Update: Valve says Steam Deck pre-orders "on track" for February — but there's a catch.
With the Steam Deck, Valve has taken the unusual (and welcome) step of including a carry case in the box. Now, Valve has given us a first look of what this looks like, alongside pictures of the packaging, which should appeal to fans of unboxing videos.
The picture at the top of the page shows the carry case open, with the lid molded to neatly fit the two analogue sticks. Valve says this is the design for the 64- and 256GB versions, so it’s possible that the top-end 512GB model will ship with something more jazzy.
There doesn’t seem to be space for the power pack, but given the Steam Deck charges via USB-C that doesn’t seem like the end of the world.
And here it is closed: a stylish if nondescript case ready to be (carefully) slung in your bag for a trip on the road.
Steam Deck packaging
A road trip isn’t the only time for some Steam Deck time, according to Valve’s playfully tongue-in-cheek packaging, which also suggests a whole bunch of other possible play locations: “on the subway," “on a ferris wheel," “in a submarine," “in a test chamber” and “on the moon” are just some of the multi-lingual suggestions.
And for completeness’ sake, here’s the closed box, complete with safety notices. Is that a companion cube I spy?
“Please do not use the shipping box as an umbrella, smash on the ground, or use as a magnet,” Valve adds, helpfully.
When is the Steam Deck coming?
When you’ll actually have a Steam Deck in your hands remains a little unclear, of course. Last month, pre-orders due this year were pushed back to February on account of the familiar refrain of supply chain issues, and purchases made now simply have the expected delivery date of “after Q2 2022.” That’s concerningly vague given it could just as easily mean “a little after” or “2023 or later” for all we know. Valve did recently double down on its February launch in a recent interview, however.
But the good news is that you won’t be missing out on any Steam Deck exclusives: Valve has made it clear that bespoke software exclusively for the Steam Deck isn’t on the cards. Though that doesn’t mean the company couldn’t make games that show off the handheld’s power.