Nvidia and Valve are keen to improve Team Green’s GeForce Now streaming service on Steam decks for those who engage in cloud gaming on portables (and yes, there are reasons why you’d want to do that – we’ll come back to that). ).
as a pc gamer (opens in new tab) report, it came from Andrew Fear, director of product management for GeForce Now at Nvidia, and he told our sister site that: “There are no native apps on the Steam deck today. Use the Chromium browser to make it work.” I would say that both Nvidia and Valve, I think we’re both interested in making [GeForce Now on Steam Deck] better. But we don’t have any announcement on native apps coming to Steam.
As Fear sees it, right now if you want to stream games via GeForce Now on a Steam deck, you need to do so in a Chromium browser (like Chrome or Edge).
However, as you might guess, running in a browser isn’t the best experience for GeForce Now – it makes some things very clunky, especially around the interface and game controls – and a native app Steam Deck would represent a major step forward.
Analysis: Nvidia and Valve, Steam Stream Dream Team?
The problem here is that Fear’s statement is very vague. While both Nvidia and Valve want to make GeForce Now a better experience on the Steam deck, there’s no suggestion of how that might happen — and what’s more, the explanation that there are no native apps in the works, too Doesn’t look positive. It’s just a sign that things will improve, not something remotely concrete.
While it’s good to see that hinted at, there’s really nothing to get excited about yet. Will there ever be a native Linux app for GeForce Now, well, we’re unsure about that, shall we say. It’s a minority gaming platform to say the least (1.4% of all gamers on Steam as of the last Valve Hardware survey), and while the Steam deck (which runs Linux, SteamOS to be precise) isn’t really a future becomes a big deal, it just isn’t worth the effort in terms of development time and cost required.
Why Would You Want to Stream Games Through GeForce Now on Steam Deck? Well, for starters, it’s a way to save battery life, as running GeForce Now in the browser is less demanding than running some games on the Steam deck natively. Demanding titles can completely devastate the handheld’s battery, while streaming to GeForce Now can get you several hours of longevity (reportedly on the order of five hours, from the comments we’ve seen).
It also allows the ability to play some games that are not compatible with the Steam deck and cannot be played at all. This includes games with anti-cheat features that don’t play well with the Proton compatibility layer that Steam Deck relies on. Also, in addition to non-functional titles, there may be other games that glitch or run sub-optimal on the deck, and streaming those may be a better experience, too (while saving battery).
As always the trade-off with streaming is that the smoothness of the gameplay you experience is down to the speed of your internet connection.