Consumers in a handful of countries in East Asia will finally be able to order a Steam Deck through the online retailer Komodo. Would-be buyers can begin pre-ordering on December 1, while the first shipments from Komodo are expected to begin on December 17.
The clouds are beginning to part (we hope) after the chip-shortage which has plagued almost every technology industry from automobiles to video games and that means the Steam Deck is available in even greater supply. Just last month Valve announced that reservations were no longer required to get your hands on the latest portable PC rig. Now buyers in East Asia will be offered the same convenience, or at least buyers in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea.
Valve first revealed the Steam Deck in July of last year, offering a handheld device that would allow players to take their PC games on the go similar to the Nintendo Switch. Until now, laptops have generally been considered portable PC gaming; but for games on a laptop you’ll typically need a couple peripherals and some desk space unless you’re playing something like a puzzle game or point and click adventure.
Since the console’s release, Valve has been hard at work promoting the Steam Deck ever since it launched back in February. Many games on Steam are labeled as “Steam Deck Verified” meaning they’ve been tested to work properly when launched on the console. Many anticipated games like Sonic Frontiers are also verifying their games on the console before or shortly after launch in order to appeal to as many consumers as possible.
Steam has also added virtual keyboards for the Steam Deck to their recently added Points Shop. Points are a new currency added to Steam to purchase little cosmetics for your Steam profile such as animated avatars, wallpapers, and even additional modules so you can show off all your rare achievements on your page. Players earn points simply by spending money buying games on Steam; user-created Marketplace purchases don’t count.
It seems Steam Deck will have some staying power among gamers, while other companies with eccentric products like Google’s Stadia have been met with less success. Valve has proven their staying power as both an online retailer and now a console producer. With Japan being one of the larger markets for video games and the home of many game publishers, it will be interesting to see how Valve’s console is received in the East Asian market.