Is Netflix on Steam Deck?

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By Ruben Circelli | More Articles Tech & Games Editor, Manager of Tech Section Longtime tech & games writer. Former Tencent gaming analyst.
September 02, 2021  01:30 PM

Valve’s upcoming PC/console hybrid, the Steam Deck, has been marketed as an it-only-does-everything style of device. Play PC games, run emulators, install other operating systems, and do what you like. Though, many are wondering if Steam Deck will support streaming services like Netflix. In this article, we’ll answer that question.

The good news is in! Steam Deck will support all your favorite streaming services. From within Steam Deck’s own custom Linux-based operating system, you can open up a web browser and load Netflix, or the streaming service of your choice, no problem.

What’s more, though, is that if you decide to install Windows on Steam Deck, not only will all your favorite streaming services work out-of-the-box, but you’ll be able to install and use their applications, too, if that’s your preference.

Related: Does Steam Deck Support Cross-Platform Crossplay?
 
This feature is in stark contrast to the most popular handheld on the market today: the Nintendo Switch. The Switch launched in 2017, and 4 years later, there is still no Netflix app on the console. Unlike Steam Deck, Switch isn’t as open, so you can’t just open up a web browser and stream stuff.

On Switch, you need a dedicated application for each streaming service. Many currently exist on Switch, but like Netflix, not all do. Valve is sidestepping this need for applications by building a robust web browser right into Deck as well as by giving users the option to install other operating systems to then use to do whatever they want.

This philosophy extends into games, too. On Switch, games need a dedicated development team to build each game specifically for the system which often necessitates heavy compromises to get the game running well on the relatively low-powered Switch.

Related: What Docks Work With Steam Deck?

On Steam Deck, you’ll just be playing PC games, so developers won’t need to design games specifically for Steam Deck. Though, developers will have the option to include a special preset, or something similar, specifically for Deck users in the PC version of their games

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