Emulating 3DS games with a Steam Deck proves that the Wii U was right

A Steam Deck being used to emulate a Nintendo 3DS game.
(Image credit: GameXData)

Through the magic of software emulation you can use a Steam Deck attached to a monitor to play Nintendo 3DS games, something I am now aware of thanks to tech video creator GameXData. In a tweet they posted, GameXData shows off a hilarious image combo using the Steam Deck's touch screen and Pokemon X/Y.

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Through the power of linux, emulation, and the Steam Deck... we have reinvented the Wii U.

It's a testament to the versatility of the Steam Deck as a piece of hardware that it can be used this way. The touch screen lets you actually emulate, and play, some of the 3DS' games as they were when first released—maybe grab a stylus that works well on the Steam Deck screen first, I guess.

No joke, you can emulate the Wii U's style well on the Steam Deck and a monitor—which is great. (Which the same folks at GameXData pointed out as well.) That's super dope, because games designed similarly to Breath of the Wild make excellent use of that second screen as inventory and the like. Cemu supports this with a little checkbox that splits the gamepad to its own window.

Speaking of Cemu, it went open source recently—which is a big deal for Wii U emulation. You can find GameXData on Twitter and on YouTube—thanks to them for bringing this vital piece of information to our (my) attention.

In other Steam Deck news, Valve says that production has outperformed estimates, so your Steam Deck is probably on the way sooner if you've been waiting. Clearly that's pleasing to Valve, since it has confirmed that there will be more open and more capable generations of the Steam Deck. Oh and they've made a nice little booklet about the Steam Deck as it launches in Asia. (You can read it in English, though.)

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.