Valve is testing the entire Steam library ahead of and after the Steam Deck’s launch and will include helpful labels on games’ store pages to let you know how it runs on the handheld PC. The company’s ‘Deck Verified’ program will make it easy to learn about a game’s compatibility and set performance expectations with clear labels on each game’s artwork and store page when browsing on the Deck. There are 4 labels that a game can show:
- Verified – With a green check mark, ‘verified’ games will run on the Steam Deck well without any customisation. Games which are verified include full controller support, support the default resolution of Steam Deck (1280×800 or 1280×720) and include Proton support without any issues.
- Playable – With a yellow mark, these games can run on the Deck but may require some tweaks in their settings to hit optimal performance. This includes games which don’t have controller support baked into them.
- Unsupported – As the name suggests, games with this label will just not run on the Steam Deck. Examples include VR games like Half Life: Alyx.
- Unknown – These games have not been tested by Valve’s team and may or may not run on the Steam Deck.
— Steam Deck (@OnDeck) October 18, 2021
The Deck Verified program is great for those who were concerned about Valve’s openness about the Steam Deck being more of a PC than a console. Valve will even let you install your own operating system of choice and even replace the internal SSD on the Deck, and the vast library of games on Steam means that it will take some user testing to know how games, outside of the popular AAA releases, run on the handheld. It’s clear that Valve has big ambitions for the Steam Deck, as many of its features will also make their way on to the Steam PC client like the new Steam Big Picture mode. While we don’t know how much the Deck will cost in India, a simple comparison with off the shelf PC parts shows how competitive Valve’s machine is going to be. With that, it’s possible (if a little too optimistic) that game console manufacturers like Xbox may want to make their own handheld consoles, especially as the Steam Deck already runs xCloud pretty well as per Phil Spencer.
Valve’s Steam Deck will release in December this year in the US, Canada, European Union, and UK, with “information about expanded regional availability coming soon” sometime in 2022. It remains to be seen whether the Steam Deck will make it to India officially.