When Valve announced the Steam Deck yesterday, it also revealed a plan to prevent resellers from making profits by taking advantage of a limited supply – anyone making a reservation must have made a purchase on Steam before June 2021. The goal is to ensure that no one can take out a bunch of new Steam accounts and then use them to reserve a large stack of Steam Decks that can then be downloaded at massively inflated prices.
It’s a strategy that can prevent institutional resellers from banking, but it’s not a perfect firewall. Steam Deck bookings were posted today and the online auction site eBay it’s already swimming with a “pre-sale of confirmed order” at prices well above cost. A list for a 64GB drive, for example, has offers starting at $ 550 and a “Buy Now” cost of $ 750, almost double the normal price of $ 399. The lowest price I’ve seen on a 512GB drive is $ 949; at least a true optimist asks for more than double that amount.
The obvious question is: why are buyers looking for such great hardware to get hardware that can’t even be pre-ordered, instead of making reservations for them themselves? Some people may have too much damn money and be willing to spend hundreds of extra dollars to make sure they are among the first to get a Steam Deck – actual bookings will be offered depending on the order in which they were made. and shipping dates are already being rolled back. Currently, 512 GB drives are not expected to be shipped until the third quarter of 2022.
The most likely explanation, however, is that Steam Deck bookings are currently only available in the US, UK, EU and Canada. So if you live in, say, China, Australia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, or, you know, anywhere other than the United States, the United Kingdom, the EU, or Canada, moment you are unlucky, unless you are willing to make a pony for someone in these regions to send you one.
Personally, I think it’s ridiculous to pay so much money for the chance to play your Steam games on a small screen with analog sticks and trackpads in places where you can do something else, but at least Valve’s restrictions seem to continue to sell to a minimum. And that sort of thing is inevitable anyway: in September 2020, Nvidia said it was “doing everything humanly possible” to stop the resale of RTX 3080 on eBay, and in January 2021, the cards were sold for a average $ 1,300 on eBay – 85% off its regular retail price.
We managed to make a couple of Steam Deck reservations shortly after they were released, but many have experienced server errors and other issues. Reservations are still available, although, as mentioned, the dates of the boat continue to recede.