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Editor's take: Microsoft's Phil Spencer has been a champion of the video game industry for years now, publicly rejecting the notion of a console war and willing to give credit to "competitors" when it is due. His latest message suggests that Valve's upcoming Steam Deck could double as a portable Xbox, and there's little reason to doubt it could actually happen.
The Xbox boss said on Twitter that he recently spent some time at Valve discussing the Steam Deck with Gabe Newell and company. The Microsoft executive noted that he has had his Steam Deck for “most of the week,” adding that it’s a “really nice device.”
“Playing Halo and Age feels good, xCloud works well,” Spencer continued.
Was @valvesoftware this week talking w/ Scott, Erik, Gabe about Steam Deck. After having mine most of the week I can say it's a really nice device. Games with me on the go, screen size, controls all great. Playing Halo and Age feels good, xCloud works well. Congrats SD team. pic.twitter.com/q4hWBvkk85— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) August 13, 2021
In an interview with GamesRadar last week, Spencer said they had no plans to bring Game Pass to any closed platforms right now.
Valve announced the Steam Deck just over a month ago. It’ll ship running SteamOS 3.0, which is based on Linux, but Valve insists that it’s an open platform that is capable of running other operating systems. The company has even said that it should meet Windows 11 requirements.
It’s not a stretch, then, to envision running Xbox Game Pass on the handheld PC. In last week’s interview, Spencer said their focus is on open platforms like the web, PC and mobile.
Valve’s Steam Deck is slated to arrive this December. The first wave of units was quickly spoken for, and ship times for new orders have since slipped to “after Q2 2022.” Pricing starts at $399 for 64GB of onboard storage and scales up to $649 if you want a model with a faster NVMe drive (512GB) and an anti-glare etched display.