Nvidia and Valve want to make GeForce Now better on Steam Deck

Valve Steam Deck on a table
(Image credit: Future)

Nvidia and Valve have both expressed interest in improving the GeForce Now experience on the Steam Deck (opens in new tab). The game streaming service already operates on Valve's handheld console, however, it requires users to boot up a browser and the controls can be pretty funky as a result. A native Steam app could be the answer to making the streaming experience a whole lot easier on the device.

Nvidia's GeForce Now product manager Andrew Fear has confirmed that both Nvidia and Steam were interested in streamlining the GeForce Now experience on the Steam Deck.

"There is not a native app on Steam deck today," says Fear. "Use a Chromium browser to make it work. I would say that both Nvidia and Valve, I think we're both interested in making [GeForce Now on Steam Deck] better. But we don't have any announcements on a native app coming to Steam."

Other streaming-first handhelds, such as Razer's Edge (opens in new tab) and Logitech's G Cloud (opens in new tab) already have native apps by way of Nvidia's GeForce Now Android app. The Steam Deck, as a Linux machine, unfortunately doesn't.

The Steam Deck GeForce Now experience has improved since we first tried it out on the console, but it's far from a sleek option. GeForce Now works in-browser, which the Steam Deck's tiny screen doesn't necessarily make for easy navigation of. The control scheme, too, can be awkward given that the Deck's controls can perform differently in a browser environment.

And if you're wondering why you might want to stream onto your Steam Deck, it's mainly a consideration for saving battery or accessing unavailable and demanding games. Streaming massively reduces the workload on the Steam Deck's hardware, allowing for the device to run for much longer. Similarly there's no chance of playing The Witcher 3 in full ray-traced glory on the Steam Deck without beaming it from the cloud.

Fear also suggested that Nvidia was keen to support racing wheels on its streaming service, but again has nothing specific to say on that front right now.

Nvidia just announced a major uplift for the top tier of its GeForce Now service. The new Ultimate tier will offer players an RTX 4080 in the cloud (opens in new tab), for $20 a month (£18 per month/€20 per month). This will bring with it a new 240Hz competitive gaming mode, ultrawide support, and 4K at 120fps.

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Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, however, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.