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Valve Confirms Steam Deck Weekly Manufacturing "More Than Doubled"

Valve, handlers of the world's most popular digital games store and manufacturers of the Steam Deck, have announced that they've been able to more than double weekly production of the handheld console. Due to the production "picking up", as Valve says it, the company expects to double the number of handhelds shipped each week. This is especially good news for users that were expecting to receive their devices in the 3Q - shipments for these particular orders will begin on June 30th.

Valve doesn't make it clear what exactly was bottlenecking production. Manufacturing and logistics have been showing signs of normalization following a couple of years with snag after snag due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent war in Ukraine. Overwhelming demand for graphics chips across the product spectrum may have pushed Valve to accept a smaller pie of AMD chips than the company would like to, and might be one of the reasons the company was forced to extend deliveries of pre-orders for the device.

iFixit Temporarily Lists Steam Deck Replacement Parts for Sale

iFixit accidentally listed their lineup of Steam Deck replacement parts for purchase before removing them shortly thereafter. The company listed several key components of the Steam Deck on their UK store including the Motherboard, Screen, Speakers, Fan, and Adhesive. These components do not come cheaply with the bare motherboard excluding an SSD costing £289.99 (360 USD) while the base models screen costs £59.99 (75 USD) with the premium anti-glare screen costing £89.99 (110 USD). These parts have all now been removed from the website with iFixit promising to officially release them soon while honoring any orders that were placed before the removal. The complete list of parts and their prices offered by iFixit can be found below.
iFixitEarlier today we published some pages related to our upcoming parts launch with Valve. These went live earlier than we planned, so we ended up taking them down. If you did get a parts order in, we'll honor it.

Valve Antitrust Class-Action Lawsuit Allowed to Proceed

A federal judge in Seattle has recently ruled that the antitrust class-action lawsuit brought against Valve by Wolfire Games over their Steam Key Price Parity Provision can proceed. The Key Price Parity Provision is a policy that prohibits game developers from pricing their games cheaper on competing storefronts such as the Epic Games Store even if they offer lower fees. The judge noted that Valve "relies on provisions within Steamworks Documentation to impose conditions on how non-Steam-enabled games are sold and priced." and that "Valve also threatens game publishers with punitive action, including removal of their Steam-enabled games, if they sell non-Steam-enabled versions of those games at lower prices,". The ruling states that allegations of the company exploiting it's market dominance to threaten and retaliate against developers were "sufficient to plausibly allege unlawful conduct". This decision will allow for a class-action lawsuit to be brought against Valve.

Steam Deck Takes Number One Spot as Best Seller By Revenue on Steam

With the debut of the Steam Deck handheld gaming console, the whole community wanted to grab one and made preorders for a few up-front months. Over the last five weeks, the console held the second spot as the best seller by revenue chart; however, that number changed in the console's favor. According to SteamDB, which collects information from Valve's Steam platform, the Steam Deck console climbed to the number one spot as the best selling item by revenue. This is no surprise given that the Steam Deck base model is priced at $399+, with top models going for $500. For the past three weeks, the leading competitor was the game Elder Ring, which sold 12 million copies in the past three weeks. We are yet to see if Steam Deck manages to hold the top spot in the charts or if other games start to defeat it.

Steam Deck Gets Windows Drivers

If you're one of the lucky few that managed to pre-order a Steam Deck and have had it delivered, you might be interested in knowing that Steam has now released its promised Windows drives. For now, Windows 10 is supported, but Valve is promising support for Windows 11, as soon as the company has incorporated fTPM into the device UEFI. Dual-boot isn't supported at this point in time, but this is something that Valve is also working on and is promising to deliver in SteamOS 3. In addition to the Windows drivers, Valve also added instructions on how to do a system recovery to get SteamOS back on the device, if Windows isn't for you on the Steam Deck.

The driver release includes drivers for the GPU, WiFi and Bluetooth, but audio drivers are missing for now. Valve suggests that those wanting to use Windows on their Steam Deck either use Bluetooth for audio, or rely on USB-C until the company has finished the drivers. This means that no sound will come out of the speaker or 3.5 mm audio jack for the time being. Valve will not offer any kind of Windows support, so it's up to you to get it installed and working on the Steam Deck.

Elden Ring PC Stuttering Issues Fixed - But Only on Valve's Steam Deck

Elden Ring launched in late February to rave critic and consumer reviews. The game is an excellent showcase of From Software's gaming design ethos, but ultimately proves that the company's rendering engine still requires work after years of installments due to widely-reported stuttering issues - irrespective of hardware configuration. A fix for Elden Ring's stuttering issues has surfaced on late Monday - courtesy of Valve and its Proton wrapper, and only applicable to the Steam Deck. In a way, this turns Steam Deck into the smoothest device to play Elden Ring on.

The issue with Elden Ring's stuttering has been linked to the games' continuous shader loading. Apparently, Elden Ring allows users to enter its vast open-world without pre-compiling the required shaders (something that we've seen other games do through usually lengthy boot-up processes) for the specific hardware. This forces the game to constantly compile shaders as they're required (due to world loading, animation loading, among other triggers), which is responsible for the stuttering issues gamers on PC have been encountering.

Valve Officially Launches Steam Deck

Valve is excited to announce the official launch of Steam Deck, the powerful all-in-one portable gaming PC first revealed by the makers of Steam over the summer. Emails with order details start going out today to the first customers in the queue, with devices shipping immediately after. Steam Deck is the first handheld device designed to play Steam games, with a custom processor developed in cooperation with AMD that makes it comparable to a gaming laptop. You can play games from your Steam library wherever you go; and as an open PC, you can also install any software or connect with any hardware you want. Steam Deck starts at $399, with increased storage options available for $529 and $649.
Gabe NewellPC gamers and developers have always wanted a handheld option that plays all the great titles, Steam Deck gives them that."

Valve Releases Steam Deck Game Compatibility Tool

Valve has recently launched a tool that allows you to check what games from your Steam library have been tested and confirmed to work with the Steam Deck. The Steam Deck runs the custom SteamOS Linux distribution with the Proton compatibility layer for Windows exclusive titles. The compatibility tool from Valve lists games that have been tested into three categories consisting of verified, playable, unsupported in addition to a list of currently untested titles. Valve classifies games listed as verified as not needing any configuration for use with the Steam Deck and those classed as playable may require modifications to get controls working correctly. You can check what games are supported from your Steam library by following this link.

Valve Introduces New Rules To Reduce "Fake" Discounts on Steam

Valve has recently announced a collection of new store discount policies to clamp down on fake sales and offers that currently plague the Steam store. The cooldown period for sales will be reduced from six to four weeks with exclusions for the major store-wide seasonal sales. The new rules prohibit publishers from discounting their game within 28 days following a price increase in any country and prices can no longer be adjusted during sales. The allowable discount range has also been restricted to between 10 and 90 percent while custom sales must now last for 1 to 14 days. These new policies will take effect starting March 28th, 2022 and will hopefully improve the user experience.

Steam Reports Monthly Connected VR Headset Count of 3.4 Million

The latest Steam Hardware survey from January 2022 shows significant growth for VR headsets with the number of connected units reaching 3.4 million or 2.14% of Steam users. This is up from 2.95 million in December 2021 with the Meta Quest 2 responsible for the majority of this growth now accounting for 46.02% of the VR headsets used on Steam despite being able to operate without a connected computer. Meta now controls 67.3% of the PC VR market with Valve coming in second at 14.4%, HTC third at 11.2%, and Microsoft fourth with just 5% market share. The total number of monthly-connected VR headsets has risen 29.5% since this time last year but it remains to be seen if this growth will continue past the holiday season.

Steam Deck Officially Arrives on February 25th to First Customers

Valve's highly anticipated handheld gaming console, Steam Deck, officially arrives on February 25th. According to the newest information from Valve, the company plans to start sending our Steam Deck units to customers who first pre-ordered their units on February 25th, and the arrival time should be three days. That means that on February 28th, customers will have Steam Deck in their hands. Regarding press units for reviewers, the company has already started shipping review units to select media partners. The review embargo for Steam Deck is also set to February 25th, so that marks the date when we can see the full potential of AMD's custom Van Gogh SoC.

As a general reminder, the Van Gogh SoC features four Zen 2 cores with eight threads, running at a 3.5 GHz frequency. The graphics side is powered by eight RDNA2 CUs clocked at 1.6 GHz, meaning that the chip can support some decent handheld gaming. The base model starts at $399, while the top-end configuration costs up to $649, carrying more extensive memory/storage options.

Steam Breaks Another Record with 29.2 Million Concurrent Players

Just three weeks after having an all-time high number of 28 million concurrent players, Steam has managed to break another record and provide its services to 29.2 million gamers across the globe. According to the data from SteamDB, there were 29,201,174 concurrent gamers were utilizing Valve's Steam platform and playing their favorite game without realizing that they were breaking a world record. And of course, the highest contributor to this record are online multiplayer games such as Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which achieved 900K and 787K active players in the last 24 hours. This shows an excellent trend for Valve's Steam platform, and we are just a shy away from seeing 30 million concurrent gamers playing "side by side."

Valve Set to Start Shipping its Steam Deck in February

For those that have placed an order for a Steam Deck, Valve had good news today, as barring any last minute issues due to the current conditions in the world, be that the pandemic, supply issues, shipping or some other unforeseen event, Valve should start shipments of the Steam Deck to its customers in February. The company didn't give much else in terms of information about what stage the production is in, but did at least give a small update on what's going on with regards to the software side of things.

Valve provided a photo of several development devices running their latest production build of the SteamOS, which appears to show some kind of test or diagnostics screen. The company is apparently also busy working on its Steam Deck Verified program to make sure that as many games as possible will work with the SteamOS and Steam Deck once it arrives in the hands of its customers. As such, Valve has been seeding more developer units to game developers and the company doesn't appear to have been stingy either, as it claims to have sent "hundreds" of units in the last month and is apparently approving and shipping further units to more developers. It'll be interesting to see if the Steam Deck can win over conventional PC gamers to a more portable device or not and how well games will play on it in the end.

Valve Launches Steam Labs Store Hubs Experiment

With Steam Labs Experiment 10 last December, we introduced dozens of new genres, categories, and tags to our store's navigation. Today we're launching Experiment 13, where we've revamped these destinations, or store hubs, with powerful new tools for browsing, filtering, and exploring deeper into each category.

When you join the experiment from the Steam Labs page, you will find that every category and tag page on the store has been updated, introducing these new layouts and features to hundreds of niche destinations throughout. You'll encounter these pages by exploring the "Categories" drop-down in the store menu, or by clicking on tags from a game's store page.

Valve Shrinks SteamOS Size From 24 GB to 10 GB for Steam Deck

Valve has been developing SteamOS 3.0 to launch with their upcoming handheld Steam Deck device with a redesigned interface. The latest SteamOS 20211120.2 image shows a dramatic reduction in total file size from 24 GB to 10 GB for the operating system which will give users an extra 14 GB of useable space for games and applications. Valve has also improved WiFi performance, fixed HDMI output, increased touch screen reliability and released updated kernel drivers for the Audio, GPU, and other components. These changes will be of significant importance especially for the entry-level Steam Deck that comes with just 64 GB of internal storage. The Steam Deck is now expected to begin shipping to customers in February 2022 after an initial delay from December 2021.

Valve Unveils Steam Deck Final Packaging & Carry Case

Valve has recently completed the final Design Validation (DV) prototype for the Steam Deck incorporating improvements from the previous EV2 builds. This latest design revision also sees the confirmation of retail packaging for the device which consists of a simple cardboard box with a region-specific power supply, Steam Deck, carry case, and setup instructions. The portable carrying case for the 64 GB and 256 GB models was also shown with the 512 GB version set to receive a unique version. The Valve Steam Deck features an AMD Zen 2 processor with integrated RDNA 2 graphics and is available to pre-order at 399 USD for the 64 GB base model with new orders not expected to ship until Q2 2022. Valve will begin shipping these DV kits to game developers shortly allowing them to optimize their titles for the device before it begins shipping in February 2022.

Valve's Arch Linux-based SteamOS 3.0 to be Available to Public as a Standalone Distribution

As Valve is preparing to launch its handheld gaming console called Steam Deck, the company is investing a lot of resources into the software side of things. Powering the console is the company's custom SteamOS distribution, a modification of Arch Linux in today's form. In previous releases, Valve has been pushing its SteamOS as a modification of Debian Linux. However, that version didn't get updated in over two years, and the last release happened with version 2.195. When the Steam Deck console lands in the consumer's hands, we are supposed to see a new version of SteamOS, called SteamOS 3.0, become available for the public to download as any standalone Linux distribution.

With the release of 3.0, the company is switching to a rolling release OS embedded with bells and whistles to make gaming on Linux a viable option. All that is needed to fire up Steam and start gaming is already pre-installed, and you can get the same Steam Deck experience on your PC or any device that can run Linux. The moment this becomes available to the public, we will update you with more information.

Valve Delays Steam Deck Console Shipments to February

Valve's highly-anticipated handheld gaming console, Steam Deck, is facing a two-month delay. According to the latest news from the company, the console will not be in time for holidays and will get delayed by two months to February. Suppose you are wondering what the reason behind it is. In that case, Valve says that "we did our best to work around the global supply chain issues, but due to material shortages, components aren't reaching our manufacturing facilities in time for us to meet our initial launch dates." These consequences are understandable, given the issues many companies face with the global supply chain and the overall scarcity of components still ruling the market.

If you have pre-ordered a Steam Deck device, rest assured that your reservation will get shipped accordingly, just with a two-month delay. Valve states that "Based on our updated build estimates, Steam Deck will start shipping to customers February 2022. This will be the new start date of the reservation queue—all reservation holders keep their place in line but dates will shift back accordingly. Reservation date estimates will be updated shortly after this announcement." For more information, please head over to the Steam Deck website.

Valve Introduces Steam Deck Verified Game Program

Valve has recently announced a new program aimed at verifying game compatibility on the Steam Deck with a simple four-category classification system. Valve is reviewing the entire Steam library to see how each title performs in four key areas on the Steam Deck including input, display, seamlessness, and system support. Games need to feature full controller support and automatically bring up the on-screen keyboard to fulfill the input requirement along with supporting the Steam Decks native resolution of 1280x800 or 1280x720. They will also need to work correctly with Proton including anti-cheat if no native Linux version is available along without displaying any warning messages.

Valve will mark games that fail some sections of these checks as playable meaning that the user may need to manually select a community-created controller configuration or use the touchscreen to navigate the launcher. Games that cannot run will be marked as unsupported while all other games will be classified as unknown meaning that Valve has yet to test the title on the Steam Deck. These new compatibility labels will be featured prominently throughout the Steam store on Steam Deck with detailed information about individual checks available. Valve will continuously update these ratings as developers launch updates for their games and they hope to have the feature live before deliveries of the Steam Deck begin.

Valve Cracks Open the Steam Deck, so You Don't Have to

If you bought the 64 GB Steam Deck with plans to upgrade the internal drive, then Valve has posted a video just for you. Well, then again maybe not, as although Valve says that you have the right to do whatever you want with your hardware, they point out that if you cause any damage to the Steam Deck while opening it, they won't cover the damage under the warranty.

They also point out that opening the Steam Deck will apparently weaken the structural integrity somewhat. Opening up the Steam Deck requires the removal of eight screws before you can remove the rear panel. Valve hasn't made things easily accessible inside either, as the first thing they ask you to do, is to disconnect the battery. However, the connector is hidden underneath the EMI shield that covers the SSD and the wireless module, which makes it hard to reach.

Steam Deck Developer Unit Benchmarks Leak, Shows 60 FPS is Doable

Remember those early developer units of the Steam Deck that Valve was shipping out to developers? Well, one of them ended up in the hands of someone in China, who decided to share a few benchmarks on a local forum. Judging by the pictures posted, Valve still has a lot of work to do when it comes to the translation of the UI, but this shouldn't affect anyone using it in English.

The hardware appears to function according to the announced specs, so there were no surprises here, good or bad. Only four games were tested, which consists of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Doom, Cyberpunk 2077 and DOTA 2. Let's just say that Cyberpunk 2077 isn't going to be what you want to play on the Steam Deck, as it was fluctuating between 20 to 30 FPS, although this was at the high quality setting.

Epic Games Announces Linux Support for Easy Anti-Cheat

When Valve claimed that their Linux-powered Steam Deck device would be able to run any game from the Steam library most of us assumed this was simply a statement on the power of the device. We assumed that the Linux OS wouldn't be compatible with certain games such as those using Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) or BattlEye however Valve confirmed that they would work with the companies to add support. This has culminated in Epic Games recently introducing Linux & Mac support for their EAC software noting the Steam Deck in their announcement.

The addition of Linux support has been specifically designed to work with the Wine and Proton compatibility layers to ensure that all games using the software should run correctly. This will mean that titles such as Apex Legends, Dead by Daylight, War Thunder, 7 Days to Die, Fall Guys, Black Desert, Hunt: Showdown, Paladins, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection can now be easily updated to include Linux support. The rival BattlEye software isn't currently available for Linux but the CEO has confirmed that support will be added with the first game featuring it coming soon. These moves will drastically improve the Linux gaming landscape and will hopefully encourage more developers to natively support the platform.

Valve Steam Deck FAQs Shed More Light on the Hot New Portable Console

Valve today put out frequently asked questions (FAQs) that shed light on many aspects of Steam Deck, the elusive new portable game console. Steam Deck is one of the first mass-market handheld consoles based on the PC architecture (if you don't count the various smartphones based on Intel Atom chips), or x86-based tablets. It turns out that Valve engaged in some segmentation between the storage-based variants. All three capacity variants feature optically-bonded glass IPS LCD touchscreens with 10-point multi-touch, but the 512 GB variant has an additional anti-glare treatment.

Steam Deck combines Linux-based custom operating system, along with the Steam UI and DRM platform, although it is possible to play non-Steam games through the Proton translation layer software. You can add games to your library just like on Steam on desktop. The Steam software itself has a custom UI optimized for the console, which replaces the Big Picture mode of conventional Steam desktop. Just like on regular Steam, the Steam Deck console lets you launch and play a game without an Internet connection, unless the game requires it.

Valve Working With AMD to Bring Windows 11 Support to Steam Deck

Valve has previously announced that the Steam Deck will ship with their custom Steam OS 3.0 based on Arch Linux but that the user would be able to install alternative operating systems such as Windows 10. When Microsoft recently announced Windows 11 they also increased the system requirements with the most contentious decision being the requirement of a Trusted Compatibility Module (TPM). The Zen 2 Van Gogh APU found in the Steam Deck features a firmware-integrated TPM which needs to be supported within the device BIOS to enabled compatibility with Windows 11. Valve has confirmed that they are working with AMD to support the requirement and are hopeful that they will be able to achieve this.
Greg Coomer - Valve Steam Deck designerThere's work looking at TPM just now. We've focused so much on Windows 10, so far, that we haven't really gotten that far into it. Our expectation is that we can meet that.

Valve's Steam Hardware Survey Shows Progress for Gaming on Linux, Breaking 1% Marketshare

When Valve made a debut of Proton for Steam on Linux, the company committed to enabling Linux gamers from across the globe to play all of the latest games available for the Windows platform, on their Linux distributions. Since the announcement, the market share of people who game on Linux has been rather stagnating for a while. When Proton was announced, the Linux gaming market share jumped to 2%, according to a Valve survey. However, later on, it dropped and remained at the stagnating 0.8~0.9% mark. Today, according to the latest data obtained from Steam Hardware Survey, we see that the Linux gaming market share has reached 1.0% in July, making for a +0.14% increase. What drove the spike in usage is unknown, however, it is interesting to see the new trend. You can check out the Steam Hardware Survey data here.
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