To celebrate the upcoming release of the Steam Deck in East Asia, Valve has released a 50-page digital brochure explaining the development process, purpose, and future of the console. This brochure confirms that future versions of the Steam Deck are on the tablet, but interestingly, it also states that Valve will offer a “general installer” for SteamOS.
This is a fancy way of saying that SteamOS will work on all PCs. Players can install the operating system on any computer they like, and third-party manufacturers can also develop their own SteamOS consoles.
We will be shipping a general installer for SteamOS soon, allowing any PC to take advantage of all of its features. In addition, we will soon make SteamOS available to other
manufacturers who want to make their own game controller.
Are we about to witness the renaissance of Steam Machine? In the mid-2010s, Valve attempted to turn SteamOS into a platform for pre-built gaming PCs like the Alienware desktop console. These computers had a similar philosophy to the Steam Deck: they take a traditional console form factor and make it run PC games.
Valve is in an incredible position to relaunch Steam Machine. The new SteamOS uses a compatibility layer to run x86 games on an ARM architecture. In theory, the new generations of Steam Machine could be incredibly compact and energy efficient. Imagine something the size of an NVIDIA Shield TV Pro with the chops of a mid-range gaming desktop.
Now, there is no guarantee that a modern Steam Machine will be successful. The Steam Deck’s portable form factor is a big part of its success, and frankly, gamers may not be interested in a pre-made gaming PC that doesn’t come with Windows.