Valve’s Steam Deck has joined the ever-growing list of compatible devices with some form of Xbox Game Pass, as the Xbox Cloud Gaming beta is now available for owners of Valve’s handheld gaming PC.
On Twitter, Xbox Cloud Gaming Head of Product and Strategy Catherine Gluckstein said it was a collaborative effort between Valve and Microsoft to make xCloud and Game Pass work on Steam Deck. And, ultimately, Valve got a lot of help from Microsoft to get the service up and running.
— Catherine Gluckstein (@CJGluckstein) March 18, 2022
On Steam Deck, players can access Game Pass through Xbox Cloud Gaming in the Microsoft Edge beta. This means players will need to install and launch the Steam Deck version of Microsoft’s web browser to access the xCloud launcher. The process is similar to how xCloud works on PC, where Game Pass subscribers can access games through the Xbox website.
If you don’t know how it all works, Microsoft has released a tutorial article for Steam Deck owners who want to access Microsoft Edge and Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Last month, Valve President Gabe Newell said he would be “more than happy to work with [Microsoft]to get Xbox Game Pass on Steam. Newell doesn’t see Valve creating its own Game Pass competitor anytime soon, so it looks like he wants Game Pass to be a bigger part of Valve’s future. While xCloud support on Steam Deck won’t be as impactful as a Game Pass app on Steam, it’s definitely a big step forward.
Valve is also working to integrate Microsoft’s operating system onto the Steam Deck. Currently, the Steam Deck uses a Linux operating system, but Valve is slowly rolling out Windows support for the device.
The Steam Deck generally delivers on its promises, with some serious caveats along the way. In our Steam Deck review we said “while I can certainly recommend the Steam Deck with some major caveats, including a noisy fan and relatively long load times, I’m certainly not as head over heels in love as I I hoped I would be when I first opened the box.”
For more, check out Seven Unexpected Things We Discovered About the Steam Deck. And read the March Xbox Game Pass lineup to see what games you can try on Valve’s handheld.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPplant.