This was long promised by Valve, and it’s now here!
According to Lawrence Yang of Valve, “We don’t believe individuals should be bound into a given route or a limited collection of apps they may install.” Steam Decks are PCs if they are purchased. You have the freedom to customise it anyway you see fit.
Now, two weeks after early adopters got their hands on the Steam Deck, Valve has honoured its promise by releasing Windows-friendly drivers for the handheld’s GPU, WiFi, and Bluetooth, allowing you to discard the default SteamOS and begin exploring the world of the Steam ecosystem.
In order to use it, you will need to meet a few strict requirements first.
The lack of audio drivers means that only wireless earbuds, wireless headphones, or USB-C headphones may be used to listen to music. As of now, the only method to play with Windows on Steam Deck is to uninstall the default operating system. Even while SteamOS may be turned back on, the process is cumbersome for what is sure to be a disappointing gaming experience.
If that’s not enough to put you off, keep in mind that you can’t install Windows 11 until the bios with the necessary TPM support is made available. Valve is “sadly unable” to provide “Windows on Deck” functionality, so be prepared for that.
What’s in it for me?
This kind of constraint may be a source of amusement for certain people. A better experience isn’t what this is about; it’s about seeing something operating in a new place. That’s why having GTA V run on a Game Boy or adapting Doom to an office phone excite people. Windows may only be added to your Steam Deck for the sole purpose of piqued curiosity at this stage.
This might be a game changer in the future when dual booting is introduced for one major reason: Game Pass Ultimate. The ball is in Microsoft’s court, but neither Valve nor the firm has taken any concrete measures toward making Game Pass available on Steam. And with Valve’s high 30% cut on material sold via its marketplace, that doesn’t seem realistic.
Steam Deck may be turned into a portable Xbox without the need for a Mac or Linux installation. Steam Deak’s dual boot capability might make it the perfect gaming portable, since it’s the closest thing we have to a PlayStation Vita 2. However, for the time being, only those who are willing to put their toes in the water are encouraged to do so.