Valve's Steam Deck was set for a December 2021 release, but pre-orders were pushed back to 2022 so for now we have to soothe ourselves with images released by Valve on the Steam Community blog. The images in question being the final packaging and case for the delayed portable games console. There is also a small morsel of news. The prototype units are now moving forwards and units from the Design Validation (DV) phase will be sent out as developer units.
Capable of carrying both the 64GB and 256GB versions of Steam Deck (full specs of the AMD Aerith APU that will power the Deck were released earlier this month) the case is, remarkably, black and made from what looks like nylon, with a ridged texture running across its darkly mysterious surface. Inside the case are impressions used to protect the screen and sticks from accidents. The Steam Deck logo is picked out in silver in the center. We're not sure if this is the exclusive carrying case bundled with the 512GB NVMe SSD model, most likely this is the standard case found in the 64GB eMMC and 256GB NVMe SSD.
The cardboard box, on the other hand, is completely different - it’s made of cardboard, in the traditional brown, with a Steam Deck logo on the side along with warnings not to get it wet or place it on top of a companion cube. It holds both the Steam Deck (in its case) and its power adapter. It also appears that ‘Your Games Are Going Places’ is the tagline of choice.
The other news, sneaked out behind the bright flashbulbs of the packaging reveal, is that the Deck has passed the design validation phase, the final prototype stage before production. Improvements have been made since the second evaluation (EV2) build, and any changes now made before the Deck’s release in February will be minor. The units from DV will be used for additional testing, with any tweaks reflecting the final product.