We have the Nintendo Switch, sure, but later this year sees the launch of a new handheld gaming device the SteamDeck. The appeal here is obviously a portable device designed to not struggle when playing high-budget Triple-A games, harnessing the power of Steam and PC hardware in general to really make these gigantic games easily playable on the go. It’s no wonder, then, to hear that Xbox boss Phil Spencer is equally intrigued at the prospect.
Spencer recently took to Twitter to reveal that he’s already had hands-on with Valve’s upcoming handheld. “After having mine most of the week I can say it's a really nice device,” he wrote. “Games with me on the go, screen size, controls all great. Playing Halo and Age feels good, xCloud works well.”
Was @valvesoftware this week talking w/ Scott, Erik, Gabe about Steam Deck. After having mine most of the week I can say it's a really nice device. Games with me on the go, screen size, controls all great. Playing Halo and Age feels good, xCloud works well. Congrats SD team. pic.twitter.com/q4hWBvkk85— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) August 13, 2021
That last aspect is of particular note because Xbox hasn’t been shy about wanting to get its games on as many devices as possible. This most recently led to rumours of a possible version of Xbox Game Pass on PlayStation consoles, though neither of the platform-holders have confirmed that this is the case. Xbox Game Pass – coupled with the option to stream games through XCloud – is, however, available on PC. And if Spencer’s impressions are to be believed, players hoping to stream the likes of Halo, Forza and Gears to Steam Deck shouldn’t have any issues.
The Steam Deck will be shipping to select countries worldwide this December, just two months after Nintendo is set to release its new OLED version of the Switch. Pre-orders are no longer available through Valve or Steam directly, though, but it’s likely this will change in the lead up to the holidays. Three SKUs are available, ranging from $399 to $649 (depending on the SSD size).
If you want to enjoy Xbox Game Pass now, either on an Xbox console or PC, here’s the best current price on an Ultimate membership: