Valve’s Steam Deck Finally Has a Release Date

Valve’s Steam Deck Finally Has a Release Date
Image: Valve Corporation

The past few years have been testing gamers’ patience, with everything from the OLED Nintendo Switch to the PS5 to the Analogue Pocket seeing delays as a result of the pandemic. Valve’s Steam Deck also fell victim — the company announced shipping delays back in November — but today the company has given us a release date: the eagerly anticipated console will finally ship next month.

The Steam Deck is a portable console reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch but with more horsepower, which allows it to play PC games from the Steam library. It was originally supposed to ship by December of last year, but as a result of the global chip crunch, Valve pushed the release back by two months. It looks like the last of the delays, though, because Valve said it will start shipping consoles on February 28. But there’s a catch for those of us in Australia.

Valve opened reservations for the Steam Deck last July. Steam users were given first priority to claim one of the portable gaming systems with a $US5 reservation fee. Valve will be sending out emails starting at 10 a.m. PT on February 25 to those who reserved a unit, in the same order reservations were placed. Customers can finally preorder (pay for) the Steam Deck version they reserved once that email arrives, but only have three days to do so, after which their reservation will be released to the next person waiting in line.

The first devices will start arriving on buyers’ doorsteps on February 28, but depending on where you live, you could be subjected to ongoing pandemic-related shipping delays. The Steam Deck will be initially available in the U.S., Canada, the European Union and the UK. Valve has outlined some rough estimates as to when you can expect the Steam Deck in other markets, but it’s basically “after Q2 2022”. Sorry pals, we don’t have an exact region release date down under just yet.

There is a workaround, though. You’ll need a VPN set to an American location – after setting this, the order page should unlock and you should be able to preorder when stock becomes available. This is the same thing Aussies had to do to get the Valve Index early. So yes, it’s possible to get the Steam Deck in Australia, but it’s best to fully understand what that might mean for small things like access and charging and big things like your consumer protections and warranties.

We don’t want to get your hopes up, but it’s important to add a few dollars to the conversion from USD to AUD when considering how much the Steam Deck will set you back. Consider shipping when making a purchase, too, especially if you’re going to do a region release dodge and order it from the U.S.

Steam Deck estimated cost:

  • The cheapest option is $US399 (converted, that’s around $555), packed with 64GB eMMC internal storage and a carrying case.
  • The mid-range model is $US529 (around the $740 mark, straight conversion), packing 256GB SSD internal storage, a carrying case and a Steam Community profile bundle (for your Steam profile).
  • Finally, the most expensive model is $US649 (converted, the price for the top-tier Steam Deck is $903, so likely tipping $1,000), complete with 512GB NVME storage capacity, anti-glare etched glass, an “exclusive” carrying case, an exclusive steam community profile bundle and an exclusive virtual keyboard theme.

This article has been updated since it was first published and we will update it again the moment we have Australian Steam Deck release date.