According to a recent update from Valve, fulfilment of Steam Deck orders is about to speed up as "Many of the supply chain shortfalls that affect Steam Deck are gradually clearing up." The company goes on to state that it is "able to produce more Decks faster than ever before."
It's unclear which components in the Steam Deck contributed to the production bottleneck, but it's possible that the recent adoption of PCI express 3.0 x2 SSDs alongside the original spec PCI express 3.0 x4 drives has helped production. Valve said the higher-bandwidth drives were one of its bottlenecks in production late last month.
If you've already put down your $5 deposit for a Deck, this means that your order is "solidly" in the Q4 (October to December) 2022 delivery window—you're pretty much guaranteed to get it this year, barring unforeseen catastrophe. All future Deck orders will go on to fill that delivery window, until they eventually start spilling over into next year. What's more, some customers who were previously slated to exit Deck Heck "after Q3 2022" have now gotten their orders expedited, and should see their purchase emails before the end of September.
The wait continues for myself and fellow PC Gamer editor Tyler Colp however—we remain consigned to the Deckless oblivion until some time in Q4. Still, it's nice to have that relative guarantee that we'll see our new consoles by the end of the year. It's rare to be surprised by good news in this life, doubly so when it comes to product fulfilment timetables.
I'll still take Valve's model over the fresh hell of GPU and console scalping we've experienced over the past few years. There's a promise of some kind of fairness here, everyone getting their place in the queue. The philosopher in me wants to say that some delayed gratification when it comes to our consoles and toys might do us some good too. Deck Heck might just build a little character.