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Valve's announcement of Steam Deck has shaken up the scene, with its fans even saying that the Switch will no longer hold the handheld market in a vice grip. However, right now, a Switch is much, much, much cheaper than the artificially inflated prices of the Steam Deck on second-hand sites.
The company was confident that it could halt scalpers in their tracks thanks to its identification process on new Steam accounts. Each Steam Deck pre-order - and the rules say that only one product may be sold to one Steam account - will only be viable if that account has purchased something on the storefront before June 2021. A valiant effort, to be sure, but it's not been enough to discourage opportunistic people from making big bucks on the novel handheld PC.
TechPowerUp's report claims that confirmed pre-orders of the Steam Deck are all over eBay, with one price tag surging to $5,000. The product itself does not ship until December so the buyers are not even getting ahead of the game. Valve's own site is showing that the "expected order availability" for the 64GB version is in Q1 2022, the 256GB version in Q2 2022 and the 512GB version in Q3 2022. Furthermore, the company is asking for $649 for the 512GB version of the handheld, which is hardly a patch on these extortionate prices seen on eBay.
Steal a look at the Steam Deck in action here - it is an enviable bit of tech and could open up PC gaming to those who've never dipped their toes in the scene.
Sure, I have a certain degree of curiosity about the Steam Deck, but I'm not "burn $5,000 on the promise of a pre-order" curious. That's like, a whole new car. Four wheels, a gearbox, windscreen wipers and all. The thing is, there's no way of really knowing if these pre-orders are legitimate and haven't been pilfered from other people celebrating the announcement of the Steam Deck. We've seen it before with the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and GPU shortages and it sadly seems that this situation isn't playing out differently.
Well, fingers crossed that the people who are going to shell out thousands and thousands of dollars to scalpers are aware that the handheld will not play the biggest games on Steam. Not at the moment, at least. This is owing to the anti-cheat software that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Apex Legends, Rainbow Six Siege and others require for their players to log into their servers. Valve is presently "improving Proton's game compatibility and support for anti-cheat solutions by working directly with the vendors," so we'll keep you updated when we learn more.
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