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Steam Is Buckling Under Steam Deck Pre-Orders

Image of the Valve Steam Deck
(Image credit: Valve)

Steam, Valve's online gaming storefront, is buckling under the pressure of gamers rushing to reserve the Steam Deck, its upcoming handheld gaming device that will ship in December starting at $399.

Social media is awash with reports of crashes, the site not accepting credit cards, and people being told they're trying too many times and to come back hours later. In some cases, users with decade-plus old Steam accounts are told they're not eligible to reserve a system, even though the requirement was purchasing something before June 2021.

Here's a very small snippet of issues users are seeing:

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Reservations seemingly came very quickly. Already, all three configurations are showing that new reservations likely won't ship until Q1 2022 for the base and mid-tier versions and Q2 of 2022 for the top-end.

Valve Steam Deck pre-orders

(Image credit: Valve)


Issues with pre-ordering high-demand products aren't anything new. We saw it for the Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5 and all of the latest graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD. Issues with online pre-ordering is a bit of a ritual by now.

However, there are also success stories. Two Tom's Hardware staffers managed to snag a reservation, and there are slowly more people bragging on Twitter.

Valve's reservations include a $5 fee that goes towards the purchase of the system, so the credit card processing is also getting hammered. But based on the stories coming up, it seems that it may be working to ensure gamers, not scalpers, get systems. Still, there are also a handful of listings on eBay with sellers promising to turn their $5 pre-orders into eventual flips.

Updated July 16, 2:40 p.m. ET with news that new orders are likely to be fulfilled in 2022.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex. among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE

  • -Fran-
    I put mine in with no issues :)

    I am in the UK though, so I'd imagine different regions are getting different loads... I hope everyone that wants one gets a chance to reserve one. I for one am very interested in getting my hands on it.

    Regards.
    Reply
  • ConfusedCounsel
    People or bots? I am guessing it's bots flooding the system with pre-orders to fill scalpers' shelves on eBay just in time for Christmas.

    Seriously, it is time White House put a stop to this behavior. There is a law on books here in the US. 50 US Code 4512. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/4512 It requires the President to instate it for a particular product. Doubt, Biden will.
    Reply
  • namtrooper81
    Don't understand why people want this really...
    Reply
  • daworstplaya
    namtrooper81 said:
    Don't understand why people want this really...

    ^This!
    Reply
  • Giroro
    I thought about putting in a preorder, but I decided against it. It seemed like a bad idea to put even $5 down when nobody knows how the hardware performs, nor if the screen/controls/battery are any good.

    Plus, Valve has had terrible luck with hardware. For all I know, in a couple years they'll have another fire sale to clear these out for the cost of shipping.
    Reply
  • Eximo
    Tons of platformers and indie titles that lend themselves well to a handheld console. Audience here is PCMR with an emphasis on AAA titles for the most part.

    My brother bought an Ouya, that lasted all of 12 minutes...I guess the Nintendo switch is the successor to that and the Nvidia Shield.
    Reply
  • Blacksad999
    ConfusedCounsel said:
    People or bots? I am guessing it's bots flooding the system with pre-orders to fill scalpers' shelves on eBay just in time for Christmas.

    Seriously, it is time White House put a stop to this behavior. There is a law on books here in the US. 50 US Code 4512. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/4512 It requires the President to instate it for a particular product. Doubt, Biden will.

    That's generally reserved for items that people can't reasonably live without. Food, Water, etc. A luxury good like a portable gaming console doesn't really apply there. XD
    Reply
  • ConfusedCounsel
    Blacksad999 said:
    That's generally reserved for items that people can't reasonably live without. Food, Water, etc. A luxury good like a portable gaming console doesn't really apply there. XD

    True. I, however, could easily make a straight face argument that CPUs and GPUs (required for CPUs without integrated graphics) are essential items, especially with online school and remote working to combat pandemic. My daughters school district was frantically attempting to find computers for those children who lacked them last year. Maryland reported severely diminished test scores amongst low income children without access to computers or high-speed internet. Additionally, broadband access to all is part of the infrastructure plan, being argued as an essential. Obviously, broadband does little good without a computer to connect.

    My fear is with the Delta variant, increasing infection and hospitalization rates amongst the unvaccinated, and the lack of a vaccine for children under 12 will cause schools to close again.

    My comment was mostly directed to CPU/GPU scalping. Perhaps this was the wrong thread to post it. Apologies for the confusion.
    Reply
  • Blacksad999
    ConfusedCounsel said:
    True. I, however, could easily make a straight face argument that CPUs and GPUs (required for CPUs without integrated graphics) are essential items, especially with online school and remote working to combat pandemic. My daughters school district was frantically attempting to find computers for those children who lacked them last year. Maryland reported severely diminished test scores amongst low income children without access to computers or high-speed internet. Additionally, broadband access to all is part of the infrastructure plan, being argued as an essential. Obviously, broadband does little good without a computer to connect.

    My fear is with the Delta variant, increasing infection and hospitalization rates amongst the unvaccinated, and the lack of a vaccine for children under 12 will cause schools to close again.

    My comment was mostly directed to CPU/GPU scalping. Perhaps this was the wrong thread to post it. Apologies for the confusion.

    I'd be willing to bet schools will close again, and we'll also see another lockdown. 100% due to the fact that people are adverse to getting vaccinated, but also because people just can't act responsibly in general. Here in California, as soon as they loosened up even the slightest amount, bars were packed wall to wall and restaurants at full capacity even though they weren't supposed to be. Now cases are spiking like crazy, even amongst the vaccinated. They had to reinstate inside mask mandates just the other day at the state capitol because 15 vaccinated lawmakers tested positive for the Delta variant. Off topic rant, sorry. lol

    Yeah, internet should be scheduled as a utility in the infrastructure imo. You can't really do a whole lot in the modern world without it. Paying bills or looking for a job are incredibly difficult without it.
    Reply
  • ConfusedCounsel
    Blacksad999 said:
    Off topic rant, sorry. lol

    @Blacksad999 We all deserver a rant or two after COVID.
    Reply