Valve has shared an update on the status of their Steam Deck orders in Asia.
In particular, these are for the markets in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Valve basically committed to getting all orders in these markets that were reserved before December 1, 2022, to get shipped before the end of the year.
It’s been quite a trip for the Steam Deck, so to speak. Way back when it was announced last year, excitement was at a fever pitch for this new device that seemed to threaten all the console companies, especially Nintendo, by undercutting Nintendo’s Switch on price, while delivering enough power to run games that were playable on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles.
While the platform received glowing reviews and critical acclaim, Valve found selling the console a different matter altogether. Even with issues with manufacturing and chip supplies taken into account, it was essentially Valve’s inexperience that turned out to be the greatest stumbling block to their platform’s launch.
Very few units were available on the onset, even after Valve limited what regions would be able to get the console directly. Their very reservation system, which was put in place because demand outstripped supply, gave their customers problems from ordering the Steam Deck for themselves, leading to scalpers taking advantage.
As we now know, Valve did manage to get over their launch jitters, but it took a very long time. They weren’t able to announce bringing the Steam Deck to more regions until earlier this year. In fact, orders for Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan weren’t available until November 30.
So, these orders that Valve is updating their customers on now, were entered within a span of 24 hours. It has taken them a little over two weeks to start shipping for those orders. Even though there’s little time left, it is a good sign that they can commit to getting those orders out before the end of the month, and of course, the year.
Where Steam Deck is going moving forward should be more positive. Valve is in a similar position to Sony, where both companies are catching up to the pent up demand for their respective platforms. However, Sony has the resources and distribution network to accommodate a 400 % increase in shipments of their PlayStation 5.
Furthermore, while Valve was dealing with manufacturing and shipping issues, other companies had sought to capitalize with their own handheld console computers. We reported on Android based competitors, like the Razer Edge and Pimax Portal. There are also more powerful Windows handhled devices, many of which now run on the bleeding edge Ryzen 6800U. Companies like AYN, AYANEO, and GPD are each coming out with these devices, in a variety of form factors and prices.
Most of them may be more expensive than the Steam Deck, but they have all been incredibly successful themselves. And with the fast iteration of the companies making them, they have already far outstripped the Steam Deck on performance.
All of this is why there is talk of a Steam Deck 2. This coming year promises to be interesting for this space, as while Nintendo will definitely keep its captive audience of Nintendo fans, Valve is up for a bigger fight, with a lot of smaller companies game to eat Valve’s lunch.