Valve is giving away a Steam Deck every minute of the Game Awards but sign-ups are causing trouble

The happy face Valve Steam Deck made into a pattern.
(Image credit: Valve)
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Valve put out an announcement last night on Twitter for an upcoming Steam Deck giveaway. The company will be giving away one 512GB Steam Deck—yep, the more expensive model—for every single minute of The Game Awards (opens in new tab) broadcast on December 8. It's also a celebration of the "Steam Deck being in stock," (wow, pulling no punches at other hardware manufacturers, there).

All you have to do is register, or, so we thought. There are a few catches, as it turns out. In fact, even people who seemingly meet all the requirements have been running into issues with registration.

Here's how it works, first of all: You register by signing in and clicking the big blue register button on Steam's Deck Drop page (opens in new tab). Then, when you watch The Game Awards you've also got to be watching on Steam.tv (opens in new tab). Easy, right? You can even set a notification to remind you once you've registered, that will arrive via email or the Steam mobile app (opens in new tab). Alternatively you can add it to your calendar, which is nifty.

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The main hurdle, however, will be for those who don't live in the US, Canada, UK or EU, as you'll be unable to register. We're in this exclusive Steam Deck club over here apparently, but it's likely due to shipping costs not being as viable to other places. Even shipping between the US and Canada is a pain, I hear. 

And no, VPNs won't help you here, my friend.

In order to verify that you live in one of the above places, you must have bought something on Steam between November 14, 2021 and November 14, 2022. Sad times for anyone who's been saving over the past year by refusing to buy any games.

Screenshot of the Steam Deck giveaway registration page.

(Image credit: Valve)

Your account must also be "in good standing" (i.e. you don't have any bans on your account (opens in new tab)), and not be a limited account (opens in new tab). Fair enough, but that's not the end of the story.

What's really odd is that the Twitter thread (opens in new tab) is filled with people who live in those zones and believe they meet all other requirements, but have still been unable to register. Some managed to get through after refreshing the page, but so many complaints have come through that Valve has sent out an official statement (opens in new tab) about the registration trouble after making some fixes, though the comments show many are still unable to register.

"For folks who were having trouble registering despite being eligible, we just fixed a few things on our side and it should be good to go," Valve has said.

Should you manage it, you'll be getting a little happy Steam Pal sticker to commemorate the event, so that's a nice consolation prize if you don't manage to win anything.

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Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for two years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.