Steam gamers relegate Apple Mac to THIRD place — thanks to the Steam Deck

An image of a crying face emoji over a MacBook Air
(Image credit: Windows Central / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Steam's latest survey data shows something remarkable. 
  • Mac is now relegated to third place among Steam gamers thanks mostly to the Steam Deck. 
  • We promise not to laugh. Too much. 

Happy Tuesday gamers, there's some new Steam hardware survey information out (thanks GamingOnLinux for the heads up) to have a look at and it shows something quite interesting. And very fun. 

While Windows has seen a very small decrease in the overall share, the real story is that the 'all-conquering' Mac has been relegated to third place. And that's despite a small increase in its own share of the pie. The reason? Linux. More specifically, the Steam Deck

If you'll bear with me a second, I'm just sending a hamper to the guys over at iMore to cheer them up. 

Steam Deck browsing Summer Sale 2023

Recent discounts on the Steam Deck certainly seem to have paid off.  (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

It's definitely not "the year of the Linux desktop" pushing the numbers up, as when you drill down further into the numbers SteamOS makes up 42% of the overall Linux share, up almost 3% on the last release of the survey. 

Why the sudden jump? Well, the Steam Deck is always one of the most popular purchases on Steam, literally every week. But the recent summer sale also saw the first real discounts on the hardware since it came out, so it makes sense that there has been a sudden jump. 

Despite Apple's work and recent focus on getting gamers to play on Mac, it still found itself falling behind. Granted, this is only Steam numbers, but Steam is also the single largest place gamers go to for any kind of non-console gaming. It's also further proof that handheld PC gaming is definitely continuing to rise in popularity, and I still firmly believe that SteamOS is the absolute best in the business right now for this. The Steam Deck is also a portable PC, so you can use it when you don't want to game as well. 

Maybe Apple needs to try a little harder...

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at

  • wojtek
    Grat news though... gaming on ma can get interesting this autum with new macos release and possibly better integration of the gaming toolkit (right now it's in early stages and supposedly doesn't support current macos - it can be made tu run but it requires tinkering). And apple can have it's sway with games producers.

    Eiter way - it good that alternatives to windows grow 😅