After a long delay, Valve has launched its official docking station for Steam Deck, and it looks like you won't have to wait long to get your hands on it. In even better news, the depressingly long wait times for ordering a Steam Deck may be coming to an end, too. Valve announced that the Steam Deck will now be available for orders without needing a reservation.
We first saw the official Steam Deck dock (opens in new tab) at the Tokyo Game Show (opens in new tab) a few weeks ago, and it looks like its design hasn't changed much. The inputs for the docking station include 3 x USB-A 3.1 Gen1 Ports, DisplayPort 1.4, and HDMI 2.0. Unlike the Nintendo Switch dock, the display of the Steam Deck isn't covered, so you can use it without connecting it to an external display.
While $89 feels a bit steep, the one thing Valve's official dock offers that you won't see on others is a full-sized DisplayPort connection. This will let you connect your Deck output to monitors in 4K at 120 Hz and even 8K 60Hz, though I doubt any of us will use that ability. The docking station doesn't give the Steam Deck a boost in performance; it's all about charging and connectivity.
The Steam Deck Docking Station is available for $89 (£79) through Steam, with an expected delivery date of 1-2 weeks for North America and the UK.
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How loud is the Steam Deck? (opens in new tab) And will it pass the Significant Other test?
Steam Deck - The emulation dream machine (opens in new tab): Using Valve's handheld hardware as the ultimate emulator.
Once we get one in-house to check out, we'll let you know if the dock seems worth that $89. Until then, there are plenty of cheaper Steam Deck dock alternatives you can check out, like this Jsaux docking station for only $40 (and the upgraded version is only $50).
At the time of writing this post, it seems like the 256GB Steam Deck is the only one you can order without reservation right now, with an expected delivery date of 1-2 weeks. The 64GB and 512GB Steam Decks are currently taking reservations and will ship out at some point between late October and December.
Valve has said in a blog post that "if order volume for a specific model of Steam Deck grows higher than our ability to ship it in a timely manner," it will revert back to the reservation model, which looks like the case with two out of the three Deck models currently.
However, at the rate Valve seems to be producing these things, I wouldn't be surprised if these orders ship out sooner than advertised.