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Science And Nature

Dont Worry, Steam Deck Clones Are Coming

A Steam Deck gaming console showing a selection of games onscreen and sitting on a tabletop.

It looks like every gamer is thinking about the Steam Deck handheld gaming PC, but Valve simply cant make enough devices to fulfill demand. Long waiting lists will be the norm for Steam Deck, but clones could soon ease any risk of strain.

Remember Steam Machines?

Before we explain why its likely that Steam Deck clones are coming, we are in need of a brief history lesson. In 2015, Valve released its Steam Machine platform. The unit were pre-built PCs that appeared as if consoles and ran an early on version of SteamOS.

While Steam Machines weren’t successful for various reasons, they reveal a whole lot about Valves thought process. Valve didn’t make their very own Steam Machine but rather published a couple of specifications that third-party manufacturers had to adhere to to utilize the Steam Machine name. Valve wasnt thinking about making hardware however in getting Steam into more living spaces, expanding beyond the normal PC gamer space.

SteamOS, Valves custom Linux-based operating-systemfor Steam Machines, certainly wasnt ready at that time. Ultimately the thought of Steam Machines didnt catch on, however the Steam Deck follows fundamentally the same business design and philosophy. The main element difference here’s that Valve has kick-started the marketplace by releasing a genuine product that gamers can purchase.

The Steam Deck Is really a Reference Model

Stem Deck CAD
Valve Corporation

One method to consider the Steam Deck is really as a reference model. Its a good example of what the typical Steam Deck experience ought to be. From its physical ergonomics to the GPU and CPU architecture and performance, the Steam Deck sets a particular standard at a particular price.

Valve did all of the hard research and development work; other manufacturers can simply utilize the Steam Deck as a jumping-off point. Valve has even released the Steam Decks CAD files under an innovative Commons license, as the information on the AMD CPU and GPU found in the Deck are available to anyone.

SteamOS Can be an Open Platform

Why is the Steam Deck special isnt just its hardware and design; its the SteamOS software. Valve has invested significant money and time into making Windows games work under Linux through Proton. This work remains open-source and benefits all Linux gamers. SteamOS can be acquired for anybody to download and install beneath the Build YOUR PERSONAL Steam Machine banner.

Which means that nothing stands in the form of third-party companies releasing their very own Steam Deck clone, which runs exactly the same software as a Steam Deck. These clones may have specifications higher or less than the Steam Deck, change any facet of it, or copy it exactly. Anythings possible, and from Valves perspective every SteamOS device sold is really a positive development for his or her important thing.

Other Handheld Gaming PCs Arent Great

The Steam Deck is definately not the initial handheld PC marketed to gamers. The GPD Win group of computers and the Aya Neo are cases of the devices. Some of them are very impressive, they generally have a few common problems.

The foremost is these devices are designed to run Windows, which lacks the optimizations of SteamOS which make it significantly less resource-hungry and less filled with non-gaming apps and features. The unit also use off-the-shelf hardware not designed for gaming but rather designed for used in ultrabooks. Also, they are a lot more expensive when compared to a Steam Deck, in some instances a lot more than double the purchase price, while being struggling to provide same quality of gaming experience. In addition the cost of a Windows license is section of that price!

We expect that existing players in the handheld gaming PC market will need a slice of the Steam Deck pie, plus they already have a recognised hardware manufacturing capacity. Its also a tempting chance of hardware makers beyond your massive gaming market to enter without significant R&D work or software development.


Valve is not any stranger to trying new ideas with hardware, even though they end up getting a flop. For some companies, something similar to the Steam Deck will be a risky gamble, but also for Valve, its the kind of side-project where in fact the potential benefits far outweigh the risks.

For third-party players who may be able to bring Steam Deck clones to the marketplace, Valve has provided hard data that there surely is both hype and demand for the merchandise. Its almost sure that any competent Steam Deck clone could have no problems selling to the marketplace segment that Valve cannot supply. With an increase of competition in this new product category, we are able to only see good stuff for handheld gaming enthusiasts as competition drives down prices and encourages innovation.

RELATED: Steam Deck vs. Switch: Comparing the very best Gaming Handhelds

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