Valve yesterday announced the Steam Deck, a handheld PC with impressive specs and an impressive price. Starting at $399, the Steam Deck is a portable Nintendo Switch-like console powered by Linux and Proton, although you can supposedly install Windows on it, we have no idea yet just how well games will run with the full Windows stack sitting on top of the hardware.
Regardless, registrations for ordering the device opened today, and here's what you need to know about buying a Steam Deck. Valve took pretty impressive measures to prevent scalpers from grabbing the device, prioritizing users with current Steam accounts and gameplay time over allowing anyone and everyone to order it. However, Steam's servers took a bit of a hit as a result, with many users unable to actually go and buy one.
Regardless, many of us were able to reserve a unit. And, sadly, many of those users are already trying to scalp the console on sites like Ebay.
A quick search on Ebay reveals tons of ridiculous prices from people attempting to sell their reservation of the Steam Deck. I have no idea if Ebay will crack down on this, since technically you're not allowed to sell digital goods on their platform technically, although some of the listings claim they will ship the Steam Deck as and when it launches in December of 2021.
Scalping has become a prevalent issue in modern tech, given the global chip shortage making supplies of the PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Series X consoles difficult to obtain. There are plenty of viral videos out there from scalpers bragging about obtaining mountains of consoles and then turning them over for big profits, and I guess we may see similar with Valve's unique gaming PC.
Either way, the issues with Valve's servers and the rush to start scalping this thing suggests to me that the Steam Deck could prove itself to be a bit of a hit, which stands in contrast to Valve's previous hardware efforts with VR and the old Steam Machines.
Did you grab a Steam Deck reservation? Let us know in the comments.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!