Valve Says Steam Deck Will No Longer Ship in Time for the Holidays

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It’s a sad day for anyone who was planning to while away the holidays with a shiny new Steam Deck. Valve has announced that its upcoming handheld gaming machine won’t launch on time. Instead of reaching gamers in time for the holidays, the launch has been pushed back to February 2022. You can thank the messy global supply chain for the delay. 

The Steam Deck looks a bit like a Nintendo Switch, but it’s a beefier piece of hardware that can play PC games that run on the Linux-based Steam OS. Valve opened pre-orders a few months back, saying that the first wave of orders would ship in December. However, the projected shipping date began slipping for those who didn’t get in the queue at the earliest possible moment. That should have been a warning sign that the timeline was iffy, to say the least. 

A device like the Steam Deck requires numerous components from different suppliers, and many of them, like chips, are severely constrained. Valve has apologized for the delay, saying, “We’re sorry about this—we did our best to work around the global supply chain issues, but due to material shortages, components aren’t reaching our manufacturing facilities in time for us to meet our initial launch dates.” 

As of now, the projected shipping date for the Steam Deck is February 2022. That’s just for the earliest pre-orders, though. Everyone keeps their place in the queue, so it might be a few more months before the orders that came in later are ready. If you didn’t pre-order one but still want a Steam Deck, get ready for some waiting. Valve doesn’t expect to have any additional units to sell until later in 2022. Previously, it was saying Q2, but that timeline may have been affected by the latest delays. 

This is not the first delay for the Steam Deck. Over the summer, Valve had to adjust the timeline for the base model console, which sports just 64GB of eMMC storage. The more expensive NVMe models with 256 and 512GB of storage were not affected at the time. It’s unclear if the different models will have different fulfillment schedules now that shipping won’t even start until February. On the plus side, this could give developers more time to prepare for the Steam Deck. Valve will have a verification program that will tell you which games work best on the handheld. Valve says most games it has tested have no trouble maintaining 30FPS on the Steam Deck.

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