What just happened? Valve has removed the reservation system for the Steam Deck in some regions. This means that, for the first time since its release, gamers can receive the handheld console just one or two weeks after ordering it. The official Docking Station is now also available, adding connectivity and acting as a charging station for the system.
Valve just announced that the Steam Deck Docking Station is finally shipping. The company revealed the handheld console over a year ago, and it has been dealing with multiple delays and component shortages trying to bring the official dock to market since then.
The Docking Station holds Steam Deck upright and connects to it via a USB-C port. It provides a decent amount of extra connectivity, including three 5 Gbps USB-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet, DisplayPort 1.4, and HDMI 2.0. Users can opt to plug in the dock via the included power supply to charge the console and supply extra juice to USB peripherals.
Users can now easily connect a mouse, keyboard, and multiple external displays (up to 4k@60hz or 1440p@120hz) to the Steam Deck, turning it into a laptop/desktop replacement when docked. However, unlike the Nintendo Switch, Valve's handheld won't perform any better while docked.
The Steam Deck Docking Station comes in at $89 and at the moment, is in stock and has an expected shipping time of one to two weeks.
Speaking of shipping time, Valve announced more exciting news for prospective Steam Deck buyers. Since the console's release, demand has outpaced supply and customers have had to place reservations and wait (usually months) until they could buy it. That queue system is now gone in most regions, with Valve shipping the handheld one to two weeks after someone has placed an order.
Finally, Valve also released a new firmware update (SteamOS 3.3.2) for the Deck. It reportedly improves the docked experience significantly, not just for the official Docking Station, but for third-party USB-C docks and hubs as well. The update also brings other quality-of-life improvements and bug fixes, and it should be available on all Steam Decks right now.