Steam Deck is still on track for a late February launch

After being delayed from its initial release date, it appears that all is well now for Valve's portable multi-purpose gaming console,

If you pre-ordered a Steam Deck, Valve's handheld gaming console, then we've got good news for you - it's finally coming soon. Valve confirmed that the Steam Deck is on track to ship in late February after it was previously delayed from its initial launch date.

Steam Deck On Track Late February Launch
We can only hope that the Steam Deck isn't following the "Valve Time" schedule.

Here's to hoping that Steam Deck doesn't follow Valve Time

Steam Deck On Track Late February Launch
Early adopters might get their hands on their Steam Deck as early as March.

Valve Time is a term within the video game industry that's used to refer to Valve's habit of releasing games much later than the "promised date". It's since been used to refer to other studios and their delayed games, but it is still primarily associated with Valve - a privately owned company that's not known for sticking to promises.

Having said that, Valve's latest statement is promising, to say the least.

Valve explained, in a January 13 community update, that it expects to start shipping the initial batch of Steam Deck units in February despite pandemic-related difficulties such as the microchip shortage and shipping delays. Although this doesn't mean that everyone can get their hands on the Steam Deck already, it is good news for those who were among the first to pre-order Valve's portable machines.

Valve first announced the Steam Deck last summer, much to the surprise of the gaming community. According to Valve, the portable system can run most of the Steam library at a 1280 x 800 resolution via handheld mode. Also, similar to the Switch, owners can connect the Steam Deck to a separate display using a dock. Because of how it's effectively a PC version of Switch, the Steam Deck immediately became a huge hit to the point that scalpers immediately targeted the console.

Valve also provided an update on the Steam Deck Verified upgrade. The skinny is that Valve is hard at work testing the Steam Deck compatibility of the thousands of games on Steam's library. Valve explains that it is testing games based on input, seamlessness, display, and system support. Valve has promised to release a list of approved games within the next few weeks as they finish testing titles. Not to mention, Valve added that it has sent out several hundreds of dev kits to studios so that they can test their games on the Steam Deck and make the necessary updates or optimizations.

Ultimately, everything that Valve had to say about the Steam Deck in its latest update was good if not great.

Last year, fans got a chance to see The Witcher 3 running smoothly on the Steam Deck. If other games can perform the same way on the Steam Deck, then Valve has a clear winner on its hands. It would effectively become an upgraded version of Sony's older PS Vita, what with former exclusives like God of War and Uncharted all making their way to the PC - and more potentially coming in the next few years.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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