Valve is still tinkering away at the Steam Deck with just a month and some change until the handheld console’s February rollout. The company may have successfully shrunken down its Linux-based SteamOS 3 operating system in preparation for launch, which could help ease worries for 64GB Steam Deck pre-orders.
Initially reported by PCGamesN’s Samuel Willetts, who spotted SteamOS image 20211120.2 release notes posted on the MetaCouncil forms, the size of SteamOS 3 has potentially been sized down from 24GB to about 10GB. For perspective, the 24GB SteamOS 3 would have taken up 37.5 percent of the 64GB Steam Deck’s onboard storage. Now, with the potential downsize to 10GB, 64GB Steam Deck owners are only looking at just over 15 percent of their storage being reserved for the operating system. That number continues to shrink depending on which Steam Deck version is purchased.
If the screengrab of the SteamOS image 20211120.2 release notes holds up, this is moderately good news for 64GB Steam Deck owners. Game files have ballooned over the past five years and some games, like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, easily exceed the 64GB mark. With 64GB being the bottom-tier Steam Deck package, it was always a given that buyers would have to upgrade storage regardless of the SteamOS 3’s size. SteamOS 3’s downsizing is good for 64GB owners, but it’s even better news for 256GB and 512GB owners who are looking to squeeze as much storage out of their pricey investment as possible.
The Steam Deck was originally scheduled to ship pre-orders in December 2021 before it was delayed to a February launch window. Valve will begin shipping wave one pre-orders in February, with pre-orders placed today shipping in Q2 2022.