Valve’s announcement of its handheld gaming PC, the Steam Deck, has certainly caught the attention of a vast range of gaming and tech companies – even Valve’s rivals. Epic Games CEO, Tim Sweeney, has chipped in with some positive comments about the platform.
Sweeney seems incredibly supportive of the new hardware, calling it an “amazing move”. The comments come from Sweeney’s Twitter account, where he made the following statement: “Amazing move by Valve! A handheld PC/console hybrid running the SteamOS fork of Arch Linux, and it’s an open platform where users are free to install software of their choosing—including Windows and other stores.”
Amazing move by Valve! A handheld PC/console hybrid running the SteamOS fork of Arch Linux, and it’s an open platform where users are free to install software or their choosing – including Windows and other stores. https://t.co/jf5TWUWGP5
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) July 15, 2021
These positive comments are likely to have something to do with the fact that the Steam Deck can run and utilise the Epic Games Store, which means Epic’s Steam competitor will have a new platform to grow on. Not only can users bring over their entire Steam libraries, but they can also access their content from the Epic Games Store, GOG and other PC gaming storefronts.
The Steam Deck also comes at a time when the ongoing lawsuit between Epic and Apple rages on in the background. Apple has historically not allowed companies to install their own apps and services on Apple products externally from the App store, which means that organisations cannot use their own payment processing systems either. This has led to Epic attempting to sue Apple in order to allow for more versatility over how payments are made, so that not every payment has to go through Apple.
The open nature of the Steam Deck effectively eradicates that issue for Epic, as Valve is very comfortable with allowing other users, developers and companies to use their OS however they want. It’s an approach completely at odds to how Apple wants to control what goes through their devices, and could well be used to attempt to bolster Epic’s case in future trials.
The Steam Deck will be available this holiday season, with reservations starting soon. In the meantime, be sure to check out our exclusive hands-on, and our rapid-fire FAQ with the Steam Deck development team.
Liam Wiseman is a Freelance Writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @liamthewiseman