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Valve's Steam Deck Handheld Gaming PC Launches February 25

Valve Steam Deck
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Valve's Steam Deck is one of the most highly anticipated new hardware releases of 2022. The handheld gaming PC was initially supposed to launch during the closing days of 2021, but Valve announced in early November that it wouldn't ship until February 2022. Today, Valve was more specific, saying the console will "launch" on Feb 25 at 10 am PST.

We put launch in quotes because Valve defines this date as when it will start sending out the first wave of order emails to customers currently holding a reservation. Once customers receive an order email, they'll have 72 hours to complete the purchase. If you fail to act within the allotted time, your order will be released to the next person in the queue. Given how amped people are about this release, we don't think this will be a problem.

After going through the order process, Valve says that the first Steam Decks will ship out to customers beginning February 28. After the initial batch of order emails is sent, Valve says that it expects to continue sending out new weekly batches as it works through the backlog.

Valve Steam Deck

(Image credit: Valve)

The company does note that the order emails will be sent to the same address attached to the initial reservation. You also will only be able to order the exact system config that you reserved back in 2021. Finally, your deposit amount taken at the time of the reservation will apply to the full cost of the Steam Deck.

Valve also says that publications will receive review units within the coming months, with embargo lifting on launch day. So, the lucky first wave of reservation holders will have three days from when the first reviews hit until their order window closes. That should be plenty of time to make a final buying decision. 

The Steam Deck is powered by a custom AMD Ryzen-based APU (Zen 2, 4-core/8-thread) paired with an RDNA 2 GPU (8 compute units) and 16GB LPDDR5 RAM. The handheld is dominated by a 7-inch 1280x800 display that is flanked by dual touchpads, dual thumbsticks, a directional pad, and four primary buttons. You'll also find a bevy of triggers, shoulder buttons, and a high-speed microSD slot.

The base $399 system comes with 64GB of eMMC, while the mid-range $529 SKU comes with a 256GB NVMe SSD. The range-topping $649 SKU adds a 512GB NVMe SSD. Be sure to check out our hands-on preview of the Steam Deck.

Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.