What Is Steam Deck? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

The console is based on Linux and runs Windows games via Proton.

Steam Deck Will Have BattlEye Anti-Cheat Support At Launch
Image: Valve

Gaming has come a long way in the past couple of decades, but another area where we’ve seen tons of improvements is in the console space. The leaps in the hardware space have made playing AAA titles with mind-blowing graphics quality a piece of cake.

Like games, we have many choices when choosing the right console type. For example, you may be someone who likes handheld consoles more than regular beefy ones due to the portability factor. There weren’t many popular consoles except the Nintendo Switch until Valve announced the Steam Deck. In this article, let’s look at Steam Deck and why you should care about it.

Steam Deck: What Is It?

Announced in July 2021, Steam Deck is a handheld gaming console from Valve that will run on its upcoming SteamOS 3.0. For starters, SteamOS is a Linux distribution whose development was put to a halt after version 2.0. If you don’t know what Linux is, we’ve got tons of articles explaining stuff like Linux Kernel, Desktop Environment, and other essential components.

After Switch, Apex Legends Will Now Run On Steam Deck
Image: Steam Deck

Coming back to the topic, most of the hype around Steam Deck is based on Linux, which initially may not sound very intriguing. Still, Valve coming out with a Linux-powered device might have just saved Linux from the “You can’t game on Linux dilemma.”

The groundwork for the console started with Valve’s Proton compatibility layer. We’ve covered about the same in one of our articles, but TL;DR, it translates DirectX in Windows games to Vulkan understandable instructions on Linux. Think of it as your personal translator that helps you understand the language of a country.

However, playing Windows games on Linux via Proton is not as easy as it sounds. While Proton works very well, some games will still need tinkering to get started, but it’s getting better each day.

One of the problems that Proton and Steam Deck will have to tackle is anti-cheats like BattlEye and Easy Anti-Cheat. However, thanks to the immense hype fuelled by Steam Deck’s announcement, games with built-in anti-cheat mechanisms should be playable out-of-the-box when people get their hands on the console. This will also benefit the Linux Desktop folks.

Steam Deck Will Have BattlEye Anti-Cheat Support At Launch
Image: Valve

Either way, the immense hype around the console and the price tag that Valve has decided has led to many people reserving one for themselves. If this article piqued your interest in reserving one for yourself, you can visit the Steam Deck website and do so.

Valve recently also announced the release dates for Steam Deck. The first batch of consoles will reach their owners by the end of February.

steam deck amd fidelityfx
Abubakar Mohammed – Fossbytes

That’s not all; there’s also good news for right-to-repair enthusiasts. Valve has confirmed in the Steam Deck teardown video that they will be selling parts for the console via the Steam Deck website. You’ll realize after watching the video that the Steam Deck could be one of the most repairable handhelds once it arrives.

What are your thoughts on the Steam Deck? Do you think it will be a success, or will it be a bad first product? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

If you like this simple explainer, check out our Short Bytes section. We take complex tech topics and break them into short, easy-to-understand articles.

Abubakar Mohammed

Abubakar Mohammed

Abubakar is a Linux and Tech Writer. Hailing from a Computer Science background, the start of his love for Tech dates back to 2011, when he was gifted a Dell Inspiron 5100. When he's not covering Tech, you'll find him binge-watching anime and Tech content on YouTube or hunting heads in competitive FPS games. You can also find his work on Android Police and How-To Geek.
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