Those who have gotten their hands on the Steam Deck know the portable PC is a handy little emulation machine for the usual range of classic consoles. But the hardware’s specific features also make it one of the easiest and most authentic ways to emulate dual-screen consoles like the Wii U and Nintendo DS/3DS lines.
True multi-screen emulation of these specific Nintendo consoles isn’t an entirely new concept, of course. Hackers were splitting Nintendo DS emulation across two screens at least as far back as 2013, and Wii U emulator Cemu added support for a second “GamePad” window back in 2017 (before going open source and adding a native Linux version just recently).
But those kinds of solutions have been a bit awkward, often requiring either unwieldy hardware setups or compromises on some of the consoles’ core features. The Steam Deck makes things a lot easier and more full-featured, as fan site Steam Deck HQ has described in some recent simple setup guides.