The $399+ device was announced on Thursday, described as “a powerful all-in-one portable PC” capable of running the latest AAA games.
However, Valve insists that Steam Deck is also an open PC with the ability to install any software or connect with any hardware.
According to an exclusive hands-on on IGN, it will be possible for Steam Deck users to install a fresh version of Windows, if they choose, and access other company’s game stores such as The Microsoft Store.
This would theoretically allow users to access their Xbox Game Pass library. At the very least, it sounds like users will be able to stream Game Pass title over the cloud via a web browser.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can already stream their games to Android and iOS devices via the cloud, but Steam Deck could potentially offer an attractive solution for gaming on the go without having to worry about WiFi speed.
Steam Deck will feature a “powerful, custom APU” developed with AMD, a 7-inch touch screen, full-sized controls with gyro and trackpads, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, microSD expansion slot and a USB-C port.
It will begin shipping in December with prices starting at $399 (64GB eMMC). Increased storage options will also be available for $529 (256GB NVMe SSD) and $649 (512GB NVMe SSD).
Reservations start today, July 16, and require a $5 / £4 down payment and previous purchase history on Steam, so that Valve can avoid “potential unauthorized resellers”.