To celebrate the Steam Deck’s upcoming East Asian launch, Valve has published a 50-page digital booklet explaining the console’s development process, purpose, and future. This booklet confirms that future iterations of Steam Deck are on the tablet, but oddly enough, 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. Gamers can install the operating system on any computer they like, and moreover, third-party manufacturers can develop their own SteamOS consoles.
We’ll soon be shipping a general installer for SteamOS, enabling any PC to take advantage of all of its features. In addition, we’ll soon be making SteamOS available for other
manufacturers who wish to make a gaming device of their own.
Are we about to witness the rebirth of the Steam Machine? Throughout the mid-2010s, Valve tried to turn SteamOS into a platform for pre-built gaming PCs like the Alienware Desktop Console. These computers had a philosophy that’s similar to the Steam Deck—take a traditional console form-factor and make it run PC games.
Valve is in an amazing position to relaunch the Steam Machine. The new SteamOS uses a compatibility layer to run x86 games on an ARM architecture. In theory, new generations of Steam Machine could be incredibly compact and power-efficient. Imagine something the size of an NVIDIA Shield TV Pro with the chops of a mid-range gaming desktop.
Now, there’s no guarantee that a modern Steam Machine will be successful. The Steam Deck’s portable form-factor is a huge part of its success, and frankly, gamers may not be interested in a pre-made gaming PC that doesn’t come with Windows.