Valve today announced Windows drivers for its Steam Deck handheld console. These drivers will enable crucial hardware compatibility for those who want to use Microsoft’s operating system.
Drivers released today are for GPU, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Valve said that the audio drivers are still being worked on with AMD, so they are not available today. As such, there will be no audio support through the speakers or headphone jack on the Steam Deck. Users will need to use Bluetooth or USB audio devices.
Drivers are provided for Windows 10 only. Windows 11 drivers are in the works and will come later with a BIOS update that will enable mandatory fTPM support for Windows 11.
Steam Deck does not currently support dual booting, a feature to come later. So users will have to replace the existing SteamOS with Windows 10 and vice versa if they want to go back.
The Steam Deck is essentially an x86 laptop and as such supports the installation of any desktop operating system, although full functionality still requires native driver support. The device comes pre-installed with Valve’s SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system that uses the Proton emulator to run Windows games on the Steam store.
Although SteamOS is designed specifically for the Steam Deck hardware and has decent game support at launch, it still doesn’t support every game on the Steam store like Windows does, nor does it support installing games from other sources, like Epic. Games Store or Microsoft. Store, the latter being required for Game Pass. That’s a great reason to want to install Windows on the Steam Deck right now, as long as you’re prepared for the hassle.
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