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Steam Deck is now shipping to game developers anyway

Steam Deck Dev Kits are now being sent to game developers to test the hardware with their products ahead of its big release at the end of the year.

These SDK designs are functionally identical to the finished product, as we’ve heard before, and while there are small differences, it won’t be something that matters.

This is not really a surprise since in early September, Valve announced that it was preparing to ship development kits, and that requests would be made for the limited number of those that were in the works.

These requests have therefore been received, processed, and the lucky developers deemed important enough are getting a Steam Deck imminently. The handheld engineering samples are meant to give Valve the ability to walk game developers through the process of getting their games to Steam Deck, the firm notes, and to get feedback on them. possible problems as the final stage of work on the device accelerates. .

We also got a glimpse of some pictures of the dev units receiving their final updates (above), then subsequently packaged ready to ship (below).

Steam Deck Development Units Shown During Shipment

(Image credit: Valve)

Analysis: Fast delivery of samples

For all intents and purposes, then, the Steam Deck hardware is complete, with just a polish and break-in to perform and hopefully that’s a hint that Valve is on track to launch the laptop as planned in December. .

After all, it took less than a fortnight to get the names of the interested parties, process them, and ship the development sample units, so it seems to be pretty quick even if at this point it has to be. Keep in mind that we were only a few months away from the actual launch of retail, so testing urgently needs to be done.

Of course, while things seem to be on the right track right now for the big launch, the exact number of units that could be available in December is another question, especially given how quickly pre-orders have gone. were postponed until 2022 when they were first uploaded.

What is pretty clear is that a lot of players are going to wait, it’s just a matter of how much to wait. Currently, the Steam Deck pre-order page shows expected availability after Q2 2022 for all models, indicating July 2022 or later.

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