The Steam Deck already being wildly popular is something that will come as a surprise to nobody.
American gaming giant Valve announced the “handheld PC” on Thursday. The switch-like console will give gamers the option to play their Steam titles on the go with three storage variants priced at $399, $529, and $649, respectively.
On Friday, Valve kicked off a reservation system for interested buyers that allowed gamers to put down $5 to secure a device as they become available. Only two conditions were governing the reservations: only one device was allowed per Steam account, and each account had to have purchases listed before June 2021.
It has now become evident that the Steam Deck was very well recieved as reservations have gone through the roof.
Currently, orders for the $399 Steam Deck are expected to be available in Q1 2022. The $529 Steam Deck is sold out through Q1 for an expected Q2 2022 release. This leaves the $649 Steam Deck, which is sold out through not just Q1 but Q2 as well. New orders are expected in Q3 2022.
Essentially, we have the Xbox Series X, and PS5 situation all over again as all of Valve’s launch stock of the Steam Deck is already sold out for all three SKUs.
However, it’s challenging to fault Valve for this as it has a unique approach in place to get the Steam Deck in as many hands as possible. Rather than keeping a particular volume of stock available and then having to stop pre-order when that stock runs out, Valve is making a queue.
Therefore, those with early reservations will acquire a Steam Deck at launch, while later reservations will have to wait for additional stock to come in. But irrespective of when one makes their reservation, they will know an approximate delivery date.
There is also a chance that those with reservations will get their Steam Decks earlier than expected, as not everyone who reserves the console will make a final purchase.
There is no denying that Valve has a mega-hit on its hands: a console being sold out for dates that are many months ahead is something we don’t get to see very often.
However, from a hardware standpoint, the Steam Deck is still a work-in-progress. The review pieces sent to publications the world over are subject to change.
So, let’s hope that gamers don’t get something that differs from what was promised because that could turn out quite badly for Valve.
But the reception to the device has shown an untapped market for a so-called “handheld PC.” The ability to play full-fledged PC games as if they were on a reasonably powerful smartphone is very appealing to gamers and could go on to change the game when it comes to future handheld gaming devices.
About Valve Software
Valve Corporation, also known as Valve Software, is an American video game developer, publisher, and digital distribution company based in Bellevue, Washington. Valve is best known for the software distribution platform Steam, along with gaming franchises such as Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal, Day of Defeat, Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, and Dota.