Steam Deck: Acceleration


Things are moving fast for the Steam Deck, even during August, usually a slow month. There’s been a couple of interesting announcements recently.

Increased Steam Deck Shipments

Valve has announced on Twitter than they have increased the number of emails (i.e. units shipping) on a weekly basis:

It was followed by a tweet indicating that quite a few people who were in Q4 have moved to Q3! Hence the acceleration I mentioned above.

The most surprising element is the follow-up to that tweet, indicating that they have reached the highest number of reservations since launch:

A quick look at google trends can confirm that the Steam Deck is on an upward trend in terms of interest. That seems to corroborate what Valve is seeing in terms of numbers of reservations.

To put things in perspective, the Switch, which could be considered the key competitor against the Steam Deck at the moment, is still way ahead in terms of “mind share”. However, it’s fairly surprising that the Steam Deck is actually making great progress vs the Nintendo Switch in terms of interest, in the past few months, as the Nintendo Switch seems to lose… steam (I could not resist).

5000 Games

While we don’t make posts every 100 games anymore, the library of games working on the Steam Deck keeps growing steadily. We have just reached 5000 games (almost, 4994 at the last count an hour ago), classified in two categories:

  • Verified; 2131 verified
  • Playable: 2863 playable

Here’s a graph of the progression over time:

And here’s the ratio of Steam Deck verified titles over time as well. As discussed several weeks ago, the ratio of Steam Deck verified titles is at a low point, but remains stable at around 25% of all games added at the moment.

Valve does some PR

Notoriously absent from the PR game, Valve has released a PR booklet for the recent launch (at least, opening of orders, since there’s still not availability window confirmed) in some parts of Asia. It’s all about the product positionning, and you can see they stress the fact that the Steam Deck is made to be modified and hacked, not like other consoles.

They also have a section called “Lessons Learned” where they come back on their previous hardware endeavors that led to the Steam Deck. The Steam Machines are briefly mentioned (and not pictured).

At least it’s consistent with Gabe’s own opinion:

They also don’t hide the existence of the Proton translation layer, and make it clear that it does not run Windows:

All Good?

Very positive news overall. What’s preventing the Steam Deck from taking over the world at this stage is the lack of significant production capacity - and certainly not the lack of games. Hopefully this will be something that will become easier with the second iteration of the device, since Valve has now demonstrated the market is there and there are needs to be filled. We have estimated not too long ago that there’s probably about 100 000 units shipped out there at the end of July 2022. Too few to make a real dent into the market yet.

If things improve for the next iteration, it may very well be that the Steam Deck 2 eclipses the sales of the first Steam Deck in no time after its future launch.