If you wanted to see what all the Steam Deck fuss is about in 2021, you're going to be out of luck: Valve has announced that the portable gaming PC will no longer launch this year, and will instead start shipping in February 2022.
Even if you hustled and managed to get a highly sought-after pre-order for Valve's punchy little handheld PC in when they went live earlier this year, you're going to have to wait until 2022 to actually get your hands on the device.
Your Christmas may be a bit quieter, then, since the machine was supposed to start shipping in December. If you want to point fingers at something for ruining the holidays, blame the on-going global supply chain crisis.
"We’re sorry about this — we did our best to work around the global supply chain issues, but due to material shortages, components aren’t reaching our manufacturing facilities in time for us to meet our initial launch dates," Valve explained in a blog post.
It seems that those that ordered the console in the earliest window (who would have receieved it in December) are now seeing Q1 2022 estimates for shipping, whilst consumers that got in a bit later are seeing Q2 2022 shipping estimates. So it's all a bit of a mess. This is probably because Valve is still fairly uncertain about the logistics of getting the components together.
"While we did our best to account for the global supply chain issues (by which we mean we factored in extra time to account for these risks and worked with multiple component vendors) our manufacturing plans were still impacted," Valve explained. "Material shortages and delays meant that components weren't making it to our manufacturing facilities on time. Missing parts along with logistical challenges means delayed Steam Decks, so we needed to push out shipping by two months to February."
And just because you got an order in, that doesn't necesarily mean you're going to get a console. Valve said that it intends to "make every effort to convert all reservations to orders" but the company is "not able to guarantee availability."
At least, when the console does turn up, it'll be decent. Valve has yet to see a game Steam Deck can't handle and it was recently shown running The Witcher 3 without a hitch. Valve is also reviewing the entire Steam library for Steam Deck compatibility