Steam Deck is not a flop

Valve’s Steam Deck handheld gaming PC has been the # 2 most lucrative product on Steam five weeks in a row, according to SteamDB.

I’m justified – because that means it’s not a flop.

Early estimates suggested that over 110,000 people made a $ 5 deposit for the untested Linux handheld device in the first 90 minutes after it went on sale last July, but there was always a chance they would change their minds. . I figured many would after reading critical reviews like mine! And while I have seen a handful of people ir / SteamDeck claim their five dollars back … almost every other sign suggests it’s selling well.

Although we do not have official sales numbers for Steam Deck, here is a context that can put things in perspective:

The Elden Ring banner art depicting a knight under some glowing rings of fire.

The Fire Ring is the context.

Steam Deck launched the same week as Elden Ring, currently one of the most popular games in the world. For four of the last five weeks, Steam Deck was only number two Elden Ring in revenue according to SteamDB. But last week, Steam sold the Deck better than Elden Ring.

That’s right, these are top-notch earnings, not unit sales figures, so you can not weigh them the same. For $ 60 each, it takes 7 copies off Elden Ring to match the amount of revenue a single $ 400 Steam Deck brings in; 11 copies if we are talking a $ 650 512GB model. It is also possible Elden Ring saw the majority of its sales before and during the launch instead of in the weeks since – Elden Ring pre-orders were also shown back in November and January. But I doubt the game is really followed by the incredible word-of-mouth that has followed it since its debut on February 24th.

Either way, we’re talking about a game that had already sold 12 million copies from March 16th; where – at least in Europe – almost half of these sales were on PC; and where “pc” actually means Steam because it’s not on Epic or the Windows Store. So the # 1 and # 3 top earning numbers for Elden Ring on Steam probably represents one lot of copies.

If Steam Deck, at # 2, even sells a significant fraction of Elden Ring while turning off all other save Lego Star Wars, it gets really hard to call the pile a flop.

Valve’s Lawrence Yang said in February that the company would rise to produce “hundreds of thousands of units” in its second month and continue from there. “If we do this right, we’ll sell them in millions of units,” Valve President Gabe Newell said. IGN July last year.

Are we there yet? Valve has not said, and probably will not say, that it has mostly gone back to its traditional quiet state since Steam Deck’s launch.

However, if crowdsourced data can be trusted, it sounds like Steam Deck’s sales will not fall off at some point soon. Yes, Valve’s first-come, first-served reservations are currently backed up to “October 2022 or later”, so anyone who puts $ 5 down now is unlikely to be counted as a buyer for many months.

But also the r / SteamDeck community has found out that Valve is still working through the first one fifteen minutes of pre-orders from the very first day you can reserve one: July 16, 2021. Some cows have moved faster, but the United States has only just passed by time etand only with the 64GB model.

In other words, Valve’s Steam Deck has been the # 2 most lucrative product on Steam for five weeks due to. a single day of pre-booking reservationsand anyone who has placed an order since then – heck, almost everyone who has made their decision after taking the time to read a few reviews – has not yet been counted in the gross.

I pre-ordered 1 hour and 35 minutes after launch because Valve’s store was having issues. Unless Valve plays things fast and loose and counts “reserved” devices as already sold, it can take weeks before my 64GB device counts in the total. also estimates that 994,000 Steam accounts, give or take 10 percent, have set a deposit of $ 5.

However, there is another reason to believe that Steam Deck is not a flop: people love it. I know I do, and my friends and colleagues who were lucky with pre-orders tell me they feel the same way.

I know I said it was a mess, because it was, but Valve and developers have been cleaning up that mess week after week since launch, and it’s getting better all the time. I play the most Elden Ring and Vampire survivors right now, but I have not had a crash for a while, and games that did not work before open up – games I complained about such as. Back 4 Blood and Halo: Master Chief Collection and Duck games is either fixed or in the process of being fixed, though Fortnite and Destiny 2 ‘s owners refuse to bite. I played a lot Duck games last night.

I hear that Amazon’s New World might even work now, even though I have not tried yet.