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Steam Deck pre-orders go live today, as Valve aims to thwart scalpers

Man buying something online with credit card
(Image credit: ESB Professional / Shutterstock)

The Steam Deck portable PC comes out in December, but you’ll be able to reserve a device later today, June 16, and ahead of that pre-order scramble, Valve has put in place countermeasures to stop scalpers or bots from making multiple purchases with a view to reselling units and fleecing gamers.

Thanks to supply issues and component shortages, this kind of nefarious price gouging has been happening far too regularly in recent times with all kinds of hardware – from graphics cards to consoles – so it’s unsurprising that Valve is thinking ahead here. As the firm says, it wants to put a roadblock in the path of “potential unauthorized resellers”.

As you might expect, only one Steam Deck reservation will be allowed per Steam account, but Valve has also implemented a restriction to stop freshly created Steam accounts from making a purchase at all – at least initially over the opening weekend.

To make a pre-order later on today, or tomorrow, any given Steam account must be in “good standing” and have made a purchase on Steam before June 2021. That means scalpers won’t be able to simply create multiple Steam accounts and reserve a device on them all, seeing as those new accounts won’t be eligible to make a pre-order. At least not until 48 hours after pre-orders open, when the restriction will be lifted.

In other words, this allows genuine buyers to get their pre-order in during the first two days to be sure of the best chance of grabbing a unit, after which it’s open season – but that should be plenty of time for anyone serious about grabbing a Steam Deck.

When do Steam Deck pre-orders go live?

Note that reserving a Steam Deck will also incur an initial fee of $5. Valve states that this system is in place to “give us a clearer signal of intent to purchase, which gives us better data to balance supply chain, inventory, and regional distribution leading up to launch”.

Valve further explains: “When you submit a reservation, you will be put in a queue. Once inventory is available, you will be emailed in the order the reservations were made.”

So your best bet for potentially getting yourself a Steam Deck when launch day rolls around is to get your reservation in as quickly as possible, obviously enough.

Order invites should start going out by December 2021, and Valve says it’ll make “every effort to convert all reservations to orders”, but adds that it can’t make any guarantee of availability.

Availability is also restricted by region, and to begin with only the US and Canada, UK, and EU countries will be able to order a Steam Deck. The entry-level Steam Deck with 64GB of (eMMC) storage costs $399 / £349, and we have to say, this piece of hardware looks pretty nifty indeed – and might worry not just Nintendo, but could pose some kind of a threat to Windows 11 indirectly.

Pre-orders for the Steam Deck open in just under a few hours at 10am PT which is 6pm UK time. You’ll obviously still do well to be quick on the trigger, but at least the competition should consist of far more genuine buyers than scalpers, fingers crossed.

Via PC Gamer

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).