Valve's Steam Deck Handheld Gaming PC Is Definitely Shipping In February, Probably
The upcoming Steam Deck is one of the most anticipated handheld systems in a long time, in part because it has the backing of Valve and its Steam digital distribution platform. But will it arrive on time? No, because it was originally scheduled to start shipping in December. However, after delaying shipments to February, Valve offered up an update saying it is still on track to deliver the first batch next month.
Valve had initially pushed back shipments of the first batch of Steam Deck consoles because of "material shortages." Fortunately, the delay only consisted of a few weeks, assuming Valve is actually able to start shipping the consoles the by end of next month. And the company is confident it will, despite contending with a "global pandemic, supply issues, and shipping issues."
"In parallel, work and testing for the Steam Deck Verified program has been underway. You’ll soon be able to see Deck Verified status for a growing set of Steam games. We’re checking four major categories: input, seamlessness, display, and system support," Valve stated in a blog post.
Valve also noted the importance of giving developers time to test their games and earn that coveted green Verified checkmark, and says it has been sending out Steam Deck developer kits (pictured above) "in quantity." It's readying another wave of developer kits too, after having shipped out "hundreds" in the last month alone.
For anyone who hasn't been following, the Steam Deck is a handheld gaming console with PC guts. It's based on a custom AMD chip with a 4-core/8-thread Zen 2 CPU clocked at 2.4GHz to 3.5GHz, and an RDNA 2 GPU with 8 compute units running at 1GHz to 1.6GHz. It also boasts 16GB of LPDDR5-5500 RAM.
The cheapest model ($399) offers up 64GB of eMMC storage, while the two higher end SKUs bump up to faster NVMe storage—256GB ($529) and 512GB ($649). The 512GB model carries a "high-speed NVMe" designation. All three feature a 7-inch LCD touchscreen with a 1280x800 resolution and 60Hz refresh rate.