If you are a fan of PC gaming, you probably know about the Steam Deck – a portable gaming device that runs on Linux. However, the device is not compatible with Windows, unless you install it manually. In any case, Windows is not perfect for Steam Deck due to its mouse-and-keyboard-oriented user interface, difficulty with controller support, and more. Fortunately, Microsoft is working on a proof-of-concept ‘Handheld Mode’ that will enable better performance on such devices.

Microsoft’s leaked ‘Handheld Mode’ presentation suggests several components that can enhance the gaming experience. One of the proposed features includes a new first-time setup screen that simplifies driver installation and setup. Furthermore, the touchscreen keyboard will be revamped to fit better on the 7-inch screen of the Steam Deck and allow for Xbox-style control using built-in buttons and joysticks. Additionally, a Nintendo Switch-style game launcher will simplify the process of opening your games. The ‘Handheld Mode’ will also have improved OS-wide controller support thanks to the Steamdeck Windows Controller Driver (SWICD) project.

Microsoft’s proposed changes could enhance the Steam Deck’s experience, especially for gamers who face difficulties running games on default Windows. However, we are unsure if Microsoft will implement these changes since there’s no indication it is part of any of the company‚Äôs Windows Insider Preview channels.

The ‘Handheld Mode’ presentation highlights issues that make Windows less functional on the Steam Deck and other handhelds and proposes solutions to these problems. The ideas presented in the leaked presentation are conceptually interesting and thoughtful and could result in even basic features like better controller support in Windows, which would meaningfully improve the Steam Deck experience.

In the meantime, third-party launchers like Steam’s Big Picture Mode and LaunchBox Premium can partially solve the user interface problem. These third-party apps present simpler controller-navigable interfaces that work well as game launchers on small handheld screens.

It’s exciting to see Microsoft work towards developing a mode that can run optimally on the Steam Deck, and it will be interesting to see if ‘Handheld Mode’ makes it to the final version of Windows. If it does, gamers will not only have access to a wider range of games but also a better gaming experience on portable devices like Steam Deck.
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According to https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/04/handheld-mode-for-windows-could-make-it-work-better-on-steam-deck-style-pcs/

The material in this article is written on the basis of another article.

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