Valve disrupted the industry a few weeks ago when it revealed the Steam Deck, its hybrid-style portable PC. The Nintendo Switch lookalike has been well-received due to featuring an impressive spec sheet in a compact size. However, it looks like excited consumers will have to wait a little while to get their hands on the Steam Deck, because the release date remains unclear.
As soon as the Steam Deck was announced, pre-orders went live and Valve revealed that shipments would begin in December 2021. Consumers already knew they wouldn’t get their units until the end of the year and the beginning of 2022. But now, Valve’s reservation page for the new system indicates that units won’t become available until Q2 2022. According to the Gregorian calendar, the second quarter of the year falls between the first of April and the last day of June. In other words, it seems as though Steam Deck owners won’t get their consoles until springtime/summertime of 2022. Interestingly, this only seems to apply to the more expensive models.
Take notice of the fine print. The cheaper model is specifically stated to be available after Q2 2022. This is very much likely due to initial pre-order numbers being higher for the cheaper model in comparison to the more expensive offerings.
It’s not very surprising to see this happen. Since last year, the entire tech industry has been faced with a massive global semiconductor shortage, brought on as a result of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has affected the release and production of many gadgets, including graphics cards, and the next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft. Though supply chains have improved slightly, the overall slowdown has not been entirely eliminated and is expected to continue for a while. Thus, Valve’s decision to provide an ambiguous release date at this point seems appropriate to avoid getting consumers’ hopes up too high, too soon.