The Steam Deck naturally stands out in the handheld gaming PC market by virtue of it being manufactured by Valve, but SteamOS also gives it a unique identity against other portable powerhouses too. However, we could see other devices from competitors adopt the operating system in the near future, complete with optimisations from its creator.
GPD, manufacturer of Steam Deck rivals such as the Win Max 2, claims that Valve reached out earlier this year to gauge whether the company had any interest in using SteamOS instead of Windows 11 on its latest handheld device (via Videocardz). While GPD has “agreed to this cooperation,” it highlights that it might be “take half a year” before we see any signs of the operating system on its portable PCs.
This is because Valve need to optimise SteamOS for the AMD Ryzen 6800U found in the Win Max 2, as the operating system has thus far largely been designed with the Steam Deck’s custom APU in mind. GPD also hopes to promote its handheld systems on the Steam storefront, which could be possible once they’re devoid of Windows and could lead to other manufacturers’ devices finding their way there too.
Optimising SteamOS for other APUs now could give Valve some practice ahead of its plans to launch the Steam Deck 2, which could feature a considerably more powerful Ryzen 7000 processor featuring improved integrated graphics.