Steam Next Fest 2021 dates confirmed and Steam Deck casts a big shadow

Even though it feels like the last Steam Next Fest just wrapped up, Valve has already confirmed the details for the autumn Next Fest. Valve today announced that the Steam Next Fest will be returning in October, serving up another collection of game demos that anyone can download and play. As with previous Next Fest events, this one in October will last for a full week.

Specifically, Steam Next Fest will return on October 1st at 10 AM PDT/1 PM EDT and run through October 7th. Once again, Valve expects to have "hundreds of game demos" on tap, though considering how previous Next Fests have gone, users will probably have far more demos to choose from than they could ever hope to finish in a week.

We can also expect developer livestreams that will allow game studios to show off their upcoming games and chat with the Steam userbase about them. Users will be able to add these games to their wishlist, so even though the Next Fest will only cover upcoming games, that wishlist functionality will let users track their development and eventually be notified of their release.

Unfortunately, Valve can't tell us which games are on the docket for Steam Next Fest yet, largely because those haven't been decided. In the same announcement where it revealed the dates for Steam Next Fest, Valve also put out a call for developers to submit their demos for it. Developers have until August 15th to submit their games, and more information can be found over on the Steam Next Fest announcement page.

This time around, we'll want to keep an eye out for games that will play well on the Steam Deck, which is arriving in December. While the Steam Deck should run any game in your Steam library, there's no question that some games are better suited for mouse and keyboard over traditional gamepads or even the touchpads Valve has included on the Steam Deck. With that in mind, those who have a Steam Deck reserved might want to put special focus on finding demos for games that will seamlessly make the transition to the handheld.

So, get ready because it looks like Steam Next Fest will help us usher in autumn. You can set a reminder for Steam Next Fest on the page we just linked above, but otherwise, we'll let you know when more details about Steam Next Fest are announced.