Steam Deck development kits are making their way to developers, who are posting their first impressions on social media.
In a blog post last week, Valve said that "limited batches of Steam Deck dev-kits" were heading out to partners. The company says that what's shipping to developers "are functionally identical" to what customers will end up with, but that "the dev-kit program gives us the chance to guide game developers through the process of getting their games on Steam Deck."
Some of the most comprehensive impressions come from Mike Rose, founder of indie publisher No More Robots. In a series of tweets, they said that several of their games, including mountain biking game Descenders and medieval RPG Yes, Your Grace, run "flawlessly." Even a game currently in development runs "near perfectly" on the platform, with just a few input and resolution tweaks required.
Visual novel publisher Sekai Project also showed off a number of its titles working on the Steam Deck, suggesting that even games in a 4:3 aspect ratio look "pretty good" on the 16:10 screen.
Arguably the most glowing early review comes from Cliff Harris, of Democracy developer Positech Games. They say that the Steam Deck is "really, really cool." The latest title in Positech's Democracy series runs "ok," but the framerate is "perfect," and the sound "really good."
It's worth noting that all of these early impressions appear to come from smaller developers and publishers, and don't really reflect how the Steam deck will cope with fast-paced shooters or open-world RPGs. Valve says it'll consider it a bug if the platform can't handle every game on Steam - running at at least 30fps - but it remains to be seen how well the handheld device will handle future big releases.