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The hotly anticipated hardware is “all packaged up and ready for devs”, Valve announced in a blog post. It added that “limited batches” of dev-kits will be en route to game developers to allow them to test their games on the new handheld.
Valve added that these “engineering verification test builds” will “connect developers with units that are functionally identical to what will ship to [customers].”
Of particular interest is that Valve also said that “the dev-kit program gives us the chance to guide game developers through the process of getting their games on Steam Deck.”
Previously, alarm bells were rung when James Ramey – president of CodeWeavers, which makes the Proton software that handles compatibility between Linux and Windows, said that Steam Deck may not be able to run all Steam games.
Valve’s comments may be in response to this, and could help alleviate player concerns over compatibility. The company has previously addressed concerns that anti-cheat software could also prevent some games running on Steam Deck, saying it is working with anti-cheat makers to address the problems before launch.
Word of dev-kits going out to game creators first emerged earlier in September, and with them now going out of the door, Valve noted that it is now preparing for “the official launch at the end of the year.”
Steam Deck was announced in July 2021, with preorders immediately selling out. Although planned for a December release, hardware is expected to go out in waves, with customers who were unable to secure a first-batch reservation not receiving their hardware until 2022.
Steam Deck isn’t the only thing in gaming that’s complete today, as Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has wrapped production, with the finished game on track for an October release date.