Thursday, September 28, 2023

Valve opens Steam Deck reservations in handheld countries

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Valve is expanding Steam Deck shipments to some regions that could take the portable PC meets console to new heights. The company just announced that reservations are now open in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan via Komodo, a site that also sells Valve’s Index VR headset for PC, among other games and gaming merchandise. When you visit in one of those regions you should be redirected to Komodo’s site soon, otherwise you can click here and select your language.

Valve spokesperson Kaci Aitchison Boyle says: The edge whereas the first set of new reservations will be fulfilled later this year; a press release adds that shipments will begin in Japan, “with additional units scheduled to ship to customers in Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan in the immediate weeks to come.”

Pour one out, though, for our friends in Australia, who are still waiting for news of a launch after Valve named the country at its November 2021 developer summit.

In Japan, the Steam Deck will be priced from 59,800 yen (about $447), ranging up to 99,800 yen (about $746) for the premium 512GB model. In the US, those models cost $400 and $650 respectively. As before, you now only need to pay a small refundable amount to guarantee your reservation: 1,000 yen (about $7.50).

Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

Here are the starting prices elsewhere, according to Valve:

  • NT$13,380 in Taiwan
  • HK$3,288 in Hong Kong
  • KRW 589,000 in Korea

Each translates to about $450 USD.

Valve credits the recent production uptick for enabling this major expansion, noting that serving these additional countries will not push delivery estimates for those who have already pre-ordered a Deck.

If you’re in Kyoto this weekend for the annual BitSummit gaming conference, Valve will apparently have some sort of presence there with Steam Deck and at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2022.

Handheld gaming is popular all over the world, but especially in places like Japan, where huge segments of the population commute in and out of major cities by train every day. While access to Steam is nothing new in these regions, the ability to buy a fairly powerful, well-built and relatively compact handheld (albeit huge, compared to the Nintendo Switch) where they can play those PC games is a big deal. .

Over the past few months, we’ve had a lot of good news regarding Deck’s availability, especially that you can preorder one now and probably get it by the end of the year. Valve announced in late June that it would be doubling deliveries of the Steam Deck, which in turn could lead to many people getting their Deck hardware earlier than expected. And more recently, in late July, Valve shared that it was ramping up production to better meet demand after fixing some supply chain issues.

Update, 8:27 PM ET: Pricing information added.

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