Youtuber Spike HD has set himself an extraordinary challenge: transforming his old Nintendo Switch into a real Steam Deck. If, in theory, it is enough to install SteamOS on the portable console, things ended up being much more complicated than expected. Which didn’t stop him from achieving his goal… in a way.
It has now been proven time and time again that the Steam Deck is a particularly open machine. If Valve has incorporated its own operating system, users who are a little resourceful and above all very motivated can perfectly decide to use it. install Windows if they wish, or even macOS for the most determined of them. While the comparison with the Nintendo Switch is inevitable, it is clear that the same cannot really be said for the Japanese portable.
Also, when YouTuber SpikeHD claims in a recent video that he wants install SteamOS on the Nintendo Switch, there is reason to be a bit skeptical. And let’s say it right away, the project did not really succeed. Nevertheless, the developer not only found a very convincing alternative solution, he also managed to push the limits of the Nintendo Switch by installing Linux on it. Here’s how he did it.
Nintendo Switch or Steam Deck, and why not?
To start, it was necessary to bring an old model of Nintendo Switch, because only these allow to pass the first stage, however crucial of the project: flash ubuntu to console. The task is not easy, because you have to install the OS on an SD card, interrupt the loading of the usual Switch interface, then connect the Joy-Con to the new system.
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Once done, Ubuntu runs on the Switch. But that’s where the problems start. This is because SteamOS is only designed to work on x86 processors. However, the Nintendo console is equipped witha Tegra ARM chip. In other words, impossible to install the operating system of Valve. Never mind, there is one last solution.
Indeed, SpikeHD finally opted for a version of Android featuring a SteamOS skin. From there, all you have to do is download mobile versions of PC games, such as Slay the Spire, or fall back on emulators to run GTA V without any problems on the Nintendo Switch. The expected result is not there, but the alternative is just as impressive.