Valve Has No Interest in Steam Deck Exclusives

It views the handheld as a PC, first and foremost

Valve has made it clear that there are no plans to release any Steam Deck exclusives, stating that "It's a PC and it should just play games like a PC."

Exclusives are fairly common among various game consoles, but Valve doesn't want any part of that for the Steam Deck. The company has clearly stated in a FAQ for the handheld that it views the Steam Deck as a PC (i.e., not as a console) and plans to treat it as such.

Closeup of someone playing a game on a Steam Deck.

Valve

The Steam Deck is intended to function as a handheld gaming PC, so it makes sense that Valve would want to avoid exclusivity. As IGN points out, the Steam Deck is essentially a PC in handheld form, which can play both Steam and non-Steam games.

Gaming consoles like the Playstation 5, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch all work somewhat differently, making cross-platform development tricky. On the other hand, aside from general performance differences across hardware, what works on one PC should also work on another.

That said, the Steam Deck does offer extra control options like gyro and trackpad aiming, as well as a touchscreen that probably won't be available on a typical PC.

Steam Deck (button detail)

Valve

Despite taking a hard line against exclusives, Valve still welcomes developers interested in submitting games for the Steam Deck.

The Steam Deck was supposed to launch this December but has been pushed back to a projected release in February of 2022. Valve is still offering reservations, however.

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