Emulator developers see tons of potential in the Steam Deck


TTE, or Time To Emulator, isn’t an official metric by which new gaming hardware is judged. But if it was, I have a feeling the Steam Deck would set a new record later this year. Every new game console is built to play new games, yet inevitably it will attract a community of amazing homebrew programmers eager to tap into that power to play old games, too. The Steam Deck, though, will be the first prominent handheld device poised to support a huge swath of existing emulators from day one. It was a big deal when emulator authors got Super Nintendo games running on Sony’s PSP or Vita, but the Steam Deck may well be able to play decades of games—even from the Nintendo Switch—and play them well.

“Everyone I know has relatively high hopes for the Steam Deck right now,” says JMC4789, a contributor to GameCube/Wii emulator Dolphin. JMC4789 is optimistic about how well Dolphin could run on the Steam Deck—and so are the developers of Yuzu, the leading Nintendo Switch emulator.


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