The Steam Deck is Valve's new Switch-esque handheld that will allow gamers to play their Steam games while not sitting at a computer. It not only runs Steam, but can run any PC software, meaning players can potentially get all of their PC games onto this handheld. If you've ever wanted to play your PC-exclusive titles from a handheld, Steam's new machine seems like it's right up your alley.
So how do you purchase a Steam Deck? Here's what you need to know.
Reserving a Steam Deck
The Steam Deck is set to launch in December, and reservations for them open up on July 16 at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT on this page. Steam allows users to reserve any of the three models of the console for a $5 fee (this counts towards the Deck's purchase price). While each model has different internal storage options (SSDs of different sizes), and the 512GB has anti-glare glass, every model will come with a carrying case.
Note that not just anybody will be able to reserve a Steam Deck. The reservations will only be available via one's Steam account, and the account must both be in good standing and there must be purchases made on the account before June 2021. According to Steam's FAQ, only one console can be reserved per account. Presumably, this is to cut down on potential scalpers who would make multiple accounts in order to reserve multiple consoles.
Reservations are currently open to Steam users in the U.S., Canada, European Union, and U.K., with more regions to open later. You can cancel your reservation and get your fee refunded any time before the consoles launch. If you cancel within 30 days of making your reservation, you can get your fee refunded to your payment method, whereas if you cancel after that, it'll be refunded to your Steam wallet.
So you've reserved... now what?
Once you've made your reservation and paid your fee, you will be placed in a queue. When the Steam Deck becomes available for purchase, reservations will be converted to orders in the order in which they were received. When your reservation's turn, you will receive an email from Steam.
Steam has noted that while it will make an effort to convert all reservations into orders, it cannot guarantee availability. If you're not able to purchase the Steam Deck right now, you can add the console to your wishlist, and you'll be notified when it becomes available for general purchase.
All models of the console are supposed to start shipping in December 2021. In the meantime, you can prepare yourself to get one by either getting a great PC gaming headset (the Deck has a headphone jack, so you have wired and wireless options) or a microSD card to expand your storage.
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