Valve is reportedly working with AMD to ensure that the handheld gaming PC will support Windows 11.
We have known for a while that the Steam Deck can run Windows, despite the console running on SteamOS out of the box, which is a Linux-based operating system. But this is the first indication we’ve had that Windows 11 could also be supported.
According to an interview with PC Gamer, Valve has said it expects to enable Windows 11 support before launch, with TPM proving to be the only obstacle.
“There’s work looking at TPM just now,” Valve’s Steam Deck designer, Greg Coomer, told PC Gamer. “We’ve focused so much on Windows 10, so far, that we haven’t really gotten that far into it. Our expectation is that we can meet that.”
TPM is a secure cryptoprocessor that secures a computer through cryptographic keys, to protect user credentials, sensitive data and protect encryption keys. They offer hardware-level protection and can be used to encrypt disks using Windows features like BitLocker.
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Valve confirmed it has been talking with AMD, as the creator of the custom Zen 2/RDNA 2 APU that powers the Steam Deck, to ensure the handheld PC is ready for Windows 11 at the BIOS level by December.
Valve is also looking to get games with anti-cheat to run smoothly on the Steam Deck, as it’s not a sure thing that games like Destiny 2, PUBG and Fortnite will work. This is arguably one of the main incentives to install Windows onto the Steam Deck, as Microsoft’s support avoids the compatibility issues.
That said, installing Windows 11 does have its own risks, as you’d miss out on the work Valve has put into the Proton/Steam Play compatibility. Plus SteamOS has been designed for the handheld form factor, making it the safer bet.
For more Steam Deck news, check out our opinion piece on why the handheld has so much potential past gaming.