There were many questions that stemmed from this announcement but one that many have been pondering is whether or not the Steam Deck can use Xbox Game Pass.
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How Does The Steam Deck Work? Can You Download Xbox Game Pass On Steam Deck?
What’s different from other consoles is that Valve will let you swap the OS. You don’t have to stick with SteamOS — you can download Windows if you want to.
The Steam Web Browser has been brought up as a potential way to access Xbox Game Pass. Some theorize that you could use XCloud to play Game Pass’s library through the internet. That might work. Emphasis on the ‘might.’ Steam’s web browser is archaic and lacks a wealth of modern features you’ve likely grown accustomed to with the likes of Firefox and Chrome. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter — you will be able to play Xbox Game Pass natively.
This means that you’ll have access to the Steam store, community pages, forums, workshop, and more. You’ll be able to interact with other players on PC both in and outside of the games themselves. You’ll even share your account, meaning that your library will be there waiting for you. The Steam Deck is, for all intents and purposes, a portable gaming PC.
The Steam Deck uses a Linux-based operating system called SteamOS that serves as a standard console interface. You can boot up your Deck and scroll through your games with the analog stick like with any other console — Xbox, PlayStation, or the Switch, for example.
You could even download the Epic Games Store, Itch.io, GOG Galaxy, Origin, Ubisoft Connect, Battle.net, and the Bethesda Launcher.
Given that Valve is letting players swap out the OS and install Windows, all you would have to do is boot up the Microsoft Store and get the Xbox Game Pass app. From there, you can download the games natively and play them as you would on a PC, although whether the built-in Steam Deck controller would work without hassle or further programs remains to be seen.
All in all, the Steam Deck is incredibly open to whatever you want to do. With that, it will support Xbox Game Pass and all the others mentioned, letting you enjoy your entire PC gaming library on the go.
For context, there are games on Steam that are not supported by Linux OS, which means that they will not work on the Steam Deck. To add to that, certain games’ anti-cheat systems do not work for Linux either, meaning that certain online games will be inaccessible. However, with Windows’ OS, you could play these games. What’s more, through Big Picture mode, you can retain the controller-friendly, console-like experience.
Utilizing Windows would even bypass the current issue outlined by Steam that makes titles such as Destiny 2, Apex Legends, and Rainbow Six Siege unplayable.
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