Update: Valve says Steam Deck pre-orders "on track" for February — but there's a catch.
The Steam Deck was the most hotly anticipated new gaming system of 2021, that was until it got delayed and pushed to early 2022. Well, in an interview, Valve has doubled down and confirmed that early buyers should see their Steam Decks arrive in February of next year.
In an interview with PC Gamer, Valve's Greg Coomer said that the company is confident with its current launch schedule.
"We do feel like we're on track for that," said Coomer. "We're still bummed that we had to move from end of this year to beginning of next. But yeah, all the signs are pointing to us being able to ship in February."
While this is not new news, it's a comforting reaffirmation for those that had been patiently awaiting the Steam Deck after it was announced earlier this year. Of course, this begs the question: is it still worth ordering a Steam Deck?
Should you still pre-order the Steam Deck?
Interestingly, it seems that Valve will have an opposite launch rhythm when compared to other console releases as it's releasing via Steam directly. For example, when the PS5 launched, it had a huge amount of supply on day-one for major retailers. But following launch day, volume likely had never reached those initial day-one targets. But in Steam Deck's case, the launch day drop will not be its largest push.
"We're going to have a launch that looks like a significant number of users right out of the gate, and then build that over time, rather than having the biggest splash on day one and then generally declining after that," Coomer said. "If you extend the timeline out through 2022 and all the way to 2023, we expect to be building on our numbers constantly throughout that whole time, to the point where there's many millions of customers if things go the way we think they will, who are using Steam Deck by the end of that year or so, through 2023."
Valve has identified certain "high risk" parts that had been difficult to get a hold of. Although, it seems that Valve has now secured suppliers.
This makes us hopeful for decent supply throughout 2022. Meaning that those who pre-order, even as late as now, should still see their handhelds land in mid-2022. Just don't expect it before Q2 of 2022. Regardless, the sooner you pre-order, the sooner you should be able to get your hands on a system. You can reserve a Steam Deck now if you put down $5 for the deposit.
"It's a real product launch, so many thousands of people right away are going to receive Decks as soon as we're able to ship them," Coomer said. "But even talking about thousands would be quite low compared to the volumes we're shooting for in the first few months."