The Steam Deck is expected to start shipping to end users at the end of the month, and Valve is be pushing out quite a number of spit and polish tweaks to the Steam UI and its functionality before the launch. Two Steam UI updates, spotted in a beta release in recent hours, will help Steam Deck users easily manage tight storage limits.
The new Steam UI will highlight game download sizes, in the Library page. Previously, you didn't know the size of a game until you clicked to install it. This is a small but welcome introduction both for pre-download, and for weeding down your Steam Library, when you're running out of space.
These UI changes are being seen in betas on the desktop client, so it's not limited to Valve's upcoming hardware.
Still, the base Steam deck comes with only 64GB of eMMC storage, while the middle option has a 256GB SSD and the most expensive comes with a 512GB SSD. Users can expand with an SD card, but they won't have the relatively cheap 1 or 2TB HDDs that some PC gamers are used to.
Another tweak that upcoming Steam Deck owners may appreciate is is the Steam Client UI highlighting Steam Dynamic Cloud Sync status. As we reported last week, this cloud syncing of game data is going to be very important for those switching from PC to the portable and back.
Steam Devs Give Glowing Feedback
While those UI changes show some positive changes to prospective Steam Deck owners, PC Gamer recently spoke to several developers with early access to the hardware and software, and "they're all impressed" with the offering.
There was some trepidation by devs as they approached this portable, as it runs on a complex software stack – running Linux, with Proton, and then the often-demanding games from the Steam library. However, the likes of Iron Gate programmer and designer, Jonathan Smårs, told PC Gamer that he was "surprised how well games work on it without any changes, and how good it feels to play on it." He did warn users that some game graphics settings will need to be toned down compared to a high-end PC though, the arrival of FSR might help somewhat with that. Smårs went on to comment that in his own development experience, "Valheim worked from day one on Steam Deck without any changes."
Last year, Valve asserted that if a game doesn't work properly on the Steam Deck it would basically be seen as a bug-issue. Developers have had plenty of warning regarding the handheld's launch. The issues devs have had to iron out appear to be mostly to do with bringing things like controller settings and easily adjustable screen/graphics settings to the fore. Meanwhile, Valve is very busy in the background tweaking Proton and other vitals.