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The $399+ device was announced on Thursday, described as “a powerful all-in-one portable PC” capable of running the latest AAA games.
Sweeney took to Twitter to share his initial reaction to the device, and it was a positive one.
“Amazing move by Valve!” Sweeney enthused, adding: “A handheld PC/console hybrid running the SteamOS fork of Arch Linux, and it’s an open platform where users are free to install software or their choosing – including Windows and other stores.”
Sweeney’s Epic Games Store is considered one of the main rivals to Steam, having launched as an alternative PC digital storefront in December 2018.
His praise for the Steam Deck appears to be based on Valve’s decision to make the handheld an open platform, allowing users to install software and operating systems other than Valve’s own in-house offerings.
This means players could theoretically play Xbox Game Pass games or, indeed, games on the Epic Games Store.
Epic has garnered attention by signing PC exclusives for the Epic Games Store, a move that has divided opinion among players.
Sweeney defended the strategy back in June 2019, claiming that signing exclusives was the only way to challenge Steam.
“We believe that there’s no set of features which Epic, or any other store, could add that would be so revolutionary as to lead to a large-scale move of gamers from a dominant storefront to a new one,” the executive said on Twitter at the time.
“We believe the lock-in effect of having a large library of games on a dominant storefront is more powerful than features, and hence a dominant store can only be challenged through exclusives.”
The Epic Games store offers developers an 88 per cent share of the revenue their games bring in, compared to the 70/30 per cent revenue split offered by Steam.
Epic also regularly gives away free games to attract players to its store, with a recently released document showing it spent nearly $12 million during the store’s first nine months securing games for free giveaways.