Valve has released a new update for SteamOS, which runs their first hardware product, the handheld gaming device the Steam Deck.
Part of SteamOS’s upcoming 3.4 update is a fix to one of the most popular and high profile games that is playable on the Steam Deck, Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding Director’s Cut.
Initially published in 2019, Death Stranding was designer and producer Hideo Kojima’s first project after leaving Konami. It has been both a critical and commercial success, winning multiple awards, and with both a game sequel and film adaptation in the works.
However, that 2019 version of Death Stranding did not work very well on Valve’s hardware device, and so Kojima Productions would go on to make revisions and updates to release Death Stranding Director’s Cut, to be made available on Windows on March 2022.
While Steam Deck’s custom AMD Zen 2 processor, with its four cores and eight thread capabilities, is an impressive chip for a portable device, it has already started showing its age in comparison with newer game releases.
A cursory glance of Death Stranding players using the Steam Deck would make it clear that the game experience is not optimal because the hardware is not quite up to the task. Players are only using the default settings, and to get a stable experience they are only playing at 30 FPS.
Now, the big bug that has been ruining the experience for players occurs whenever they open the map. The game will immediately crash in the map view the moment players start moving the right analog stick, which controls what angles can be viewed. It seems the culprit is a memory leak.
Regardless of how capable the hardware is, many Death Strandings really want to play the game on their platform of choice, which is the Steam Deck. It really is very similar to Nintendo Switch fans playing games like The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt or Doom Eternal on their console.
With that in mind, this change for this one game may discreetly be another milestone for the Steam Deck. A prior update they made earlier this year, that made Red Dead Redemption 2 playable on the platform, was followed by a huge jump in players for the Steam Deck, and a jump in concurrent players for Steam users themselves.
The SteamOS 3.4 update also brings other improvements, that users will recognize as enhancing their experience even if it doesn’t make headlines. But it’s the improvements that increase the quality of the Steam Deck’s game library that seem to be driving users to play with their Decks even more.