Microsoft has created a new way to enjoy the Steam Deck by making it possible to run Xbox’s cloud gaming service over the handheld device.
However, the cloud gaming isn’t arriving as a native app for the Steam Deck. Instead, users must first go through a process of installing the Microsoft Edge browser on the device in order to stream the Xbox games.
Microsoft announced the news on Friday with a tweet from Catherine Gluckstein, the company’s head of product and strategy for Xbox’s cloud gaming.Tweet
In a Reddit post, Microsoft added that it’s been working closely with Valve on bringing the game streaming to the Steam Deck. “We’re particularly excited about this ourselves as we feel it can open new opportunities in the Linux gaming community.”
Microsoft has currently been offering the cloud gaming as a free perk to an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership, which costs $14.99 per month. The cloud gaming means you can stream a catalog of over 300 Xbox titles to other devices, including iPhones, Android handsets and Windows laptops, so long as you have a fast enough internet connection.
You can check out our guide on how to set this up, which can involve simply downloading an app or using an existing browser. But in the case of the Steam Deck, Microsoft says you’ll have to go through about 16 steps to get the Xbox cloud gaming running over the device. It's also best to do the installation when a mouse and keyboard is connected to the Steam Deck.
The company has created a support document that includes screenshots on the whole process, which requires first going into the Steam Deck’s desktop mode, and then downloading a Linux version of Microsoft’s Edge browser. You’ll then have to configure the device to launch the Edge browser as an app within your game library before setting it up to automatically load up the Xbox cloud gaming site on startup.A Steam Deck for $1,600? Scalpers Demand Desperate Buyers Pay UpValve's Steam Deck Can Now Install Windows 10 (With Limitations, Though)9 Tricks to Get the Most Out of Your Steam Deck
Essentially, you’re creating a shortcut on the Steam Deck to immediately access the cloud gaming. Microsoft’s support document also includes steps on how you can replace the shortcut with official Xbox cloud gaming logos.
In response to the news, some users are already joking Microsoft has come up with another way to force the Edge browser on users. But we wouldn’t be surprised if the company is working on an easier way to enable the cloud gaming down, without requiring a browser install. It'll also be interesting to see how well the streaming performs over the device, and if it has any advantages or drawbacks over the native Steam Deck experience.
If you prefer not to stream, Microsoft has been working to make its existing PC titles playable over the Steam Deck as natively-run games. The list currently includes Psychonauts 2, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrificeand Sea of Thieves, among others. However, Gears 5 and Halo Infinite still remain unsupported, due to the games' anti-cheat systems.
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