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Valve confirms "blocked" Steam Deck installations are just a "technical issue"

"We’ve since updated this feature so devs can no longer accidentally get into this state."

If you caught the rumour earlier this week that developers could prevent their games being downloaded on Steam Deck, worry not; turns out it was just an error.

A tweet showed purported evidence that the recently-released Demon Gaze Extra had been specifically configured to prevent downloads to Steam Deck, which understandably worried early adopters of Valve's new handheld system.

Turns out it's just a big misunderstanding, something Valve now suggests was "accidental". It's also promised to "fix the issue" with any other games that similarly prohibit Steam Deck installations.

"Before the Deck launch, we added a feature to allow developers to tag certain content/depots as being relevant only for Deck customers," Valve told PC Gamer. "This would allow developers to automatically deliver a different default graphics config on Deck, for example. There was a technical issue with the way this feature was shipped, and so unfortunately some content was incorrectly tagged as the reverse ('deliver these depots to every customer not on a Deck').

"We’ve since updated this feature so devs can no longer accidentally get into this state. For any games that are in an 'uninstallable' state, we’re working with partners to fix the issue."

ICYMI, Valve has released an update for the Steam Deck, which adds a new lock screen to the handheld PC, as well as several other changes.

Is Valve's handheld future-proof? Digital Foundry set out to find out.

"When Digital Foundry reviewed Steam Deck, the overall takeaway was that Valve had delivered by far the most powerful handheld we'd ever seen - to the point where we could take PC ports of console games and run them at PS4-equivalent settings with much the same performance," Richard wrote earlier this month.

"The only difference? Lowering resolution from 1080p down to 720p or 800p. There's more to Steam Deck, however. Its main processor is based on the same core technologies as the silicon that powers PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. It's 'next-gen capable' if you like - but does it have the horsepower to run cutting-edge games at reasonable frame-rates?"