There is a chance that if you reserved a 512GB Steam Deck (opens in new tab) at launch your device could be landing in your hands earlier than expected. In fact it could be shipped up to three months earlier than it might currently state on your reservation slip.
Now, before you get too excited by this it's worth pointing out that we're still talking about potentially being almost a year before you get some sweet, sweet PC gaming in your hands. But the fact that Valve has pulled in the expected availability of one of its SKUs is still a positive turn of events.
Back when the Steam Deck reservations first went live (opens in new tab), as well as locking out some people with long-term Steam accounts for being too new, and the servers having a mild meltdown under the high demand, the top-end version of the Steam Deck saw its availability shift from Q1 2022 to Q3 2022 in no time at all.
That's where its ETA stayed until yesterday. While casually checking out the previously painful availability situation in both the US and UK during one of our intercontinental PC Gamer power meetings, we saw it was actually looking better. Potentially one whole quarter better, which basically means shipping up to three months sooner.
At least for this one SKU anyway; both the 64GB eMMC and 256GB SSD versions are still sat at the same Q2 2022 level they have been since reservations started in earnest.
So, what happened to make the 512GB Steam Deck available sooner? There are a few potential options that I can see. The first being the most boring, and that's a simple calculation error on behalf of the reservation system itself. Maybe it was giving a far too conservative estimate to potential buyers of the big boi Deck, and has since reconsidered, thinking they'll be with you quicker.
Another option is that Valve underestimated just how popular the top SKU was going to be and had pre-allocated its production capacity to weigh heavier on the two lower-end Decks. And now, by more evenly distributing the manufacturing supply chain between the three SKUs, it has unlocked more potential 512GB versions to be shipped sooner.
The final option is that Valve has managed to somehow, amidst a global chip shortage, bump up its manufacturing orders to supply more hardware and simply make more Decks. We've reached out to Valve to see if we can get an idea of why this happy situation has arisen, and will keep you updated.
Whatever the truth of it, the net result is the same: You may end up getting the high-end Steam Deck you set your heart on sooner than you thought. Lucky you.