Steam Deck features new version of SteamOS powered by Valve's Proton compatibility layer

Valve has confirmed that its new Steam Deck device will use a new version of SteamOS.


Valve dominated gaming conversations when it announced the Steam Deck on July 15, 2021. The handheld device allows for PC gaming on the go, with three different models featuring varying storage ranges. Valve has spilled a bunch of details about the new device, but one comment sticks out in particular. Valve has confirmed that the Steam Deck will run on a new version of SteamOS, rather than the same version that is used on PCs.

Valve confirmed that the Steam Deck uses a different version of SteamOS on the official website for the new product. One tab on the site explicitly reads, “a new Steam operating system.” The company then goes on to explain that the Steam Deck’s operating system is a different program than what users may be accustomed to on the PC client.

“On Steam Deck, your games run on a different operating system than the one on your desktop PC. It’s a new version of SteamOS, built with Steam Deck in mind and optimized for a handheld gaming experience.” The new version of SteamOS features Proton, which is a compatibility layer that will aid in running games without the need of new ports. Valve states that it will work with vendors to improve anti-cheat solutions through Proton.

It makes sense that Valve would want a new version of SteamOS that is built specifically for the Steam Deck. That said, the company has yet to give the new version of SteamOS a proper title. The Steam Deck was announced earlier today and is set to launch in December of this year.

Contributing Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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