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Steam Deck waiting time could shrink in the coming months — here’s how

Valve Steam Deck
(Image credit: Valve)

The first Steam Decks may have just started arriving in mailboxes, but there are still plenty of people who are going without. Even several Tom’s Guide staff members have the dreaded Q2 delivery estimate attached to their pre-orders.

But Valve is apparently working hard on ramping up Steam Deck production. According to designer Lawrence Yang (via IGN (opens in new tab)), the company hopes production of the portable gaming PC will be in “the hundreds of thousands” by next month.

The Steam Deck, like almost everything else right now, has been subject to supply chain issues during its development. Originally slated to arrive in December, Valve had to delay the handheld’s launch by two months — a decision it was “bummed” to have to make

However, Valve has proved that its claims it was on track for a February launch were true, and some consoles are now with their (hopefully) happy new owners. 

Yang told IGN that Valve expected Steam Deck production to “ramp up very quickly in the first month,” with the company “surmounting” the supply chain issues that still prove to be problematic. "Very quickly we'll be in the tens of thousands [of units produced]," Yang revealed. "By the second month we'll be in the hundreds of thousands, and beyond that it'll grow even quicker."

Yang also revealed that delivery estimates will get “more granular and clearer” after Q2 and that Valve will be “updating those dates for folks who are in that window.” In other words, anyone with an existing pre-order should expect to get delivery estimates that are a little less vague in the near future.

Yang also confirmed that Valve has been “pleasantly surprised” by the number of Steam Deck reservations, though he wouldn’t divulge any figures when asked. 

So far, reaction to the Steam Deck has been very positive, with early reviewers concluding that the system does exactly what it set out to do. And with prices only starting at $399, it’s certainly a lot more affordable than a full gaming PC or laptop.

It is still possible to reserve a Steam Deck in select regions, including the United States, provided you have a Steam account. However, delivery estimates are now incredibly vague, only saying that handhelds won’t be arriving until after Q2 2022.

Patience is still going to be key, then — but based on Yang's comments, things will hopefully improve soon.

Tom Pritchard
Automotive Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.