Valve has announced that Steam Deck production is being increased, promising that from June 28, 2022 shipment numbers from the console will have doubled, writing that "today we'll be shipping more than double the number of Steam Decks every week".
This information comes directly from the official Steam Deck Twitter account, where the company also confirmed some good news for gamers who pre-ordered the handheld gaming PC, announcing that orders promised for Q2 are almost complete, with Q3 reservation emails planned for the 30 June.
Hello! Some great news on the production front. We just sent the last batch of Q2 emails, and we’ll start sending Q3 reservation emails on the 30th. Production has picked up, and after today we'll be shipping more than double the number of Steam Decks every week! pic.twitter.com/kAHE0zRrV7June 27, 2022
Just for clarification, this refers to pre-orders with an estimated delivery date of Q3, not orders taken during Q3. These estimates were provided back during the Steam Deck's launch as Valve didn't cap the number of preorders that could be made, so you can check your initial reservation confirmation email to check if your console will be delivered in this drop.
The Steam Deck Twitter account (opens in new tab) also provided some guidance on checking your reservation, writing"If you're expecting your email and haven't received it yet, give it some time to make its way through the internet. Or just go to https://store.steampowered.com/steamdeck (while logged in) to check your reservation status."
Analysis: nice, now make it pretty
While the Steam Deck has a few teething problems to work through, namely fan noise and production, it's clear from Valve's recent announcements that it's happy to put the work in, having already implemented various actions to address most of its major concerns.
Still, the world of tech moves swiftly, and given computing components such as processors and graphics (both integrated and discrete) typically get refreshed with a new generation every 1-3 years, is it even worth pre-ordering a unit now, or are you better waiting for the Steam Deck 2?
It's hard to say, but I have yet to come across anyone among the initial recipients that regret the purchase, so it stands to reason that the current model will be relevant for some time, even if a refreshed version is released. What I do want to see more of though, is color and design options.
That won't matter to most folks, but the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite both have numerous limited edition ruins and chassis options to customize the look of the system to meet your chosen aesthetic. We know that white versions of the Steam Deck exist, though these were supposedly just prototypes, and Valve has previously teased that it was planning to release the product in different colors.
The default black model is fine – it gets the job done, but plenty of people (gamers especially) like their products to have some personality. It won't stop me from reserving one, but I want skins, replaceable thumb grips, and much more.
Failing that, I'll likely wait until a new model is released. By that point, it's likely that the current criticisms will have been addressed, and more features will be in development. There are still plenty of gaming laptops to choose from if you wanted a real portable PC gaming experience of course, but I'm excited to see where the world of handheld PCs is going.