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Gabe Newell Talks Oculus Quest And Making Steam Deck Open

You can pair Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck handheld console with an Oculus Quest, Gabe Newell has confirmed.

The Valve co-founder and owner spoke about Steam Deck in an interview to IGN this week, re-iterating that the device is essentially a portable, handheld PC and therefore Valve won’t stop you from trying to connect anything to it, including an Oculus Quest.

As we covered when the device was announced this month, Valve’s open PC handheld Steam Deck has all the connectivity for VR but not the performance. Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais said as much already, but now we’ve heard it from Newell himself with specific mention to the Quest.

Newell responded to a question about being able to install and use other software and stores besides Steam on the device, such as using the Microsoft Store to play Game Pass games on the handheld device. Here’s a full transcript of Newell’s response, in which he mentions the Oculus Quest (to watch the full question and response, head to the 8:40 mark in the video embedded above):

Newell: Our view is that the openness of the PC ecosystem is the superpower that we all collectively benefit from. So if you want to install the Epic Games Store on here, if you want to run an Oculus Quest on it… Those are all great. Those are features, right? That’s what I want to hear as a gamer. I don’t want to hear that somebody’s got some Trojan horse that’s going to try to lock me down. I want to hear… whatever I want to do, if there’s hardware I want to attach to it, if there’s software I want to install…  I can just go and do it. We think that’s great.

It’s important to note that Newell is essentially saying that anyone who wants to connect a Quest to a Steam Deck will be able to give it their best shot — Valve won’t stop you from doing so — but that doesn’t guarantee great performance.

So you could join your Quest to your Steam Deck, either through USB or AirLink and have a portable PC VR experience. But, while Steam Deck is likely a more powerful machine than Quest itself, it likely still won’t be able to run high-end VR titles like Half-Life: Alyx or Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. We’ll have to wait for the kit’s release later this year to find out just how capable it is in this area, though.

You can read more about the Steam Deck and it’s potential VR connectivity options here.

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