Steam Deck customers will have to wait a while for their units to arrive. PCGamer today reported that Valve updated the handheld gaming device's reservation page to say that even the entry-level model's availability has slipped to "after Q2 2022."
All three Steam Deck models—the base model with 64GB of eMMC storage, the mid-level option with a 256GB NVMe SSD, and the high-end model with a 512GB NVMe SSD—were scheduled to ship in December when reservations opened on July 16.
Valve's estimated availability window for the two higher-end models quickly slipped to 2022, however, and then to the second quarter of 2022. Now the reservation page on the Steam Deck site says all three models will be available sometime after that.
PCGamer noted that Valve previously said in what quarter it expected each Steam Deck model to be available. Now the company's being more vague. "After Q2 2022" could mean anytime from the third quarter to, well, the heat death of the universe.
That ambiguity is justifiable. It's hard to predict when hardware products will debut even when there isn't a global chip shortage, the looming possibility of another COVID-19 surge, and other unusual challenges. Valve's simply being cautious.
It seems like existing Steam Deck reservations will still become available in their allotted time frame, which should be good news for early adopters. And scalpers, who were asking for as much as $5,000 before they were kicked off eBay. That ban was temporary, though, so listings will pop back up as the device's launch nears.