In brief: Valve's Steam Deck has a firm launch date. After announcing the handheld last summer with a scheduled ship date of December 2021 then delaying the launch by two months, Valve will now move forward with the order process late next month.
Starting February 25, Valve will contact the first batch of reservation holders in the same order reservations were made. Customers will have three days from the receipt of their order e-mail to complete their purchase before their spot goes to the next person in line.
Buyers will only be able to order the Steam Deck model they originally reserved. All money put up as part of the reservation deposit will be applied to the final price of the Steam Deck, we're told.
Paid for units will start shipping out on February 28, meaning the first batch likely won't make it into the hands of their new owners until early March. Valve said it plans to send out new order e-mail batches on a weekly basis.
Press samples will also start going out to eligible publications soon. The full review embargo is set to lift on February 25, but don't be surprised to see some preview coverage and first impressions hit the web before then.
Valve is still accepting reservations for the Steam Deck, but expected order availability is listed as "after Q2 2022" meaning a lengthy wait is likely in the cards. Some early adopters will no doubt look to flip their units on eBay and the like, but expect to pay a significant premium to grab one.