The past few years have been testing gamers’ patience, with everything from the OLED Nintendo Switch to the PS5 to the Analogue Pocket seeing delays as a result of the pandemic. Valve’s Steam Deck also fell victim—the company announced shipping delays back in November—but today the company said that the eagerly anticipated console will finally ship next month.
The Steam Deck is a portable console reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch but with more horsepower, which allows it to play PC games from the Steam library. It was originally supposed to ship by December of last year, but as a result of the global chip crunch, Valve pushed the release back by two months. It looks like the last of the delays, though, because Valve said it will start shipping consoles on Feb. 28.
Valve opened reservations for the Steam Deck last July. Steam users were given first priority to claim one of the portable gaming systems with a $5 reservation fee. Valve will be sending out emails starting at 10 a.m. PT on Feb. 25 to those who reserved a unit, in the same order reservations were placed. Customers can finally preorder (pay for) the Steam Deck version they reserved once that email arrives, but only have three days to do so, after which their reservation will be released to the next person waiting in line.
The first devices will start arriving on buyers’ doorsteps on Feb. 28, but depending on where you live, you could be subjected to ongoing pandemic-related shipping delays. The Steam Deck will be initially available in the U.S., Canada, the European Union, and the UK. If you placed a reservation, it might be time to set up a Feb. 25 calendar reminder to start checking your email spam folder just in case your preorder link gets flagged. You’ve waited this long—why risk losing your reservation?