Update: The Steam Deck can now run Windows — but there's a big catch, so you may want to hold fire if you're lucky enough to have the handheld PC.
If you're eager to get your hands on the Valve Steam Deck, be prepared to endure a rather long wait. At the moment, it looks as though orders won't be fulfilled until after Q3 2022. This means that if you place a reservation now, you won't get a hold of your new handheld console until at least October.
That's according to the official Steam Deck product page on Valve's website, which allows you to pick between three different configurations. Each option requires you to log in and place a $5 deposit in order to reserve your console. Valve said that when the stock becomes available, users will receive a confirmation email and will have 72 hours to purchase the Steam Deck. And if you change your mind, the $5 deposit will be refunded.
As of right now, the website makes it clear that new reservations won't turn into orders until after Q3, but that could change as the demand increases. Just earlier this year, the product page indicated that the reserved orders will be available "after Q2 2022," so there's a good chance that this window could be delayed until later. So if you want to get your Steam Deck console before Christmas, you might want to make a reservation now.
The good news is that those who have already made their reservations for "after the Q2 2022" period can expect to purchase their orders in Q3. If you want to get a status update on your order, make sure to check the Steam Deck page by logging in.
And users who have pre-ordered their Steam Deck are starting to receive emails to complete their purchase now. According to Valve, the company sent the order emails in two batches, and customers reportedly got the first batch on February 25, when the device was released. Last month, the company said that users that pre-ordered should get their order emails by the end of this month and in the beginning of April.
Valve is looking to send the forthcoming order emails on Mondays. So make sure to keep a close eye on your inbox folder on those days so as not to miss an important update on your order.
The Steam Deck is currently available in select regions, but the company said that it's looking to expand in more countries by the end of this year. So far, we have no indication on what those regions could be, however, Valve has specified that the list will be "including Japan."
The console has already scored high ratings in early reviews. The AMD-powered Steam Deck has been praised by tech YouTubers, such as LinusTechTips and Gamers Nexus, who were both impressed with the device's gaming capabilities. Additionally, developers were also "surprised how well games work and how good it feels to play on."
You can expect to play most of the Steam games on Valve's new console, and even pick up were you left off on your PC. However, keep in mind that some popular titles, including Fortnite won't be making their way to the Steam Deck due to anti-cheating protocol issues.