Steam Deck will be able to run Microsoft’s game streaming service xCloud, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has confirmed. xCloud is short for Xbox Cloud Gaming. Currently available in beta with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Microsoft’s xCloud offers over a hundred console games on PCs over the Internet without the need for console-level hardware. Spencer didn’t say how that would work, but since the Steam Deck is essentially a miniature PC, it’s not that far-fetched at all. However, it remains to be seen whether xCloud will run on Steam Deck’s custom Linux operating system or whether you will need to install Microsoft Windows first.
“Was [at Valve] talk this week [with chief operating officer] Scott [Lynch], [longtime executive] Erik [Johnson], [and co-founder and president] Gift [Newell] via Steam Deck, ”Spencer tweeted on Friday in the US. “Having had mine for most of the week, I can say it’s a really nice piece of equipment. Games with me on the go, screen size, controls everything is great. Halo and age play [of Empires] feels good, xCloud works fine. congratulations [to the Steam Deck] Team.”
Microsoft’s xCloud is the first game streaming service whose support for the upcoming Steam Deck has been officially confirmed, is now available for reservations and will ship from December. This also expands the capabilities of the Steam Deck, which is otherwise limited by its hardware potential. Steam Deck’s xCloud support makes it possible to run more demanding titles like the upcoming Halo Infinite or Forza Horizon 5. Inch touchscreen has a resolution of 1280 x 800.
The Steam Deck can also output 4K through any HDMI-to-USB-C adapter or the official Dock made by Valve (available as a separate purchase only after the Steam Deck has started). But that’s not helpful as xCloud is limited to 1080p gaming anyway. Microsoft will be able to unlock the 4K capability after moving xCloud infrastructure from Xbox One S to Xbox Series X later in 2021.
Steam Deck starts at $ 399 (around Rs. 29,600) in the US, £ 349 (around Rs. 35,850) in the UK and € 419 (around Rs. 36,630) in Europe. You can’t buy it in India. Xbox Cloud Gaming is currently accessible via apps for Android and Windows 10 as well as in the browser (Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Safari) on iPhone, iPad and Windows 10. It is not available in India.