TL; DR: Valve’s Steam Deck was a hit, but the company struggled to keep up with demand. The company has resolved its supply chain issues and said it could catch up by the end of the year unless there is a massive influx of new bookings. However, the economic downturn and shrinking tech sector have undoubtedly contributed to a drop in demand for portable PC gaming gadgets.
On Friday, Steam released some good news regarding the production of the Steam Deck. Valve says it eased some of its supply chain constraints and was able to speed up manufacturing. As a result, it moved the bulk of the Q4 reservation queue to Q3, while the rest of its existing orders will “solidly” receive their Decks by the end of the year.
Most customers who expect to receive their order towards the end of the year can expect it to arrive by the end of September. The 2022 queue still has room for more orders based on current production projections, so if you want one this year, order soon. Valve says supplies are still somewhat limited, so the remaining 2,022 units could be booked quickly.
Customers can reserve a unit on Valve’s dedicated Steam Store page for a $5 deposit. The 64GB Steam Deck costs $399, 256GB costs $529, and the 512GB unit costs $649. Valve says that if the queue overflows for any release, new reserves will move to Q1 2023 and the store page will adjust shipping times accordingly. At press time, all three models are still scheduled for fourth-quarter deliveries.
Good news: everyone who currently has a reservation can get their Steam Deck by the end of the year! We have resolved supply chain issues, a group of people have moved to Q3 and all other bookings are now in Q4.
More details here: https://t.co/Xj2yEHqpKZ pic.twitter.com/floa2xZelK
– Steam Deck (@OnDeck) July 29, 2022
The Steam Deck backlog has been a bumpy ride. Valve started taking bookings in July 2021, and they went fast. Scalpers picked up a lot of them and sold them for as much as $1,000. At the end of the month, Valve vaguely estimated that new bookings would ship sometime “after Q2 2022.”
Despite the longer delivery times for new orders, the company still expected to ship the first units in December 2021. However, in November Valve realized that it was not going to meet production targets. and delayed the release until February 2022. It barely met that deadline. , with the first Decks being released on February 28.
Initial reviews were mostly positive, and less than a week after the first units shipped, Gabe Newell was already talking about a Steam Deck 2. While it’s not unusual for companies to start planning a tracking console so close to the release of the current generation, supply constraints were still so tight for the handheld that resellers were receiving up to $3,000 per unit on eBay.
Thankfully, Valve increased Q2 2022 shipments slightly in April, easing some of the strain. This second boost still won’t make up for the backlog accumulation, but at least some customers can expect delivery sooner than originally planned.
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