There are many reasons why people buy Steam DecksValve’s new mobile gaming PC. It allows them to use their favorite Steam games on the go. Others use it to get the most out of Xbox Game Pass on PC. And some people use it to run a Nintendo Switch emulator called Yuzu. Valve acknowledged much of this in a recent YouTube video that showed the HDMI dock a lot like the Switch of a handheld.
You have to be very keen to spot the reference in the less than three-minute YouTube clip, but Twitter game insider Nibel did, and pointed it out in a tweet that immediately exploded. Yuzu’s thumbnail on the home screen only shows up for a split second, but it’s all there and probably downloaded by anyone at Valve who assisted in making YouTube videos.
Before the end of the day, Valve deleted the video and exchange it with a new one where the Yuzu thumbnail has been replaced with art for Gate 2. But the damage is done: One of the biggest game companies in the world has officially brought up the taboo topic of video game simulation. “The Streisand effect is very strong with this one,” commented one person. “I will definitely emulate the Switch on the Steam Deck.”
As an emulator, Yuzu allows anyone to play Switch games on non-Switch devices. Traditionally, that means PC, but because Valve, and other flood mobile gaming computer hit the market, now there are other options as well. While some people are capable of pirating any Switch game they use an emulator, it is also possible to legally buy a Switch game, dump the ROM on a PC, and then use Yuzu or another emulator to run it, usually at higher resolution and frame rate than is possible on Nintendo devices. (Typically, people who want to support game developers will pay for the game and then download the ROM separately, which isn’t entirely legal, but is considered a wash of minds. many people.)
The Mario However, the manufacturer has had a very tough history against any form of emulation. Once the DS and 3DS were hacked, they became notorious hotbeds for piracy, not only for games that were old and out of circulation for decades, but also new ones. Earlier this year, anti-piracy company Denuvo announced a new set of products specifically targeting developers with games on Switch, promising to protect them against attempts to play them anywhere else using a new type of proprietary DRM.
Steam deckmeanwhile, has become a hotbed for all sorts of emulations other than the Switch, including the Game Boy Advance, GameCube, and PS2. If you’ve ever heard anyone endorse the qualities of Valve’s new Switch competitor, its capable emulation might have been listed among its main perks. Normally, though, Valve doesn’t make that clear. I can only imagine how quickly founder Gabe Newell started receiving phone calls from Nintendo’s attorneys, although of course we currently don’t have any evidence of the latter. This involves taking the video down.
Valve and Nintendo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.