Steam Deck OLED now supports HDR Remote Play from PS5, unlike PlayStation Portal

A render of the Steam Deck OLED playing Armored Core VI, sourced from Valve's Deck OLED page.
A render of the Steam Deck OLED playing Armored Core VI, sourced from Valve's Deck OLED page. (Image credit: Valve)

With updates to the open-source Chiaki4Deck application, the Steam Deck OLED is now capable of full HDR Remote Play from PlayStation 5 consoles, unlike the official $199 PlayStation Portal handheld. LCD Steam Decks can also do HDR Remote Play, but only if connected to an external HDR display or by forcing tone-mapping in HDR-to-SDR conversion. And finally, HDR Remote Play only works with the PS5 — not the PS4.

So, what exactly makes all of this possible? Chiaki4Deck is an open-source PlayStation Remote Play client, and is a Steam Deck-optimized port derived from the original Chiaki client project. For those curious, both of these clients are named for the character "Nanami Chiaki", from the Danganronpa series of visual novels originally released for Japanese PSPs.

A screenshot of the Chiaki project's page, from which Chiaki4Deck is derived.

A screenshot of the Chiaki project's page, from which Chiaki4Deck is derived. (Image credit: Chiaki Project, Spike Chunsoft for Danganronpa Screenshot)

PS Remote Play is officially supported on Windows, as well as both Android and iOS. What makes Chiaki and its derivatives special is that they're geared toward Linux users and console-modders specifically, allowing for Remote Play from otherwise-unintended client devices.

Why doesn't Sony's official Remote Play client device support HDR Remote Play? Simple: the PlayStation Portal just isn't built for it. Not only does the display not have any built-in HDR support, it even opts for an IPS display in direct face of competing OLED handhelds like the Switch OLED. The Steam Deck OLED was announced and launched later than the Portal, to be fair, but this is a noticeable compromise when paying $199 for a Remote Play-only device.

With the latest 1.5.0 update to Chiaki4Deck, the Steam Deck OLED (and the LCD Deck, to a lesser extent) is now closer than ever to becoming the definitive handheld device for playing PlayStation games on-the-go. There's some poetic justice to this, too, considering that the original PS Vita was actually the first OLED gaming handheld and both the PSP/Vita were targeted at console-esque experiences on-the-go.

While the PlayStation Portal officially continues the line of Sony handhelds, it does so without having any actual gaming capabilities of its own. Realistically, the only thing preventing the PS Vita from doing Remote Play with PS5 is Sony's own software restrictions as well, since the device works flawlessly with PS4 Remote Play.

Fortunately, the handheld gaming industry continues to progress whether or not Sony is willing to invest in it. Even the former president of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Shuhei Yoshida, proudly flaunted PS4 God of War running on his Steam Deck just over a year before the announcement of the Portal.

Whether through native ports to PC, Remote Play, or even emulation, it seems that the entire PlayStation catalog is now playable on Steam Deck. With an OLED Deck, you can now enjoy those experiences with even more visual fidelity than PlayStation's own handhelds, though you'll want to take some time setting it all up.