Valve confirms new Steam Deck details like PC control and SD card booting

We're quickly approaching the release window for Valve's Steam Deck. The first orders for the handheld PC gaming machine are due to begin shipping out in December, but even though we're still a few months out, the Steam Deck isn't some unknown quantity. Indeed, Valve has been relatively open about the Steam Deck and its capabilities so far, even offering hands-on time with the device to a select few. Now it's answering even more questions in a revamped FAQ it has published for the Steam Deck.

Some of the questions included in the FAQ cover things we already knew, but the vast majority of them are new. In that FAQ, we're told that users will be able to have multiple Steam accounts on one Steam Deck, which makes sense considering the way Valve has described the handheld in the past. Valve also confirms in that FAQ that the UI on the Steam Deck will eventually replace the Big Picture UI, though that change is going to happen in phases.

One interesting tidbit of information revealed in this FAQ is the fact that the Steam Deck can be used as a controller. "Yes, you can connect your Steam Deck to a PC via Remote Play and use it as a controller," Valve writes. Valve also notes that while the Steam Deck can technically be connected to a PC-based VR headset, we probably shouldn't plan on doing that as the handheld isn't optimized for VR. You can also boot games directly from an SD card, so no worries about needing to have your games on internal storage before you can play them.

Sadly, those of you hoping that connecting the Steam Deck to its dock would improve performance had those hopes shot down in this FAQ, with Valve saying that connecting to the dock is "more akin to plugging a USB-C dock into a PC." Valve's FAQ also confirms that Steam Deck does not support external graphics cards and that while all models come with an optically bonded IPS LCD glass screen, only the 512GB model comes with anti-glare etching.

You can read through the full FAQ over on the Steam Deck website, and if you're planning on picking one up later this year (or next year, given Valve's availability estimates), you should probably do just that. The first Steam Deck pre-orders should start shipping out later this year, with Valve saying that availability for new orders is now "after Q2 2022."