Valve announced today that initial shipments for its Steam Deck handheld have been delayed. Shipping was originally supposed to start in December 2021, these first orders have now been postponed to 2022. The delay is by and large not massive, but this is another example of new hardware missing its original launch window due to supply chain issues and global scarcity.
Steam Deck Delay: When orders start shipping
Valve has confirmed that the first Steam Deck orders will be shipped in February 2022. We don’t have an exact release date beyond that, but then again, we’ve never had a specific date for the original launch in December either. In a post to Steam today, Valve said the new shipping window is based on its “updated build estimates”.
“The launch of Steam Deck will be delayed by two months” Valve said today. “We’re sorry – we’ve done our best to circumvent global supply chain issues, but due to material shortages, components are not reaching our manufacturing facilities in time to meet our first time to market.”
Users don’t have to do anything after this delay, as Valve says everyone will keep their place in the queue, but the entire queue will be postponed for two months. If you pre-ordered a Steam Deck, you can check the updated availability estimate for your order by going to the Steam Deck page.
Another one bites the grass
Unfortunately, the Steam Deck is the latest in a long line of hardware to be hit by lag. We owe all of this to a global silicon shortage, and so far there are no indications that this will weaken significantly in the foreseeable future. We’d been grappling with this shortage for so long at this point that there were some questions about whether Valve was struggling with delivery bottlenecks when the Steam Deck was first announced in the summer.
Valve is in good company here, however, and we don’t even have to leave the video game realm to find multiple examples of hardware affected by these issues. For example, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are both hard-to-find consoles a year after their release. Even Nintendo managed to join the fight on the launch of the Switch OLED, which is also hard to find right now.
We have even seen more niche hardware manufacturers struggling with delivery bottlenecks in the past few months. Analogue’s upcoming FPGA-based handheld, the Pocket, has faced numerous delays, which have now postponed the first shipments to December 2021, even though these handhelds were ordered in August 2020.
While it hurts to hear that the Steam Deck has been postponed, given the global situation, it’s not exactly surprising. We’ll inform you that Valve is making further announcements about the availability of Steam Decks, but for now, expect the first orders to ship out sometime in February 2021.
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