Valve's Steam Deck delayed

Valve announced today that the first shipments for its Steam Deck handheld have been delayed. Originally slated to begin shipping in December 2021, those initial orders have now been pushed back to 2022. The delay isn't massive in the grand scheme, but this is another example of new hardware missing its original launch window because of supply chain issues and global shortages.

Steam Deck delay: When orders will begin shipping

Valve has confirmed that initial Steam Deck orders will begin shipping out in February 2022. We aren't given a precise release date beyond that, but then again, we had never had a specific date for the original December launch either. In a post to Steam today, Valve said that the new shipment window is based on its "updated build estimates."

"The launch of Steam Deck will be delayed by two months," Valve said today. "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."

Users don't have to do anything in the wake of this delay, as Valve says everyone will keep their place in line, but the entire queue will shift back two months. If you pre-ordered a Steam Deck, you can check the updated availability estimate for your order by heading over to the Steam Deck page.

Another one bites the dust

Sadly, the Steam Deck is the latest in a long line of hardware that has been hit with delays. We have a global silicon shortage to thank for all of that, and so far, there's been no sign that it will be easing significantly anytime soon. We've been grappling with this shortage for so long at this point that there was some question of whether or not Valve would have to contend with supply constraints back when the Steam Deck was first announced over the summer.

Valve, however, is in good company here, and we don't even need to step outside the realm of video games to find multiple examples of hardware impacted by these issues. For example, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are both hard-to-find consoles a year out from release. Even Nintendo has managed to join the fray in launching the Switch OLED, which is difficult to find at the moment as well.

We've even seen more niche hardware manufacturers grappling with supply shortages in recent months. Analogue's upcoming FPGA-based handheld, the Pocket, has faced numerous delays that have now pushed initial shipments back to December 2021, even though those handhelds were ordered in August 2020.

So, while it stings to hear that the Steam Deck has been delayed, it isn't exactly surprising given the global state of affairs. We'll let you know Valve makes any additional announcements regarding Steam Deck availability, but for now, expect the first orders to begin shipping out sometime in February 2021.