is making all kinds of strides with its Steam Deck handheld
, from crushing bugs and improving the overall experience, to ramping up shipments and validating more games from its Steam catalog. This is turning into a lesson on how to successfully launch a hardware product, and during a lingering shortage of silicon, no less.
Ordering a Steam Deck works on a reservation system. You log into your Steam account, choose the version you want from the three available SKUs, then place a $5 reservation. Then when it's ready to ship out, Valve sends out an email to complete your purchase, at which point the Steam Deck is packaged up and shipped.
The first wave of shipments went out in late February, and now Valve is sending out more units to those who reserved for the Q2 time frame.
That's impressive, considering we're just a few days into the second quarter. Even better, Valve says it is "ramping up Steam Deck shipments" and expects to send order availability emails on a weekly basis, or even twice a week.
This suggests Valve's manufacturing partner and supply chain have been able to increase production. And while we're hesitant to get too optimistic, it could also be a sign that the shortage of silicon as a whole is finally starting to ease. We say this because GPUs have started to trend downward in price
and become somewhat less elusive as well.
New Steam Deck Reservations Will Be Fulfilled In October Or Later
As it pertains to the Steam Deck, Valve has also updated the reservation page to be a little more clear on when new orders might ship. Instead of simply saying "After Q2" or some such, Valve now attaches a month. For example, the current status for the all three models (64GB, 256GB, and 512GB) all state, "After Q3 (October 2022 or later)."
It doesn't really narrow things down much, or at all. But at least now we know we're on the same page as Valve, as to when quarters begin and end.
Valve also continues to make quick work of testing games in its Steam library for its Steak Deck Verified program
. At the time of this writing, SteamDB shows 2,056 titles are labeled as Verified (1,068) or Playable (988), the total of which has doubled since in less than a month. The database also shows 1,032 titles labeled as Unsupported, so Valve has tested at least 3,088 games so far.