There are only weeks left until the premiere of Valve’s first portable PC, the Steam Deck, scheduled to launch on February 25. That is why in the previous days we have been able to access new information about its functions and characteristics.
This is the case of the Dynamic Cloud Sync cloud saving technology, which will be integrated into the new portable console and will allow players to continue their games on other devices even if they have left their Steam Deck in sleep and have not exited the game. . It is the first time that a working gaming platform has received this technology.
This integration seems to be inspired by a specific use case: imagine playing a PC title on the Steam Deck while you’re away from home, then resume that same game later on your PC when you get home.
It’s a pretty nice-sounding concept, but in practice, it requires the logistical step of making sure your game is saved and then uploaded to the cloud correctly. In fact, the idea of saving, exiting, and watching your device load a cloud save file isn’t necessarily compatible with the nature of a portable console.
However, Valve seems to have it all covered. “We anticipate that users will frequently suspend their Steam Deck without exiting the game, as is common with other handheld gaming devices. With Dynamic Cloud Sync, if they later choose to play on another device (either a PC or another Steam Deck), their progress will be right there waiting for them,” the company said on the official site. Steam Community.
In that statement, Valve also explained how this technology integrated into the Steam Cloud works. “With Dynamic Cloud Sync, Steam will automatically upload any modified game data that was saved before the device went to sleep to the cloud. So users will be able to resume their game on any PC, laptop or other device.”
Likewise, if you started a game on PC and want to finish it on console, you can do so without any problem. “Steam will also automatically download any saved game changes when users return to their Steam Deck and activate the device,” Valve said.
Now, the expectation for the Steam Deck is great, both by the public and the video game industry, and the versatility and specifications it promises are attractive to any gamer. Dynamic Cloud Sync is a key element for the success of the console, but all the enthusiasm will be in vain if this technology is not applied correctly or if it does not work well.
So what about the implementation of this technology? Valve has clarified that this feature will not be applied automatically to existing Steam games, meaning each studio will have to go to the trouble of manually incorporating cloud autosave technology. But the good thing is that Valve offers this update for free and easy integration: developers must implement it through Steam Auto-Cloud or the ISteamRemoteStorage API.
If a player puts their Steam Deck to sleep, plays the same title on a PC, and then picks up their suspended Steam Deck to continue play, the game on the handheld will receive a notification about newly downloaded save files. It’s at that point that developers can implement a flag to load that new save file, exit to the main menu, or whatever other step makes the most sense.
In other words, you’ll need to double check that a game’s save file system has been reviewed and updated by the developers before assuming you’re ready with Valve’s “resume anytime” feature. Although if you confirm that the tool works, you will never have to manually exit a game that you want to continue enjoying on another device.
In the event that a game does not have this technology applied, the cross-platform feature will still work, but in a more limited way. The Steam Deck will track changed data for the game to continue on another device, but in that case players will be required to exit the game on console. If they don’t, when entering the game from a PC, for example, they will be prompted to do so first.
Valve said the feature isn’t a requirement to play games on the Steam Deck, but recommends implementing Dynamic Cloud Sync so gamers have the best possible experience with the new handheld console.
Now, there is a big question that has arisen from the new feature: what will happen if the Steam Deck is put to sleep in public spaces without Wi-Fi access? Imagine that you pause the progress of the game while traveling on a bus to another region.
Will the Steam Deck routinely check for an internet connection to upload save files to the Steam cloud service? Or will those players have to turn on the Deck when they get home to make sure Dynamic Cloud Sync activates properly? That is something that remains pending, but probably all these doubts will be resolved when the new device reaches the hands of the players.