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What just happened? Being a game developer, publisher, and owner of Steam, you can forgive Valve for not updating its official YouTube channel very often. But its 1.62 million subscribers got a surprise a few days ago when the first video in eight months landed: an advert for the upcoming Steam Deck.
Valve's ad exalts the Steam Deck's combination of hardware and size, calling it "the most powerful gaming handheld in the world" and "portable gaming without compromise." As expected, the full-size thumbsticks, analog triggers, and user-assignable buttons are highlighted, as are the touchscreen, trackpad, and gyroscope, bringing "the full power of PC gaming to your hands."
The ad shows a few tiles playing on the Steam Deck. Ghostrunner, Prey, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Death Stranding, Doom Eternal, Baldur's Gate, Control, Slay the Spire, and The Ascent all look very nice and smooth. One imagines that games like The Ascent and Hades will be particularly suitable for handheld gaming. We also see features such as remote play, cloud saves, and Steam chat.
The ad finishes by suggesting people reserve one of the machines in advance. It also states that shipping starts in December 2021, but that's only if you ordered early. All three models now show expected order availability of "after Q2 2022."
Scalpers who were quick to preorder Steam Decks have been selling their reservations on eBay for way above MSRP so people can get a device sooner. Thankfully, the auction site has been clamping down on the practice.
The last video Valve posted to its YouTube channel was a promo in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's Operation Broken Fang update on December 3, 2020. Before that, it was the Half-Life: Alyx commentary update on November 12, 2020.
In other Steam Deck news, Valve recently said the handheld should meet Windows 11 requirements, and, unlike the Nintendo Switch, its performance won't improve when docked. The company also admitted that experience gained from its failed Steam Machine experiment was used to create the Steam Deck.