Valve’s Steam Deck has been launched (on-paper) this past week and with units beginning to ship out to the first customers who were lucky enough to get their orders in and ready for release day. Over the weekend since the launch of the Steam Deck, it appears that a wizened wizard of PC gaming has taken to the streets of Seattle to hand-deliver (and sign) their orders of the Steam Deck. This was first reported over on Reddit by user SeattleRainPidgeons who recounted their tale of spotting the Big G himself.
Gabe Newell cuts shapes across the streets of Seattle
‘Saw a camera crew going up to my neighbors house while I was loading stuff into my truck. My roommate recognized the guy being followed as Gaben, I didn’t believe him, our other roommate then verified it was indeed Gabe. After delivering my neighbor’s Deck, we yelled “Hi Gabe!”. At which point he asked how many were living in the house, then he went back to his van and grabbed us each a Deck. Was also filmed receiving ours so I assume these will be used in some promo or online. Very cool day.’
This is a really lovely, heartwarming story of those peering out of their window while getting to receive their own Steam Deck free of charge from probably one of gaming’s greatest heroes. But, it doesn’t stop there. Gabe also dropped off a Steam Deck at user Bitfiddler’s house, but unfortunately, he was out at the time, and his wife did not know or recognize Gabe Newell. Regardless, his front-door camera captured the moment that the legend himself stopped by, as pictured above.
Gabe, please make more Steam Decks
Right now, if you were to reserve yourself a Steam Deck, you might be waiting a while. You can get yourself a Steam Deck pre-order now, with the number of units actually backlogged up until next year, so you’ll be waiting a good while before you get your hands on one. It’s clear by looking at comparisons against its competitors that the Steam Deck is priced quite cheap, especially by comparison to the AYANEO Next portable, while still boasting near-parity with performance. Gabe Newell ensured us that it’ll be a while before we’re able to see a Steam Deck 2, but it’ll likely be a device more geared to that premium market. The Steam Deck is extremely popular due to pricing, and that’s not going to change, especially if Valve wants to seed as many units to customers as possible, at the incredibly competitive pricepoint that they are offered at.
Why is the Steam Deck so cheap?
The Steam Deck is not a device that Valve will actually make money out of. The specifications are just too higher for it to make any commercial sense with regards to the lowest MSRP price point for the device. This is because Valve is an extremely rich company, that is using the Steam Deck as a loss-leader to establish a new product category with mainstream exposure. This is no easy feat, and Gabe might have to sell a few of the knives in his extremely expansive collection. But, the reason for the stock limitations with the Steam Deck could also be related to the number of pre-orders that are actually available per quarter. Valve must have already known how much of a loss that can actually take while making the device, and choose to ensure that the losses are adequately mitigated.
Honestly, folks thinking that the Steam Deck is too expensive are just plain wrong, the amount of portable power in this package is just a marvel to behold, and we should pat Valve on the back for managing to bring it all the way down to this excellent price point for users, which will hopefully encourage and stimulate this burgeoning portable market, even if we think the AYANEO NEXT is prettier.
Gabe Newell himself has commented on the pricing of the Steam Deck as it was announced in an interview with IGN, stating that getting to that particular pricepoint was ‘painful’. But further corroborating our statement is Gabe also told IGN in the same interview that Valve is going to be in it for the long haul when it comes to getting the Steam Deck up and running as a platform. We sure hope that this is true since, with the amount of consumer interest in the Steam Deck, it might not be a total commercial success, but Valve has managed to bring forth this kind of device into the consumer eye. Hopefully, this means that there will soon be more to come with the Steam Deck, and provide adequate support for the device itself after the company has a bit of a nightmare with the Valve Index.
Valve gets Elden Ring up and running with Linux port via Proton
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Elden Ring has just been released, and yup, you can play it on Steam Deck. However, there are several issues with regards to the alleged performance of the PC port, which Digital Foundry has investigated here. However, the Wizards of Valve lead by the Storied Sorcerer Gabe Newell have managed to make it run on the Steam Deck, and even improve it. We’ve found a tweet from the Graphics Team over at Valve, which shows off some impressive performance increases while using the Steam Deck.
Heavy stutter is one of the most common complaints you get from Elden Ring, and judging from Valve’s video above, it’s going to be a much smoother experience with Steam Deck, which is somewhat mind-boggling to think about, really. It remains to be seen if such a fix will pop up for other devices or the PC version, but that’s up to FromSoftware. Now, we just have to twiddle our thumbs and wait while Valve pumps as many units as they can out as possible. If you need to get some help with Elden Ring, be sure to check out all of the guides we have up at WePC Gaming.
Check out more on the Steam Deck: