Valve Steam Deck

It seems like eons have passed since July of 2021, roughly the time period when I pre-ordered my very own Steam Deck. I originally claimed dibs on the lowest standard model in a haste to be at the front of the line. But as I considered the prospect of not having a model with an SSD, I cancelled that order and went with the mid-tier model. Unfortunately, this effectively kicked me out of the first round of Decks and landed me in the Q2 2022 slot. This does, of course, afford me more time to check out impressions from early recipients so I can mull over whether or not I truly want one of these things, so there’s that I guess.

With the first round of Steam Decks going on sale on February 25, 2022, Valve’s handheld gaming device is back on my mind.

Truth be told, It’s been just over a half a year since I made that purchase, but I had mostly forgotten that I had, in fact, plopped down my cold, hard five dollars to secure the chance to purchase one — which doesn’t exactly bode well for my ability to convince myself this is a sound investment. Especially considering that, since claiming my virtual place in line, I have procured a more-than-capable gaming laptop at a holiday-discount-fueled sale price. And so the need for a Steam Deck seems less and less pressing.

That being said, this is a shiny new untested gaming apparatus, and just the thought of owing one seems kind of exciting. Add to that its portability, more so than my admittedly kind of large laptop, and the reasons start to creep back in and the desire to own one starts to flourish anew.

Valve Steam Deck

Then again, I am still very much in the Q2 recipient pool. And barring any sudden mass exodus from the queue from what I am assuming is hundreds of thousands of people before me — well, probably closer to tens of thousands, which would in fact edge me closer to head of the line now that I think about it — I very much do still have a wait ahead of me.

So how will this all work then? Well, Valve will start sending out emails to the first group of people and bots that pre-ordered first, who were initially supposed to be able to complete their purchase back in December of 2021. Starting around 10 a.m. on February 25, all those early adopters will have 72 hours via the aforementioned email to purchase their Steam Deck — one per person, and only the model they specifically pre-ordered. The five-dollar deposit will be applied to the purchase price, which also will include shipping. And starting February 28, 2022, a shocking three days later, those purchased Decks will be en route.

And for those early adopters who might still be on the fence, press reviews will also start to trickle out on February 25, and Valve has also indicated that even before then there could be some more in-depth previews and press content to help those first in line have as much buying info as possible, even in those early days. This is a nice touch, and it really does remind you that, although Valve still very much has a stranglehold on PC gaming, it’s at least a velvety soft stranglehold, with a touching caress of the cheek.

Steam Deck

These are exciting times all around. It’s not every day a new console hits the market from a reputable giant in the video game industry. Sure, there are a number of alternatives to the Steam Deck already on the market, some of which have been in the wild for years even. But there is something about Valve’s Steam Deck — possibly because it is coming directly from Valve — that carries with it a hefty dose of gravitas.

This feels like Sony or Microsoft unveiling new hardware, which is pretty heavy stuff. And although a lot of comparisons have been made to the Switch, I think the fact that both of these consoles offer gaming on the go with the option to also game on a proper TV or monitor is pretty much the only real comparison to be made. I own a Switch, but I typically only use it to review games that have codes specifically for the Switch. I don’t paly it on the bus while going to work, I don’t play it in bed before turning in for the night, I don’t play it on the b-ball court on on rooftops, and, in fact, I don’t even play it while I’m on the dunny.

More than likely, my Steam Deck won’t be used much while on the go — maybe while at a hotel on vacation, I suppose. I do, however, envision using this thing in handheld mode while in bed, or next to my partner while she works on her stamp collection and we have some dumb movie or TV show streaming in the background. And I certainly foresee, much to the chagrin of my future sore legs, playing this thing on the dunny.

So yeah, I suppose when my number is called and my email offer is received, I will more than likely be getting a Steam Deck — barring, of course, a collective torrent of bad press because it’s been found to lead to cancer, or the battery requires a fresh mammal sacrifice to charge, or something along these lines. And honestly, even then…

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