Steam Deck Still On Track For February Launch, According To Valve

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Production shortages and shipping delays continue to wreak havoc on the tech industry, but here’s the good news: Valve is optimistic that the Steam bridge will not need any further delay after its scheduled launch in February.

“We think we’re on the right track for this,” Valve designer Greg Coomer said in an interview with PC Gamer Thursday. “We’re still disappointed that we had to move from late this year to early next year. But yes, all signs are pointing to the fact that we can ship in February.”

When Valve first opened pre-orders for the Steam Deck, shipping estimates quickly jumped from the launch window to several months later, a symptom of the supply chain problems that hardware companies face. With that in mind, I asked Coomer what kind of numbers Valve will actually be able to ship in February.

“This is a real product launch, thousands of people are going to be receiving Decks immediately as soon as we can ship them,” Coomer said. “But even talking about thousands would be pretty low compared to the volumes we’re shooting at in the first few months.”

Valve did not reveal how many Steam Deck pre-orders it got, but Coomer did point out that Steam Deck’s launch is different from many other hardware launches, where companies have to supply thousands of retail stores. . At this time, the Deck is only sold through Steam.

“We’re going to have a launch that looks like a significant number of users from the start and then build it over time, rather than having the biggest splash on day one, and then generally shrinking after that,” he said. he declared. “If you extend the timeline to 2022 and into 2023, we plan to consistently rely on our numbers throughout that time frame, to the point where there will be several million customers if things go the way we do. think, who use Steam Deck by the end of the year, until 2023. “

The bottleneck for Valve isn’t producing the Steam Deck itself, but rather getting all the parts needed for the system. I asked if Coomer could explain the types of shortages that hardware makers have faced over the past couple of years, and he said with shortages in mind, the Steam Deck team identified approximately 50 components that were “high risk” – potentially difficult to obtain in the amounts they would need. Team members have gone to great lengths to ensure that they have commitments from manufacturing partners and that these parts will actually appear on time.

“The main reason we had to go from the end of this year to the start of the next is that a few of those parts were really hard to get on time,” Coomer said. “They ended up being late. It really boiled down to a few. They fall into the category of microchip type integrated circuits that are hard to come by from multiple sources, and when a lot of people claim those parts, everything as cars had these shortages with specific integrated circuits – we were in a similar situation. “

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