A new FAQ page says that although it’s not optimized for it, VR on the Steam Deck is technically “possible”.
The question, listed in the Steamworks documentation FAQ page for Steam Deck, says “Will Steam Deck Support VR?” Here’s Valves answer:
Technically it’s possible. We’ve seen people jury rig it, but we didn’t design and optimize Steam Deck for VR.
This is probably the most well-rounded response we’ve seen so far from Valve, given it’s a question that has come up time and time again since Valve announced the device.
The Steam Deck, in case you’ve been living under a rock, is Valve’s upcoming handheld gaming system that is essentially its response to the mega-popular Nintendo Switch, but decently more powerful.
Unlike the closed Switch system (and many other handheld game consoles), Valve pitches Steam Deck as “an open PC” that can “connect with any hardware,” with a starting price of $399.
After its announcements, Valve’s description of the device led many to ponder whether it would be possible to connect a headset and run VR content on the Steam Device, and whether it might even be officially supported.
Valve told IGN that it had “all the connectivity” for VR but that performance is not optimized for it. Gabe Newell then said that the device could be used with an Oculus Quest, in that you could give it your best shot — Valve just won’t guarantee good performance.
We then caught a glimpse of a headset running SteamVR Home when connected to a Steam Deck, as well as an attempt to run Pistol Whip that displayed on the Steam Deck screen but not outputting to the headset itself.
Last month, it was revealed that a new ‘Deck Verified’ system would let users instantly know if any game works on Steam Deck or not — VR games are all listened as ‘Unsupported’ which simply means they’re not designed to run on the device.
All of this seems to lead to the same conclusion — we’re still not sure whether any VR content will run on a headset through a connection with a Steam Deck. Valve has at least now acknowledged the somewhat successful attempts to get VR to running, but are still re-iterating that it isn’t part of the design intention and maybe not perform or behave as expected.
Are you getting a Steam Deck? Let us know in the comments below.