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Steam Deck release date: Xbox head Phil Spencer confirms Valve’s portable device will support xCloud

Steam Deck | Photo credit: Valve / YouTube screenshot

Valve’s upcoming portable gaming device has a new fan in Xbox head, Phil Spencer. In a recent tweet, Spencer appears to confirm that the Steam Deck will support Microsoft’s xCloud service.

Select people have been allowed to test the Steam Deck months ahead of its anticipated release, and it appears that the latest person to try it is no less than the boss of Xbox. In a tweet on late Friday, Spencer confirmed that he had been using the portable gaming device for “most of the week” and commented that it worked “really nice.”

“Games with me on the go, screen size, controls all great,” Spencer added. He also confirmed that he was able to play some “Halo” and probably “Age of Empires” on Steam Deck.

Spencer seemed satisfied with how the Steam Deck handled these games. But, more importantly, the Xbox chief confirmed that the Steam Deck also supported xCloud and it “works well” in his week-long experience.

While this seems like an informal confirmation that Steam Deck will support xCloud, there are still many questions that need to be answered. For one, it is still unclear if this means the xCloud will run on the default browser of Steam Deck, which is powered by SteamOS.

Whether that is the case or not, having xCloud available on Steam Deck should still be a welcome feature. The xCloud is one of the perks of being subscribed to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $14.99 per month. It allows members to stream more than 100 games and many of them are AAA titles.

Meanwhile, there have been previous indications that the Steam Deck could be used for more than just accessing Steam games library. While the device runs on SteamOS by default, its future owners may be able to replace it with a Windows operating system. That would mean there is a possibility to install non-Steam apps as well.

“We don't think people should be locked into a certain direction or a certain set of software that they can install,” Valve designer Lawrence Yang told IGN. “If you buy a Steam Deck, it's a PC. … Maybe a better way to think about it is that it's a small PC with a controller attached as opposed to a gaming console.”

Valve is still accepting reservation requests for Steam Deck, which will be sold for $399 and above. A specific release date is still unknown, but initial units are expected to ship in December.

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