A hacked PlayStation Vita is widely believed to be the “ultimate” handheld emulation device. Now, the Vita has a new challenger in the Steam deck! The Playstation Vita and its community are held in high regard. There are several reasons for the Vita’s reputation: firstly, the community has developed a wide array of homebrew games, custom software, and unique customizable themes. Secondly, the Vita holds claim to one of the most enjoyable games libraries that can be stored in one place on the go. Whatsmore, the Vita can stream both Netflix and games. So it’s possible to both enjoy media and play games that punch far above the processing power of the Vita.
Enter the Steam deck, Valve’s offering to the handheld gaming market. This awesome machine is a powerhouse that caters to a variety of gaming scenarios. Not only is the steam deck one of the most powerful handhelds currently available, but it’s also built on Linux so it can play a wide array of games and use various emulation tools. The Steam deck also draws from Steam’s massive game library. Additionally, players can stream movies from Netflix and games from their main gaming rig (If they have one).
It’s clear the Steam Deck is in line to be a worthy successor to the esteemed PS Vita, without the need for cumbersome software exploitations. The missing component is the fabled Vita game library. Well, fret not, now the Steam Deck can emulate the PS Vita too using Vita 3K! Vita 3K is one of the first PS Vita emulators. Emulation is a resource-heavy process that mimics different hardware to run programs never intended for the system doing the emulating.
Vita 3K is available on Windows and Linux. However, it’s still in the early stages of development so not all Vita games are available or playable. If you are considering having a go, there is a list of playable and supported games online. This should give you an idea of what’s currently playable. It’s worth mentioning that optimizations are happening all the time. Check the list in a month or two if you don’t see that title you’ve been itching to play since you were a kid.
Thus the Steam deck is a worthy successor to the noble modded Vita, it has a beautiful touch screen, excellent ergonomics, great controls, and that elusive versatility that so many gaming devices lack. Emulation however is and probably will always be a complicated process. It’s not something that intrinsically works on these devices. While Valve’s open source approach to device and software development has simplified the process somewhat. It will still require testing and configuration, not all games will play the same and you may need to be patient.
However, once configured you’re sure to be the coolest gamer in the squad when you whip out your steam deck and start playing Virtua Tennis at the local Cafe.