The popularity of the Steam Deck handheld has become highly evident in recent weeks. For the last five weeks, Valve's AMD Aerith APU-powered portable was second in the top seller by revenue charts. However, it managed to move up to the number one spot over the weekend.
Competition for the pinnacle of best-selling games on Steam by revenue chart is intense. In its favor, the Steam Deck has a big ticket price of at least $399, but many will be opting for a higher-spec model, probably bringing the average price paid to $500+.
One of the biggest competitors in the chart's top three over recent weeks has undoubtedly been Elden Ring, published by Bandai. In mid-March, it was noted that this new title, very popular on PCs (accounting for 44% of sales in Europe), had sold 12 million copies in three weeks. However, at the time of writing, the game is still priced at over $50 online.
Given the above, one could reasonably estimate that selling a million copies of Elden Ring would bring approximately the same revenue as selling 100,000 Steam Deck handhelds. Figures of this scale could be possible for Elden Ring, but we can't be sure as it has been a few weeks since the game publishers updated us on sales figures. Unfortunately, Valve doesn't publicly share Steam Deck order numbers.
Valve and hardware haven't always been happy bedfellows. We probably don't have to remind regular readers of the sad fate of Steam Machines and peripherals like the Steam Controller and Steam Link. However, it looks like the Steam Deck has put Valve's previous misadventures to good use. There is quite a lot of venerable tech leveraged in the new portable and its OS.
If you are interested in the Steam Deck but not entirely sure what the fuss is about, please check out our benchmarks and hands-on first impressions feature from last month. In the meantime, there are very frequent news stories about expanded PC games library support (better compatibility), plus enhancements like AMD Adrenalin, Cloud Sync, new Windows drivers, and more.
Unfortunately, it isn't that easy to secure a Steam Deck at the current time. Valve has a pre-order system, and you will have to wait until an expected shipment date of "October 2022 or later" if you click the reservation button today (all variants). Valve recently said that it was "ramping up" Steam Deck deliveries and added that "no reservation windows have been changed or delayed."