Monday, October 25, 2021

Steam Deck Won’t Run Every Available Game

Prospective Steam Deck buyers are in for a disappointment, with news the console won’t run all available Steam games.

Valve announced it was releasing a Nintendo Switch-like console, named the Steam Deck. The console has already been making waves, with users excited about the possibility of having their entire Steam library at their fingertips.

Valve has seemingly supported this notion with some of their comments.

“This is the first time we’ve achieved the level of performance that is required to really run the latest generation of games without problems,” said Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais, according to Boiling Steam, via Rock Paper Shotgun. “All the games we wanted to be playable is, really, the entire Steam library. We haven’t really found something we could throw at this device that it couldn’t handle.”

Unfortunately, those comments don’t paint a complete picture, at least according to CodeWeavers president James B. Ramey. Steam Deck is powered by a Linux distro, and CodeWeavers makes the Proton compatibility layer that allows the Linux-based Steam Deck to run Windows games.

According to Ramey, not all games will be compatible with Proton right away, but Ramey suspects the confusion stems from Valve talking about how powerful the Steam Deck hardware is, not necessarily commenting on software compatibility.

“I think there are two messages that have been kind of mashed together when people focus and talk on this,” Ramey told Boiling Steam. “The first message is when Pierre-Loup made his announcement and stated that the Steam Deck can support any and all games. I think what he was referencing is — and this is my opinion, this is my perception, this is not something I have talked to him about — but I think he was trying to state that the device itself, the hardware specs on this device, can support any game.”

“I don’t necessarily think he was referencing supporting that game in Proton — I think he was referencing that the device has the horsepower, the video graphics, the RAM, the hard drive space to support any game out there.”

As Boiling Steam points out, even if it doesn’t support the entire Steam library, the Steam Deck still supports a whopping 16,000 games. If the device is as successful as early feedback would seem to indicate, the remaining games may be tweaked for compatibility sooner rather than later.

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