The company announced its handheld on Thursday, July 15, and pitched it as a way for players to take some of their Steam games on the go. It's essentially a portable PC computer with a 7-inch touch screen, two joysticks, and a couple of trackpads to really hammer in that laptop feel. With it, users can take advantage of all their favorite features such as Steam library sharing and co-op play in all of their favorite games.
Well, it seems almost all of them.
Valve's New Steam Deck Seems Like it Won't Play Major Competitive Titles
Unfortunately for fans of major Steam titles such as Apex Legends, PUBG, and Destiny 2, the Steam Deck appears it will be unable to run those and similar titles.
The Steam Deck's operating system, "SteamOS," is Linux-built and therefore incompatible with the games mentioned above. Valve has done the best it could to counteract this by developing "Proton"—a backdoor-like program meant to add Windows capabilities to the handheld. This provided a significant increase in the number of compatible games the distributor can offer on its new platform. It just isn't enough to provide support for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege.
It's not that the handheld lacks the capacity. There is an impressive collection of graphically impressive games the Steam Deck can play without issue. It's competitive multiplayer that causes problems as the anti-cheat systems currently enabled within these games don't play well with SteamOS. So, players can get the game to run, but they can't actually log in.
Obviously, this looks to be a sizable problem for titles where multiplayer is the bread and butter of the experience.
Valve has since stated that they are working to expand compatibility and, hopefully, will be able to offer a workaround for the anti-cheat issue—one that doesn't involve its prized properties becoming a breeding ground for hackers.
An active list of all games supported on the Steam Deck can be found on Proton's database webpage. Fans interested in reserving one of the three models of Steam Deck console can do so through Valve's Steam store.