines of the creator's walled garden, that is ecosystem lock-in. It doesn't matter how hard or soft said lock is, it's still a barrier that you've willingly accepted and limited your purchasing decisions around.

With that in mind, the prison analogy doesn't really hold up. The idea of prison is you go there when you do something wrong (don't @ me about the prison industrial complex - I'm talking about society's understanding of prisons, not the grim reality of it). Prison is something that is inflicted on you. No one forces you to use Steam any more than someone forces you to use all Apple products.

I'd consider ecosystems more like clubs: they are made to be attractive and when you join, there are rules that you need to follow to enjoy the benefits of that club. If you don't like the rules, you can simply not join the club. After joining, if you decide the rules are too onerous and outweigh the benefits, you may also leave. But your friends may decide to stay, or the club may get some benefits that you can only have if you rejoin. And while some clubs are more difficult to leave than others, there's always a way out.

Getting away from analogies: Steam is a pretty easygoing closed platform, admittedly. Extra so on desktop PCs. It's better than most, and Valve are pretty relaxed about what you do there. But there are limitations that they have implemented, either from negligence or malice, and those are lines in the sand that limit or obstruct you from doing what you want while you use their platform. On a desktop PC that's easier to overcome because you can just install whatever you want and access it in the same way (as a desktop icon or from your Start menu or whatever), but on the Steam Deck the main UI for the system is more limited than a desktop PC UI is, assuming Valve don't improve their non-Steam Game functionality. That inherently locks you into whatever Valve decides you can do, and if you want to deviate from their walled garden you're going to have a worse experience by way of system design, not because some third party provides a crap service.

And it's not just other game launchers. There are other apps that people use on their PC that are going to be hobbled by the Steam Deck's UI. Things like Discord, OBS and Cheat Engine to name just three. Or what about Valve's browser - can you change it to whatever you want? Or will you have to go into desktop mode and fat-finger your way around a desktop app on the tiny touchscreen? Will your bookmarks sync with the in-built browser? What if you use a Password Manager? Will you have to minimize your entire tablet UI just to load up Bitwarden to enter a password into an MMO or even Steam itself?

Some of these inconveniences are worse than others, but they all have one thing in common: none of them are inconveniences on a PC, yet they will be on the Steam Deck.

And that's my point. It's not an attack on Steam per-se, more an observation and constructive criticism that if they want to tout the Steam Deck as a portable PC, the interface needs to reflect that. If it's going to have the same limitations as the Steam client for PC, then people are going to have a rough time doing what they're used to doing on their main PC, whether that be using Discord or running games from GOG. And if you choose to eschew that functionality for the turnkey UI Valve has made, then you have basically accepted platform lock-in.
 
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Mivey

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No ecosystem locks you in permanently. You can leave any one you want. How difficult that is depends on the ecosystem, but there's always a way out.

As I explained above, so long as you choose to use a device/service within the confines of the creator's walled garden, that is ecosystem lock-in. It doesn't matter how hard or soft said lock is, it's still a barrier that you've willingly accepted and limited your purchasing decisions around.

With that in mind, the prison analogy doesn't really hold up. The idea of prison is you go there when you do something wrong (don't @ me about the prison industrial complex - I'm talking about society's understanding of prisons, not the grim reality of it). Prison is something that is inflicted on you. No one forces you to use Steam any more than someone forces you to use all Apple products.

I'd consider ecosystems more like clubs: they are made to be attractive and when you join, there are rules that you need to follow to enjoy the benefits of that club. If you don't like the rules, you can simply not join the club. After joining, if you decide the rules are too onerous and outweigh the benefits, you may also leave. But your friends may decide to stay, or the club may get some benefits that you can only have if you rejoin. And while some clubs are more difficult to leave than others, there's always a way out.

Getting away from analogies: Steam is a pretty easygoing closed platform, admittedly. Extra so on desktop PCs. It's better than most, and Valve are pretty relaxed about what you do there. But there are limitations that they have implemented, either from negligence or malice, and those are lines in the sand that limit or obstruct you from doing what you want while you use their platform. On a desktop PC that's easier to overcome because you can just install whatever you want and access it in the same way (as a desktop icon or from your Start menu or whatever), but on the Steam Deck the main UI for the system is more limited than a desktop PC UI is, assuming Valve don't improve their non-Steam Game functionality. That inherently locks you into whatever Valve decides you can do, and if you want to deviate from their walled garden you're going to have a worse experience by way of system design, not because some third party provides a crap service.

And it's not just other game launchers. There are other apps that people use on their PC that are going to be hobbled by the Steam Deck's UI. Things like Discord, OBS and Cheat Engine to name just three. Or what about Valve's browser - can you change it to whatever you want? Or will you have to go into desktop mode and fat-finger your way around a desktop app on the tiny touchscreen? Will your bookmarks sync with the in-built browser? What if you use a Password Manager? Will you have to minimize your entire tablet UI just to load up Bitwarden to enter a password into an MMO or even Steam itself?

Some of these inconveniences are worse than others, but they all have one thing in common: none of them are inconveniences on a PC, yet they will be on the Steam Deck.

And that's my point. It's not an attack on Steam per-se, more an observation and constructive criticism that if they want to tout the Steam Deck as a portable PC, the interface needs to reflect that. If it's going to have the same limitations as the Steam client for PC, then people are going to have a rough time doing what they're used to doing on their main PC, whether that be using Discord or running games from GOG. And if you choose to eschew that functionality for the turnkey UI Valve has made, then you have basically accepted platform lock-in.
My analogy about the prison is pretty apt I think, since I wasn't talking about the Steam ecosystem. I meant the use of Steam OS on the Deck, which is what we were talking about. You can, at any time, remove Steam OS entirely from the machine, and do whatever you want with it. Install Windows on it, hell, you could even install another Linux distro if you want. Wanting to use exclusively Steam OS and Steam apps, is a user choice, and it doesn't lock you into anything. If at a later point you want to buy more games from other platforms, you can use things like Lutris, you can dual boot the Deck, and so on. The term "lock in" is completely wrong.

As for running things like Discord while playing games, I think the bigger issue isn't the Steam UI on the Deck or anything, but simply the fact that I don't see a way of using any of that comfortably while in handheld mode. If you want that, just connect a keyboard and mouse to it, and then it's literally just a normal PC, making all of these arguments moot.
And while I don't know what Valve will do with the final Deck software, I wouldn't call it a "platform lock in" if in handheld mode there's no easy way of alt-tabbing or running other stores. The key thing is making the experience of using Steam in a handheld device as effortless as possible, and that's hard enough already. Wanting it to also enable easy use of 3rd party software, while in handheld mode, is a much more difficult ask, and will surely require specialised 3rd party software. Given how open everything about SteamOS and Valve, I'm sure there will be efforts to enable this. I imagine things like easy use of Cheat Engine, Discord, Reshade, RTSS will be things people will be working on as soon as the Deck is available in December.

As for the topic about whether Steam is a walled garden, which I didn't have in mind when posting, but I can see how it's somewhat related. I don't think Steam really fits the description. Valve lets literally anyone submit whatever game they want on Steam, and their rules are easily the most lax out of any company out there. If it's not downright illegal, or fall under hate crime laws somewhere on Earth, you're probably fine to keep your apps on Steam.
Valve even allows people to distribute free Steam keys, with 0 cut from them. That's an incredibly open, permissive garden. It' so open, that things like Humble Bundle would literally not exist if Steam operated even remotely the way Apple, Google or console manufacturers are operating their digital stores.
 
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Durante

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Valve should put their money where their mouth is and improve their non-Steam Game feature to import from third party launchers.
Valve shouldn't prevent anyone from doing whatever they want with their Deck (and they are not), but they are also under no obligation to make competing platforms easier to use on it. Doing so would require an absolutely monumental development and ongoing support effort, and the Deck (as well as the entire Linux ecosystem around it, many parts of which are at least partially sponsored or developed by Valve) is already a massive undertaking without adding more support difficulties.

Also, several of the things Valve is doing to get Steam Deck compatibility up are only possible with native Steam games (for copyright reasons). That includes distributing pre-compiled shader binaries, and re-encoding problematic videos server-side.
 

jads653

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Am I missing anything essential that I might find useful on the Steam Deck?
Excellent list. I would like to add::

Luxtorpeda-dev (link)
A Steamrunner which easily lets you use native Linux version or sourceports of a bunch of older games. Also supports native dosbox and Scumvm. List of supported games is available here.

Steam Tinker Launch (link)
Pretty much a must have if you use Vortex mod manager, Reshade, Cheat Engine or want to tweak steam game launch options further than the default steam interface provides. Makes launching above mentioned tools much easier on a game to game basis. Guide available here.

MangoHud (link)
Frame counter thingy for OGL and Vulkan games. Works fine for games running under proton.
 
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Minsc

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I imagine Steam will have better support for all the controllers' methods of input along with direct support for the suspend/sleep feature - I'm curious if other front ends/launchers will have access to all the control options (and specifically the ability to remap things in absolutely mind-blowing absurd ways) Steam will offer.

I'm certainly going to explore other places to buy games from time to time to see what's out there - but I am very doubtful random indie game X will let me natively (without playing through Steam) remap the K key to a triple tap on the bottom left section of the touchpad and a bizarre string of mouse commands to holding R2 while tapping the right half of the touchpad and making the controllers gyro sensor help assist with movement when it's not directly supported, etc etc.
 

Phawx

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Sep 6, 2018
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I'm certainly going to explore other places to buy games from time to time to see what's out there - but I am very doubtful random indie game X will let me natively (without playing through Steam) remap the K key to a triple tap on the bottom left section of the touchpad and a bizarre string of mouse commands to holding R2 while tapping the right half of the touchpad and making the controllers gyro sensor help assist with movement when it's not directly supported, etc etc.
Almost every random indie game I've played has had it natively enabled regarding that macro you are mentioning. Also specifically when you press K.
 

Minsc

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While I agree the examples are extreme, my point is Steam's UI allows for things I do not expect from others - like managing WiFi / adjusting brightness etc. I just know from Windows that nothing comes close to managing remapping keys and controls to a Steam controller than Steam itself, and I expect the same to be true of the Steam Deck.
 

Phawx

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While I agree the examples are extreme, my point is Steam's UI allows for things I do not expect from others - like managing WiFi / adjusting brightness etc. I just know from Windows that nothing comes close to managing remapping keys and controls to a Steam controller than Steam itself, and I expect the same to be true of the Steam Deck.
Forgive me, I was just playfully messing around. Know that I agree with your general assessment. I'm just joshing about :p
 
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Alexandros

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Apologies in advance for the essay. As you can probably tell, I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about this. :LOL:


On one level or another, choosing to go into someone's closed ecosystem exclusively is participating in a closed platform.

Steam is more open than others, but choosing to use only Steam to me feels like giving in and accepting Valve's lock-in versus not doing so. By choosing not to buy games on anywhere but Steam and accepting the limitations of that client, is that not a lock-in to their ecosystem?

I should add that I don't see anything wrong with that. As you said, it is your choice as a consumer.

On the flip side, Valve does allow keys to be sold on third party stores without them getting a cut. You wouldn't see some of the more aggressive lock-in purveyors doing that, and I do think Valve is a very good steward of their platform. But then that raises the question: if Valve wants to foster third party key market by cutting out their fee while making the Steam client the PC gaming Rome (i.e. all roads lead to it, etc.), then why make things more difficult for people who use third party clients?

It is without question that most people use Steam as their primary launcher, and many people have bought a game from somewhere that wasn't on the Steam store. Whether they buy it on EGS or GMG, Valve doesn't see a penny. So why is it only GMG purchases get an easy time on Steam Deck while people who bought games on EGS need to jump through hoops and use third party hacked together solutions, or simply eschew Steam as their frontend and opt for something else like Playnite?

To me it just feels like making things more difficult for people who use other clients is the line Valve have drawn in the sand, so that's their boundary for ecosystem lock-in. By choosing to limit your purchases within those boundaries, are you not caving to the limitations of said lock-in?

I should add I am more explicitly talking about the Steam Deck here, which is akin to an Android device loaded with Google play, rather than the PC platform as a whole. While the ecosystem lock-in is still there, Valve's pretty low wall is less of a hindrance in a desktop UI: launching an EGS or GOG or Origin game is as simple as loading the other launcher and clicking the icon. If you've chosen to accept those launchers onto your system, it is no more difficult to launch an EGS game than it is a game on Steam.

That is different on Steam Deck. The device has its own game launcher that is tied very closely to the Steam ecosystem. You can of course bypass that, but it requires extra effort and isn't such a turnkey solution. To get the turnkey solution, you need to play in Valve's walled garden, even if said wall is only waist-high and made of sand. You can kick it down, build a bridge out to another walled garden and put some semblance of the wall together again, but it's a mess.


No ecosystem locks you in permanently. You can leave any one you want. How difficult that is depends on the ecosystem, but there's always a way out.

As I explained above, so long as you choose to use a device/service within the confines of the creator's walled garden, that is ecosystem lock-in. It doesn't matter how hard or soft said lock is, it's still a barrier that you've willingly accepted and limited your purchasing decisions around.

With that in mind, the prison analogy doesn't really hold up. The idea of prison is you go there when you do something wrong (don't @ me about the prison industrial complex - I'm talking about society's understanding of prisons, not the grim reality of it). Prison is something that is inflicted on you. No one forces you to use Steam any more than someone forces you to use all Apple products.

I'd consider ecosystems more like clubs: they are made to be attractive and when you join, there are rules that you need to follow to enjoy the benefits of that club. If you don't like the rules, you can simply not join the club. After joining, if you decide the rules are too onerous and outweigh the benefits, you may also leave. But your friends may decide to stay, or the club may get some benefits that you can only have if you rejoin. And while some clubs are more difficult to leave than others, there's always a way out.

Getting away from analogies: Steam is a pretty easygoing closed platform, admittedly. Extra so on desktop PCs. It's better than most, and Valve are pretty relaxed about what you do there. But there are limitations that they have implemented, either from negligence or malice, and those are lines in the sand that limit or obstruct you from doing what you want while you use their platform. On a desktop PC that's easier to overcome because you can just install whatever you want and access it in the same way (as a desktop icon or from your Start menu or whatever), but on the Steam Deck the main UI for the system is more limited than a desktop PC UI is, assuming Valve don't improve their non-Steam Game functionality. That inherently locks you into whatever Valve decides you can do, and if you want to deviate from their walled garden you're going to have a worse experience by way of system design, not because some third party provides a crap service.

And it's not just other game launchers. There are other apps that people use on their PC that are going to be hobbled by the Steam Deck's UI. Things like Discord, OBS and Cheat Engine to name just three. Or what about Valve's browser - can you change it to whatever you want? Or will you have to go into desktop mode and fat-finger your way around a desktop app on the tiny touchscreen? Will your bookmarks sync with the in-built browser? What if you use a Password Manager? Will you have to minimize your entire tablet UI just to load up Bitwarden to enter a password into an MMO or even Steam itself?

Some of these inconveniences are worse than others, but they all have one thing in common: none of them are inconveniences on a PC, yet they will be on the Steam Deck.

And that's my point. It's not an attack on Steam per-se, more an observation and constructive criticism that if they want to tout the Steam Deck as a portable PC, the interface needs to reflect that. If it's going to have the same limitations as the Steam client for PC, then people are going to have a rough time doing what they're used to doing on their main PC, whether that be using Discord or running games from GOG. And if you choose to eschew that functionality for the turnkey UI Valve has made, then you have basically accepted platform lock-in.
That was a very interesting read, thanks for taking the time to write it. Reading different perspectives than my own is a big reason why I enjoy forums.

For me, PC gaming has always been about options and choice. Similarly, lock-in has always been about artificial barriers against options and choice. In my opinion, the whole point of choice is to be able to freely vote with your wallet and choose the people or companies that offer the best product or quality of service. I don't see people choosing to do business with the company that offers the best service as lock-in, I see it as normal customer behavior. Even if you have invested a lot of money into Steam there is nothing stopping you from using any other service at any time.

Now, if this was a situation like, say, a huge supermarket chain versus various mom and pop shops, I would understand and embrace the argument that I should support the smaller shops for the sake of competition. In the case of PC gaming the smaller shops, Valve's bigger competitors, are owned by huge multinational corporations with ample resources to compete at the same level. There is nothing stopping EA, Ubisoft, Activision, Epic from investing in their platforms and offering a level of service that is even better than Steam's. They just don't give a shit. All of them have consistently proven over the years that they want to put in the minimum amount of effort with the minimum amount of expense and as a customer I see no reason to support their shitty attitude.
 
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Pommes

Hey you! Have a nice day!
Jun 4, 2019
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Excellent list. I would like to add::

Luxtorpeda-dev (link)
A Steamrunner which easily lets you use native Linux version or sourceports of a bunch of older games. Also supports native dosbox and Scumvm. List of supported games is available here.

Steam Tinker Launch (link)
Pretty much a must have if you use Vortex mod manager, Reshade, Cheat Engine or want to tweak steam game launch options further than the default steam interface provides. Makes launching above mentioned tools much easier on a game to game basis. Guide available here.

MangoHud (link)
Frame counter thingy for OGL and Vulkan games. Works fine for games running under proton.
I would also add GOverlay which is a GUI to manage MangoHud (+ vkBasalt and ReplaySorcery).
 
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MomoVideo

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Hey Durante this is pretty minor question, but I was wondering if the UI has any kind of sounds implemented like on consoles and current BPM, for example when moving the cursor with a dpad or a theme playing in the background.
 

lashman

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Announcing Steamworks Virtual Conference: Steam Deck

Join us November 12th for this free, one-day online event with the team who built Steam Deck!

We’re looking forward to sharing in-depth information and best practices to help you make your games a seamless experience on Steam Deck. Topics will include:
  • Steam Deck Hardware
  • Development without a dev-kit
  • Steam on Deck
  • Proton Support
  • Steam Input
  • Steam Deck Verified
  • APU deep dive with AMD
Following each talk, we'll be hosting live Q&A sessions where we can dive in to more of your questions. We can’t wait to connect with everyone on November 12th!
More:
  • What: Steamworks Virtual Conference: Steam Deck
  • Who: The Steam Deck dev team
  • When: Friday, November 12, starting at 10am PT.
  • Where: Steamworks
  • Why: To learn more about Steam Deck and how to get your game running on it
  • Cost: Free! Must be Steamworks developer to participate.
 

fantomena

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Dec 17, 2018
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I feel the fact that Valve is actually having the Steam Deck open, as in, that you can wipe the OS and install other clients/launchers is more than enough. Valve could easily have locked the Deck to only Steam, but they don't. They are basically saying "Here is Steam Deck, you use Steam on it, but if you want to use other things on it, that's okay too".

It should be up the the customers to get Epic Store working nicely on the Deck, not Valve, they just give you access to do other things, the rest should be up to the end-user.

If people want EGS to work well on the Deck, they need to go and tell Epic Games about that, not Valve.
 

Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
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Was it ever communicated if we will somehow be able to have a game configured differently between Deck and Desktop ?
 

kio

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Apr 19, 2019
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We've seen more than a few of these videos showcasing different games from different devs and pubs and I wonder what's the process behind them? Is it Valve asking permission to show them or the other way around, devs happy with how the game looks/runs and asking valve to show it?
 

madjoki

👀 I see you
Sep 19, 2018
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We've seen more than a few of these videos showcasing different games from different devs and pubs and I wonder what's the process behind them? Is it Valve asking permission to show them or the other way around, devs happy with how the game looks/runs and asking valve to show it?
 
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MomoVideo

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Update on BattlEye + Proton support

As we mentioned previously, BattlEye on Proton integration has reached a point where all a developer needs to do is reach out BattlEye to enable it for their title. No additional work is required by the developer besides that communication. Partners have started turning on BattlEye support for their titles, meaning these games are now working on Steam Deck.

Starting today Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord and ARK: Survival Evolved's BattlEye anti-cheat systems are working on Proton, and we expect others to follow soon. If you'd like to try this out now, you'll need today's update of Proton Experimental as well as the Steam Client Beta.
 

Gintaro

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Malaysia

TheTrain

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Jun 11, 2019
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The thing that is most impressive to me about all the sneak peak posted is the audio. It's really really impressive how loud and clear is it, its on another league compared to the switch
 
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beep boop

boo
Dec 6, 2018
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Would be nice if Deck gets more devs to think about interoperability of controller and keyboard/mouse inputs rather than games hitching when swapping, having the UI change constantly when going back and forth, or being locked to just one or the other.