What Steam Deck could mean for Valve game development

The Steam Deck, Valve’s next portable gaming PC, could impact the studio’s game development prospects, if the hardware does well enough.

the steam bridge, the latest hardware from Valve, is set to release this holiday season. It aims to serve as a portable gaming PC, allowing users to run AAA titles on a portable console that can connect to peripherals like any other computer. The announcement generated a lot of hype, and if the Steam Deck is as successful as that excitement indicates, it’s possible it could impact Valve’s video game development prospects.

The Steam Deck reveal generated such a reception that Valve’s servers couldn’t handle the influx of activity when booking the Steam Deck. Although Valve expects to send out order requests starting in December 2021, new bookings show that recent orders aren’t expected to ship until Q3 2022, meaning many likely won’t receive Steam Decks until September. next year or later.

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While some see the Steam Deck as a competitor to the Nintendo Switch, others see it as far more ambitious, not least because of its versatility and customization. By default, the Steam Deck will run from the Linux-based SteamOS. However, it fully supports third-party software including other operating systems like Windows. The Steam Deck could not only run Steam’s entire library of games, but also Epic Games Store and Xbox Game Pass. That could make it the most sought-after piece of hardware, and it’s unclear what that will mean for Valve’s software projects.


Steam Deck could take Valve away from developing the game


For a long time, it appeared that Valve was moving away from video game development altogether. Half Life 2: Episode 2 was released in 2007, and the series did not see any further releases until Half-Life: Alyx 13 years later. Valve’s other successful franchises, like Portal and left for dead, have been apparently discontinued since 2011 and 2009, respectively. Although Gabe Newell revealed in January 2021 that Valve has more single-player games in the works after Half-Life: Alyx, no details were detailed. Although games are being created in the background, it seems the studio is largely focused on its Steam software and, recently, hardware development.


The Steam Deck isn’t the only hardware Valve has released recently. The Steam Engine and Steam Controller came out in 2015, and the company launched the Valve Index VR platform in 2019. Valve said IGN Steam Deck trackpads are a “evolution“of the Steam Controller’s touchpad technology, which the company had”experiment internally” since the release of the controller. With this kind of hardware iteration behind the scenes, it doesn’t look like Valve is planning to stop releasing consoles and peripherals, and there could very well be a Steam Deck 2 down the line. .


It’s currently unclear how Steam Deck and other hardware developments will affect Valve’s games. As a developer of AAA games with confirmed games on the way, it’s likely Valve can handle both hardware and software, but those games could still be years away. Fans probably won’t know until at least December, though, if the steam bridge can live up to the hype it’s already generated and how that could influence Valve’s future direction.

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