Valve has announced that shipping of Steam Deck, the company's Switch-like handheld PC, will be delayed by two months due to "global supply chain issues".
In industry-wide circumstances that recently caused Nintendo to reduce its Switch sales forecasts due to the global semiconductor shortage, Valve explained on the Steam Deck reservation page that, despite factoring in the ongoing supply chain woes, its plans have still been disrupted.
You can read the full explanation below:
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. 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. We’ll continue working to improve reservation dates based on the new timeline, and will keep folks updated as we go.
This delay means that the first people awaiting the arrival of their Steam Deck — described in some quarters (not these quarters, you understand) as a 'Switch-killer' — are now scheduled to receive them from February 2022 onward.
The device itself is certainly of interest to anyone who enjoys portable gaming, an area which Nintendo has had pretty much to itself for a long time now, and those who were hoping to enjoy the new handheld over the Holidays will surely be disappointed.
It's not surprising news given the issues currently affecting production of many electronic devices. Rival platform holders Microsoft and Sony have struggled to meet demand for their respective consoles for the best part of a year now thanks to manufacturing and supply problems exacerbated by the pandemic. One year on and we've still yet to see a PS5 in the wild — apart from the ones with the 300€ mark up in the window of our local secondhand game store.
Valve's handheld is an intriguing proposition for portable gamers, and there's also a dock to connect it to your TV. Sound familiar? Valve itself has played down the Switch comparisons, saying its "going after" a different audience, but the superficial similarities were striking when it was first revealed back in July. Steam Deck has Switch absolutely beaten from a specs perspective, but it remains to be seen how comfortable and easy-to-use it is in the real world. It certainly looks substantial for a portable system and we're eager see how it compares.
We'll have to wait until February at the earliest to see exactly how Steam Deck stacks up against Switch. Fortunately, there's another stalwart portable to pick up the slack over the New Year.