Barely a few hours had passed since the announcement, by Valve, of the Steam Deck, its portable console compatible with a good part of the catalog of games available on Steam, when the shuffling began the possibility of the console being compatible with Xbox Cloudthe cloud gaming service that offers access to part of the Game Pass catalog, including a good collection of Xbox 360 classics, which until then could only be played on console.
It was just a month after the announcement, when we finally heard a first official response to these rumors by one of the parties involved. And the expectations were quite promising, since Phil Spencer himself said that he had already tried it (despite the fact that it would still take a few months to reach the market), that he had tried Halo and Age of Empires (he did not indicate which versions), he affirmed that Xbox Cloud worked well on the console, and I ended up congratulating the team behind the Steam Deck for, as they said, a good job.
From then until now, some well-intentioned statements on both sideshave allowed us to maintain expectations in this regard, and the recent arrival of the expected official support to install Windows 10 on the Steam Deck has been able to mark, for part of its users (those willing to replace the native operating system of the console to install Windows 10), the starting signal to start using Xcloud on the console through Microsoft Edge.
However, and precisely thinking about this possibility, Microsoft has published a complete guide that, with the title Xbox Cloud Gaming on Microsoft Edge with Steam Deckexplains step by step what we have to do if we want to enjoy the catalog of Microsoft’s cloud gaming platform on the Valve laptop, without forcing us to change the operating system.
— Catherine Gluckstein (@CJGluckstein) March 18, 2022
To this end, what the guide published by Microsoft proposes is to install, in the operating system of the Steam Deck, that we remember that it is a custom Linux distribution, the version of Edge published by Microsoft for that operating system, and then create a shortcut to it. The process is not as simple as we might think at first, but by following the instructions given by Microsoft we can complete it quickly and without problems.
This also opens up a very interesting field of possibilities. And it is that, if Xbox Cloud works without problems when installing the Windows version of Microsoft Edge on Steam Deck… will GeForce NOW and Google Stadia do it too? Let’s keep in mind that all services, in order to reach Apple devices, have been forced to provide access to them from the browser, and that for this purpose, in general, they use quite similar solutions.
If so, and, yes, taking into account the possible limitations that the size of the screen and the controls of the Steam Deck can impose, we may be talking about a console that provides us with access to our game services in the cloud. And, by transferring the execution of the game to its servers, we would be offloading the workload to the console, which can provide us with longer battery life.