Steam Deck Handheld Gaming PC Ready for Big Streaming Gains

According to a new Steam update for the Steam app, Valve’s next line of work is to improve Steam’s remote playback service on Linux. The update comes as Valve gears up for Steam Deck and its proprietary Linux operating system, so this prep work will likely benefit the future handheld.

The update significantly improves the hardware decoding of the Video Acceleration API (VA-API) on Linux. The touch control settings have also been fixed to correctly save the settings in the Steam Link app. So there is a lot of work going on to make sure Remote Play works well on Linux.

VA-API support is important, as it is an open source video API used by Linux operating systems, and the Steam Deck will likely use the API to decode game streams with Remote Play. . VAPPI is used by popular applications such as VLC in Linux and supports open source Intel and AMD video drivers. Video API also supports many video codecs including MPEG-2, H.264, H.265, VP9, ​​etc.

Making VAPPI support work properly with remote play makes sense given the capabilities of Steam Deck. As well as having some pretty powerful CPU and GPU hardware inside, it’s also the perfect candidate for streaming games from another source with its big screen and versatile controls.

If you don’t already know, Steam Remote Play is a major feature in the ecosystem that allows for several creative ways to play video games, alone or with your friends. But, arguably, its best feature is that it allows four players to play cooperative multiplayer games together over the Internet, even if three of the players do not own the game or use the same operating system.

Remote Play can also stream games from your primary gaming machine to another gaming machine, laptop, mobile device, or Steam Link through a local network connection. This is very useful if you want to use the raw power of your main gaming PC while sitting on the living room couch or playing from another part of the house.

With Steam Deck and its Linux-based Steam operating system, remote play could be an even more important feature for Deck players as it opens up more gaming options, especially if you want to play games on the Decks which are not fully supported in Linux.

Robert P. Miller