When we wrote about the Steam Deck the last time, we predicted something when we said that whatever will run on Valve’s hardware will also be available for a regular PC (if its components are good enough), as Gabe Newell’s machine is effectively a portable PC.
Steam Deck’s FAQ page has been updated. How much VRAM does the Steam Deck have? It has 16 gigabytes of unified memory. 1 GB of it is dedicated for the GPU, but the GPU can access up to 8 GB depending on the workload. Does it only support full-screen mode? It will automatically run games in full-screen by default. However, dropping to the desktop will allow us to run games in windowed mode. Valve considers the machine as a computer, and making exclusives for the Steam Deck wouldn’t make much sense.
Does Valve plan to release SteamOS as a standalone, general-purpose operating system? They do, but they don’t have exact timing on that, as Valve is now focused on making sure that Steam Deck is a great experience. They will release it for other hardware soon. Does the Steam Deck support installing software outside Steam, and can we use it with Proton? Yes, we can install and add any game like we would on the Steam desktop. Just install the application and then add it to Steam from desktop mode, and it’ll show up just like it would on any PC.
Is Steam working closely with leading game engine developers, like Epic Games (Unreal Engine) and Unity (Unity Engine) on Steam Deck? Yes, they are working with both Unity and Epic on making sure Unreal, and Unity engines have integrations that make the development experience for Deck as smooth as possible. They expect improvements to roll into those engines over time to further integrate with Valve’s development tools and make those engines an excellent target for Steam Deck. Already there’s a pretty good experience for Unity and Unreal developers from the start.
What about Godot? (We aren’t talking about the character from Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot…) They are talking to Godot and actively supporting them and want their engine to work well with Steam Deck. How many sound channels does the Steam Deck support? Two when using the onboard speakers, but multi-channel support is available when using HDMI or Bluetooth. Will there be a way to install external apps on the machine without going into dev mode? Yes, via Flatpak or other software, Valve confirms.
The Steam Deck will ship to customers from February.