After several postponements, the Steam Deck should probably be available from February 25, 2022. However, Valve’s new console is not at the end of its troubles. After the problems related to semiconductor shortages, the video game publisher will now have to deal with compatibility issues. Indeed, the purpose of the console is to allow direct play of the games available in the Steam library.
However, only those that are compatible with Proton will be able to launch correctly. Other games like Fortnite will have to adapt to the specifics of the software allowing the Steam Deck to work. What Epic Games, the studio-owner of Fortnite, does not intend to do.
Epic Games does not intend to adapt Fortnite to the Steam Deck
The Steam Deck operates in a Linux environment. However, Fortnite is a game designed to work in a Windows environment. For the Battle Royale game to run directly on the Valve console, Epic Games would have to update its game and make it compatible with Linux.
In a series of tweets, Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, indicated that his company does not intend to embark on this process. To justify this decision, the boss of Epic Games indicated that his company had no confidence in the ability of cheat software to be effective with Fortnite, when the latter runs on a custom kernel configuration like Linux.
Contacted by The Verge, Sweeney added that he was very suspicious of Linux audiences. He even added that the latter was “difficult to serve given the variety of incompatible configurations”.
The media also asked the CEO if it would not be possible to simply adapt the game to the operating system of Steam. To this question, he responded by stating that Linux at its core is already a small market, so dividing it and adapting to each division would be far too costly. For the moment, he does not see any interest in adapting the game to the Steam Deck.
If Fortnite doesn’t adapt, the Steam Deck will have to
The real question is whether it will simply be impossible for players in possession of a Steam Deck to be able to play Fortnite. According to Tim Sweeney himself, Epic Games’ refusal to adapt the game to the portable console operating system should not completely prevent it from running Fortnite.
There is a possibility to install the Windows operating system on the game console. Indeed, the Steam Deck is a bit like a portable PC. Thanks to Proton, it is possible to install other operating systems. This should allow you to install games from the Microsoft Store, the Epic Games Store or even Ubisoft Connect.
In addition, it should be noted that Epic Games has given a significant helping hand to the future console from Valve. The game publisher has updated its Easy Anti-Cheat anti-cheat software so that it can work properly with Linux and Proton. A possibility that should allow developers who use it to run their games on the Steam Deck.
Source: The Verge