Valve Steam Deck: how, where, and when can I buy one?

Can you put a PC in your pocket? No, unless you have exceptionally large pockets, you can’t. Valve hopes to change that with the Stream Deck, a portable PC that should fit into at least a large jacket pocket. The first wave of these compact computers is already on sale, although it’s not as easy as going shopping at your local electronics store.

As the past few years of PC gaming hardware releases have taught us, nothing is ever this simple. However, Valve is trying to create a more streamlined ordering system for Steam decks than much of the chaos we’ve seen in the past year. This should lead to a smooth, albeit a bit long-winded, release for the handheld console.

Is Steam Deck out yet?

Valve released the first wave of Steam Deck on February 25, 2022. This means those first in line for the Steam Deck (registered last summer) will receive an email allowing them to place an order for the portable PC that day. . They will have 72 hours to complete the purchase; otherwise, that ticket will be sent to the next person in line and they will lose their chance.

After that time, we have very rough estimates of when the next Steam Deck shipments will be—at least one in the second quarter of 2022, and then an unknown number. We also don’t know if Valve plans to gradually release Steam decks over each period or if the initial replenishment will be our lot.

We know queues are regional, which means availability may vary by region.

How do I reserve a deck on Steam?

Just go to the Steam Deck product page, log in, and place an order. They cost $5 (£4), but that depends on the total cost of the Steam deck if you buy it. Or they will refund your money if you change your mind.

Just note that Steam Deck is not available worldwide, only in certain regions. These are the US, UK, Canada, and the EU. We’ve been told that Valve would like to expand this availability, but it may be that they’ll wait until the supply evens out before doing so.

If I pre-order a Steam deck today, when will I receive it?

Pre-orders placed today may change depending on your location over time, although orders are expected to be available sometime after the second quarter of 2022, no matter where you are in the world.

Expected Availability of Steam Deck Orders by Region:

  • US: After the second quarter of 2022
  • Canada: After the second quarter of 2022
  • UNITED KINGDOM: After the second quarter of 2022
  • Germany: After the second quarter of 2022
  • France: After the second quarter of 2022

A survey of PC Gamer employees who pre-ordered the same day pre-orders went live, with some expecting to arrive in Q2 2022 and others after Q2 2022. No exact dates other than these rough estimates are given.

This means that we know that there will be at least one wave of Steam decks on sale for people who pre-order in February during the first quarter; and another one sometime between April and June, Q2. After that, there will be another shipment, most likely in the second half of the year, although it is not clear when exactly.

The fact that many of us who pre-ordered on Day 1 also have the same order availability as what is currently listed on the Steam Deck pre-order page is interesting in itself. It’s possible that expected availability is so far off that Valve would prefer not to say when these devices might arrive or that it can’t say what availability will look like later this year. I would argue that this could have something to do with the global semiconductor shortage, as there could be some, perhaps marginal, improvement in supply in late 2022.

Semiconductor shipments are expected to pick up in late 2022/2023, after which there may not be as much of a delay in Steam Deck orders as there is today.

How do I check the delivery date of my Steam deck?

You can check for an expected order on the Steam Deck product page on the Steam store.

Just don’t hit the cancel button, okay?

Steam Deck delayed?

Valve has delayed the release of the first wave of Steam Deck devices from December 2021 to February 2022. So far, there have been no further delays with the release of portable PCs, and the February release is well underway today. However, we are monitoring Q2 2022 order availability dates in case they change.

We can’t say for sure if Valve has pushed back, or even rescheduled, availability dates beyond Q2 2022, as no specific date has been given.

Will I be able to purchase a Steam deck anywhere other than Steam?

The only place to pre-order Steam Deck is directly through Valve and the Steam Deck product page. Valve’s track record with launching its own hardware also suggests this will remain in place for most of the Stream Deck’s lifespan.

The Valve Index is only available for purchase directly through Valve. The Steam Controller and Steam Link, which are now six feet deep, were also mostly purchased directly from Steam during their lifetimes.

Valve cited that one day the Steam deck will be publicly available for purchase. You can subscribe to be notified about this if you add it to your wishlist. While the queue could potentially return to 2023, it could be some time before that happens. If ever. Who knows if you’ll want a Steam Deck by then.

What about the used market?

I have little doubt that there will be plenty of Steam decks available on auctions and reseller sites on launch day. I would also assume that they will come with grossly inflated price tags.

While I can’t make a general statement about every pre-owned Steam deck, I would advise caution in overpaying for a device to get your hands on it. The most impressive feature of Steam Deck is its price, which is much lower than competitors in the portable PC gaming industry.

If you want to spend $1,000 or more on a used Steam Deck, you can spend that money on a new laptop from Onexplayer or Aya instead. Or better yet, spend that money on a proven gaming laptop with a discrete GPU and the power to play the latest games.

Has anyone got a Steam Deck yet?

We have! You can see what Wes thinks about this in his full Steam Deck review.

We’ve also had a lot of hands-on a couple of devices to make sure we can give you all the information you need to make a decision to buy one. This includes playing Elden Ring on the Steam deck and playing PC games at our local science bar.

Valve has confirmed that a USB Type-C hub is coming. Late spring Apparently, this is a little behind what Valve was hoping for. We know it will be a powered USB-Type C dock with the ability to connect a Steam Deck to a monitor for big-screen gaming, as well as DisplayPort and HDMI. Output, Ethernet adapter, and three USB inputs. That’s all that is shown above.

We’ve also found that some third-party docks are great for this today, but not necessarily all of them. One we’ve used and that works is the Sabrent USB Type-C Multiport Hub with 4k HDMI, which we spotted on Amazon USA as well as Amazon UK comes out pretty cheap.

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