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What just happened? Valve has marketed the Steam Deck as a portable gaming PC, albeit one that ships with a Linux-based operating system. The company promised users would be able to install any application or operating system they wanted on the handheld, and today Valve is making the latter even easier with the launch of Windows drivers for Steam Deck.
The Windows resources page currently has downloadable GPU, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth drivers. Audio drivers are being worked on by AMD and others but aren’t ready as of writing. As such, the speakers and 3.5mm audio jack will not provide audio, but USB-C or Bluetooth can be used in the interim.
Installing Windows requires you to wipe your Steam Deck as dual-booting with SteamOS is not currently available. It’ll eventually be possible to dual-boot on the Steam Deck, but the SteamOS installer that provides the dual-boot wizard isn’t ready yet, Valve said.
Those interested in installing Windows on their Steam Deck can get to the boot menu by powering down, then turning the system back on while depressing the volume down button.
Only Windows 10 is supported right now, but Valve is working on a BIOS update to enable fTPM for Windows 11 installs.
Valve’s Steam Deck started shipping late last month to early reservation holders. It starts at $399 for a model with 64GB of memory. If you haven’t already placed a reservation, be prepared to wait a while as expected order availability is listed as beyond Q3 2022.