Valve's Steam Deck is proving to be full of surprises. Not only can it play some of the finest PC games on the move, but it can also serve as a viable desktop replacement throughout the day. It's also a beast when it comes to retro game emulation.
And, for those looking to push the Steam Deck to its retro-gaming extremes, the new EmuDeck software is a must-have.
EmuDeck, explicitly designed for the Steam Deck, is a one-stop shop for emulation gaming on Valve's portable. It will configure everything from aspect ratios to hotkeys ready for play on the Steam Deck, as well as downloading appropriate box art for all your ROMs and integrating everything into your overall Steam library, doing all the grunt work of having to set up the (sometimes complex) retro gaming emulators.
There is some setup involved, and you must have downloaded and launched the standalone emulators from the Steam Deck market at least once for things to work. You'll also need your own vintage BIOS files and ROMs, the legality of which is still being debated.
However, if you want games like the original NES and GameBoy alongside PC classics like Half-Life 2 and Hades in your Steam Deck library, EmuDeck has you covered.
Check out the excellent Retro Games Corps' step-by-step tutorial on getting it set up below:
As the games industry grows (and the gamers who buy the games proceed to vintage years), there is a growing desire not only for brand-new ray-traced titles but also in having access to the 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit masterpieces of yesteryear.
While PC gamers typically can transport their older game libraries with them between hardware generations, console players may not necessarily have the same option. With this console generation's backward compatibility support and multi-gen Xbox Game Pass library, Xbox has gone toward streamlining the issue. And while it's a far sight better than what Nintendo and PlayStation currently offer, it's still a piecemeal approach to accessing every game that a player may have enjoyed on older hardware in years past.
As a result, a rising number of retro-oriented gadgets are hitting the market, ranging from Android game consoles to Raspberry Pi constructions and a slew of ever-improving specialized retro handhelds like the Anbernic RG552 and the excellent AYN Odin. There is a market need that the major game companies aren't filling, and while the distribution of ROMs is illegal, nothing stops such superb hardware from supporting their usage.
The Steam Deck is destined to be the on-the-go emulation device to rule them all, with power that defies expectations for a portable gaming device. And, with specialized applications like EmuDeck, expect to see an increase in the number of players returning to old favorites.