Steam Deck - Full Overview: Beta Updates, the Upcoming SteamOS Rebase, Market Share and New Games


The Steam Deck continues to get a lot of attention from Valve, in the form of firmware updates and more validated games. We will touch upon the estimated market share and number of units on the market too, for good measure.

Steam Deck Beta Updates

FOllowing the announcement of the upcoming launch in Japan and other countries in Asia, Valve has been pushing some improvements in the Steam Deck Beta, mostly related to language UI improvements: (CJK stands for Chinese Japanese and Korean characters)

  • Fixed styling for CJK keyboard glyphs so everything appears centered correctly on keys
  • Fixed Recommended Layout not always showing up for the author of controller configuration
  • Fixed CJK font issues in SteamOS updater when running on Steam Deck
  • Fixed focus issue when tapping the show/hide password button
  • Removed the gap between keys on the virtual keyboard for improved typing

There were also some separate changes to address some of the performance issues introduced by the 3.3 release again in the Beta branch:

  • Temporarily reverted RDR2 VRAM workaround to pre-3.3 behavior
  • Fixed an issue causing random 0.2s stutter
  • Fixed an issue causing performance drops when a UI element appeared on screen if the performance HUD was enabled.

Upcoming Rebase of SteamOS

As you are all probably aware, SteamOS is based on Arch Linux, but does not rely on the latest packages from Arch. It’s currently using the 5.13 kernel and my Arch systems have just moved to 5.19 so there’s a bit of a gap. According to Luke Short, it seems that Valve may not be too far from releasing a new version of SteamOS with 5.19 under the hood - he discovered this as he was working on WineSapOS:

While it’s not clear what benefits it will bring (as Valve probably backported most relevant changes to the current OS version), it may improve compatibility with external peripherals out of the box.

Market Share of SteamOS in Steam

So we also have some indication of how many Steam Decks may be out there at the moment - SteamOS Holo which is probably only used by the Steam Deck and maybe a few other hobbyists who test the same image on other AMD hardware, is at about 7.60% of the share of Linux gamers on Steam.

This figure is confirmed by the stats on the GPU side as well, with the “AMD AMD Custom GPU 0405” being the typical code to expect to refer to the APU found inside the Steam Deck.

Again a very similar figure at 7.56%. That number seems legit.

So how many Decks may be out there, assuming that the sample is not biased in any way or the over towards the Deck?

Well, we typically estimate there is about 1.2 to 1.5 million Linux gamers on Steam. If we take the most conservative share of 7.56%, this puts us in a bracket between 90 000 and 110 000 Steam Deck units in the wild as of the end of July.

Now, this number may well be over-represented. People who have just received their Steam Deck are well known to be prone to spend more time to play with it than with their desktop device, for example. Therefore an increased usage may reflect a higher percentage than the number of actual units out there. The actual number of units may be a little lower than that.

Since the Steam Deck started shipping in end February, and that the pace of shipment started to more than double in end of June, we can estimate very roughly that the number of units shipped per week would have been on average at 3500 units in the first few months, and right now at around 8700 units per week. That would lead us to about 98 000 units reached by the end of July 2022, if we take the earlier number of about 100 000 units at face value.

As always these are just rough estimations, but it sounds about reasonable. If Valve had passed a milestone like half a million units, they would probably have said so. The fact that it’s been taking so long to launch in other territories also seem to indicate they probably can’t produce nearly as much as they wish at the moment.

If the trend continues like that until the end of the year, we would only have about 300k of Decks shipped worldwide. That seems a little low, so my guess is that the production will keep ramping up in the next few months.

New Games on the Steam Deck

It’s progressing nicely on that end too, with close to 4700 games validated as Playable of Verified on the Steam Deck as of the time of publication:

As pointed out earlier, the ratio of Verified title is definitely going down over time, and it seems to hit new lows in the past few weeks:

We discussed that matter at length a couple of weeks ago - if you have some hypothesis around that data please feel free to join the discussion!

Wrapping Up!

That’s all for the Steam Deck updates for now. As you can see there’s almost a neverending stream of changes related to the product, how the market evolves and the number of games available, and we will keep of providing a full perspective on the world of the Steam Deck.