So this is the big day! Valve has finally opened up the reservations for the Steam Deck in Japan (and a few other countries in Asia). At least that’s what my friends told me on Matrix. But that’s strange. I had wishlisted the Steam Deck on my Japanese Steam account and… no notification? I go into the store, look for the Steam Deck – no, this was not a dream.
“Reservations are not available in your country”.
All right. So it’s not ready yet? Did I try too fast?
After actually reading the announcement on Twitter of all places, you can reserve your Steam Deck NOT on Steam, but on a third party platform, Komodo. I already had a bad feeling about this.
Note that the interesting part of the announcement is that Komodo will have a large booth to showcase the Steam Deck at the Tokyo Games Show (late September 2022). Not sure if I will go this year based on the COVID19 situation in Japan.
So, I go on the Komodo page. Click on “Reserve your Deck”. You choose your model. It’s going to be 1000 JPY pre-payment for reservation (about twice more than you guys in other countries). And whats the price for the different units?
Ouch. Is it just me or did the prices just started to go for a hike?
- $399 for the 64GB version in the US: 451.79 USD in Japan, + 52 dollars. (+13% increase)
- $529 for the 256GB version: 602.89 USD in Japan, + 73 dollars (+13% increase)
- $649 for the 512GB version: 753.99 USD in Japan, + 105 dollars (+16% increase)
Gotta love how it gets more and more expensive than in the US as you go for the higher models in Japan. It would have understood a fixed fee that’s added to every model, but a non-linear increase screams like price gouging more than anything else.
We probably have to thank Komodo and Valve for the extra cost here, because we all know that everything in Japan is supposed to cost way more (even though the median salary is less than in the US). I guess, gotta pay for this large booth (and booth babes) at the TGS, they don’t come cheap after all. That’s not going to make it easier to compete vs the big names locally in the portable gaming world. Not that it really matters since Steam is virtually unknown in Japan outside of (the small flock of) PC Gamers.
So when can I expect to get my Deck? It’s apparently going to be a different queue than the ones for the other pre-ordered for the US and Europe, and:
It looks like that sometimes in 2022 I will be able to finalize the order. I will take a wild guess and assume that it’s going to be late in Q4 and not before. Note that they mention “based on inventories” so there’s always the potential excuse they can serve us later: “inventories are low, so you guys wait ok?”. Anyway, since I processed my reservation soon after the announcement, I will let you know as soon as things starts moving over here.
Wrapping Things up
I’m not super happy with this whole ordeal. First, Valve did not alert the Steam users in Japan despite the fact that they had wishlisted the Deck. How fucked up is that? Then, they go through a partner and prices go up vs the other territories for a hardware that’s progressively getting depreciated by the day as newer SoCs reach the market. And finally, there’s no clear commitment about when the units will be actually available.
They managed to turn what was supposed to be good news in a bittersweet feeling. Remind me, how many months did they have to prepare this launch in Japan again?
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The non linear price differences, while frustrating are nothing out of the ordinary for Japan. You probably know, many Japanese people consider more expensive things to be of better quality and value. (Though realistically, the steam deck variations offer very little difference outside of storage a capacity and speed which can be upgraded).
To me, the most frustrating point is clear lack of a delivery schedule. I don’t have 60,000 yen laying around for for the deck, (married with kids) so I have no clear guideline of how much to save every month towards it.
It is very poor that when a logged-in Japanese Steam user visits Valve’s own Steam Deck product page, it doesn’t have a link to the Komodo equivalent page rather than wrongly claiming it can’t be reserved – this must be losing them some Japanese Deck sales surely? I suspect the same thing happens for other Asian countries’ users who can now reserve the Deck at Komodo too. As for the pricing, this one is a bit more understandable. Firstly, do both the US and Japanese prices include sales tax? Secondly, Komodo is going to take their cut as well, so… Read more »
In the US of A, it only includes sales tax if the city the customer purchases from requires it.
Lmao, are you serious? Booth babes caused the price increase? Komodo has been working with Valve for years selling other Valve hardware like the Index VR headset in Japan. It sucks, but those increases are nothing out of the ordinary for stuff like this here.
> Booth babes caused the price increase? I hope you notice that large booth was in bold characters and not booth babes. It’s well known that booth space is very expensive in such venues. > those increases are nothing out of the ordinary Please explain the increasing price gap as you go for the more expensive models. Makes no sense at all. And it’s not true anyway. A Switch in Japan costs 36 000 JPY which is about 274 USD while it’s a little more expensive in the US (Amazon as source for both). So no, not all electronics are… Read more »
Valve are working with a third partner, who won’t work for free. Switch may have other partners and since Nintendo is Japan based wouldn’t that make sens that’s it’s cheaper there than in the us ? Likewise steamdeck is cheaper in the us because valve is us based. As you wrote. In Europe the price you have in $ in us are juste the same but in euro despite the change (a few month ago 1€ = 1.2/1.3$). So the same stuff cost way more here … I know what you’re feeling but I don’t think it has anything to… Read more »
> Valve are working with a third partner, who won’t work for free. There are usually 2 ways to handle that: you ship with a reduced margin in Japan in order to share your margin with Komodo, for example. Or you increase the price, which is what they did here. Poor choice since the Switch is much cheaper locally. Benchmarking vs competition matters. > In Europe the price you have in $ in us are juste the same but in euro despite the change (a few month ago 1€ = 1.2/1.3$). Does the price in Europe increase faster with the… Read more »
> Does the price in Europe increase faster with the higher models?
I just checked the prices in euro, for the first two models it costs 20€ more than the us version (419€ instead of 399$) and 30€ more for top one.
So it seems it isn’t neither linear although the deck was available in Europe on launch.