Last Updated on August 21, 2022
One day during summer 2021 I spent several hours clicking “refresh” in the hope that I would be able to pay £4 for a reservation on a Steam Deck.
One day this summer, the console finally arrived. And while it brought with it the promise of being able to play AAA games, the first thing I went and did was install Zool: Redimensioned. But why?
Why did I wait over 12 months for a portable PC gaming system to play a game I could run on any PC, a repackaged re-release of a game that shipped on the A500 Mini, which was also included in the Gremlin Collection 1 for Evercade?
- Zool is awesome
- I needed a game I could install quickly, one I know what to expect from, so I could get a grip of the controls
The result? The Steam Deck is probably the best handheld console I’ve had in my hands. Aside from the lack of removable, motion sensitive dual controllers, it outdoes the Nintendo Switch and I’m not even talking about the hardware specs here.
Of course, Zool: Redimensioned and various other titles are already available in the Steam store. But what about emulated retro gaming?
Well, RetroArch is available to install on Steam, but the last time I checked this isn’t optimized for Steam Deck. Fortunately, various other options are available for retro gaming on Steam Deck, from GOG to titles in your Epic games collection and plenty of emulation tools.
After all, the SteamOS is based on Arch Linux, so you’re almost guaranteed to get the best of emulation available on that system. Over the next few weeks I’m going to take a look at the emulation options on the Steam Deck as well as adding the various digital distribution services where you can grab your previously purchased games and enjoy them in a whole new way,
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.