Valve, the video studio and owner of the digital distribution platform, Steam, recently announced that it is pushing back the launch of its first handheld gaming console, the Steam Deck, by two months. Originally expected to launch in December this year, the new timeline means eager owners and consumers will only be getting their hands on the consoles as early as February next year.
Valve issued an apology for its decision, citing supply chain issues as the reason for the delay, and that the shortage of materials means that components aren’t reaching its manufacturing facilities in time to meet its “initial launch date”. It’s not just the chips that Valve is short on either; the company has also been working with developers to ensure that games that run on the Windows platform will also run on its Linux-based console. This is a crucial step for the handheld console and the underlying Proton compatibility layer, especially since that very compatibility layer has been known to be problematic with anti-cheat software that are used in some multi-player titles.
Needless to say, Valve isn’t the only company suffering from the silicon drought. Due to the materials shortage, tech giants like NVIDIA and AMD have struggled to restock GPUs to a market where the demand has exceeded the supply. Even automotive brands like Ford and Nissan are victims of the shortage. Since the start of the year, both companies have struggled to get a fresh supply fo chips that power their features, including driver assistance, infotainment systems, or even the most basic of functions: steering.
Valve originally gave the world its first look at the Steam Deck back in July this year, with prices starting at US$399 (~RM1676) for the 64GB eMMC model, while the 256GB and 512GB NVMe SSD options costs US$529 (~RM2222) and US$649 (~RM2727).