While the Valve Steam Deck has been in early adopters’ hands since February 25, there are plenty of people who reserved a unit within minutes of orders going live who have yet to hear anything. Valve is aware of the frustrations of those desperate to give the company their hard-earned cash, and has revealed that shipments will be “ramping up” from this week.
Acknowledging that we’re now in Q2 — when plenty of peoples’ original estimated shipping dates land — the company offered the good news on Twitter. “Starting today we're ramping up Steam Deck shipments, and will be sending more order availability emails every week,” the company wrote. “Sometimes even twice a week!”
Welcome to Q2! We've just sent out the first set of order emails to Q2 reservers (in order of reservation time). Starting today we're ramping up Steam Deck shipments, and will be sending more order availability emails every week. Sometimes even twice a week! pic.twitter.com/54TAoCQXfdApril 4, 2022
This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, given the company has outlined this roadmap in previous communications. Back in February, Valve’s Lawrence Yang said something similar in an interview with IGN. “We imagine that the launch is going to ramp,” he said, sticking his arm out to mirror a chart showing sharp growth.
“In production terms, it’ll ramp very quickly. In the first month — very quickly — we’ll be in the tens of thousands. By the second month, we’ll be in the hundreds of thousands. And beyond that, it will grow even quicker.”
In a follow-up tweet, the official account added more specific timeframes to give those with reservations a better idea of when their turn will come. “No reservation windows have been changed or delayed, only some additional info,” the company wrote. You can see your revised estimate on this page.
For those without a reservation, you may still get one in 2022, if you’re keen, but it’s not guaranteed. All three Steam Deck models are listed with availability of “October 2022 or later” if you put down your reservation fee today.
Worth the wait?
While that’s good news for those with orders already in place, should you join the queue at this point? That’s very much up to you, but while the Steam Deck has garnered pretty strong reviews from lucky early adopters, the long lead-in time now may make you think twice — especially as it's been such a runaway success that Valve will invariably be thinking about an improved follow-up.
Indeed, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell has already openly speculated about what a Steam Deck 2 might look like. “The second iterations are going to be more about: what are the capabilities that mobile gives us, above and beyond what you would get in a traditional desktop or laptop gaming environment?,” he said.
“One of the things [Steam Deck] represents is battery-capable, high-performance horsepower that eventually you could use in VR applications as well,” he continued. “You can take the PC and build something that is much more transportable. We're not really there yet, but this is a stepping stone.”
While there’s no indication that such hardware is coming in the next 18 months, would-be buyers may want to hold off and see exactly how a second generation can improve on the strong building blocks of the first. Especially if those wait times don’t come down with this new, ramped up production.