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Valve’s Steam Deck handheld gaming PC has been the #2 prime grossing product on Steam for 5 weeks in a row, in accordance with SteamDB.

I’m vindicated — as a result of meaning it’s not a flop.

Early estimates advised over 110,000 folks put down a $5 deposit for the unproven Linux handheld within the first 90 minutes after it went on sale final July, however there was at all times an opportunity they’d change their thoughts. I figured many would after studying crucial critiques like mine! And whereas I have seen a handful of individuals in r/SteamDeck reclaim their 5 bucks… nearly each different signal suggests to me that it’s promoting properly.

Whereas we don’t have official gross sales numbers for the Steam Deck, right here is a few context which may put issues in perspective:

The Elden Ring banner art, depicting a knight below some glowing rings of fire.

Elden Ring is the context.

The Steam Deck launched the identical week as Elden Ring, presently one of the vital common video games on the earth. For 4 of the previous 5 weeks, the Steam Deck was second solely to Elden Ring in income in accordance with SteamDB. However this previous week, the Steam Deck bought higher than Elden Ring.

True, these are prime grossing numbers, not unit gross sales numbers, so you possibly can’t weigh them the identical. At $60 every, it takes 7 copies of Elden Ring to match the quantity of income a single $400 Steam Deck brings in; 11 copies if we’re speaking a $650 512GB mannequin. It’s additionally attainable that Elden Ring noticed the majority of its gross sales pre-launch and through launch as an alternative of within the weeks since — Elden Ring preorders did chart again in November and January as properly. However I doubt the sport’s really trailed off given the unbelievable word-of-mouth that’s been following it since its February twenty fourth debut.

Both manner, we’re speaking a couple of recreation that had already bought 12 million copies as of March 16th; the place — at the very least in Europe — nearly half of these gross sales had been on PC; and the place “PC” successfully means Steam as a result of it’s not on Epic or the Home windows Retailer. So these #1 and #3 prime grossing numbers for Elden Ring on Steam most likely symbolize a lot of copies.

If the Steam Deck, at #2, is promoting even a sizeable fraction of Elden Ring whereas batting away the whole lot else save Lego Star Wars, it’s going to be actual laborious to name the Deck a flop.

Valve’s Lawrence Yang stated in February that the corporate would ramp as much as produce “lots of of 1000’s of models” in its second month, and preserve going from there. “If we’re doing this proper, we’re going to be promoting these in thousands and thousands of models,” Valve president Gabe Newell informed IGN final July.

Are we there but? Valve hasn’t stated, and doubtless gained’t say, having principally gone again to its conventional quiet mode because the Steam Deck’s launch.

If crowdsourced knowledge might be trusted, it sounds just like the Steam Deck’s gross sales gained’t be tailing off anytime quickly, although. Sure, Valve’s first-come, first-served reservations are presently backed as much as “October 2022 or later,” so anybody placing down $5 now most likely gained’t be counted as a purchaser for a lot of months.

But additionally, the r/SteamDeck group has found out that Valve remains to be working by way of the primary fifteen minutes of pre-orders from the very first day you might reserve one: July sixteenth, 2021. Some queues have been transferring quicker, however the US solely simply made it previous hour one, and solely with the 64GB mannequin.

In different phrases, Valve’s Steam Deck has been the #2 prime grossing product on Steam for 5 weeks due to a single day of preorder reservations, and anyone who put down an order since then — heck, nearly anybody who made their determination after taking the time to learn just a few critiques — haven’t but been counted in the direction of that gross.

I pre-ordered 1 hour and 35 minutes after launch as a result of Valve’s retailer was having points. Until Valve is enjoying issues quick and free and counting “reserved” models as already bought, it could be weeks earlier than my 64GB unit is counted towards the full.

By the way, Playtracker.web estimates that 994,000 Steam accounts, give or take 10 p.c, have put down a $5 deposit.

There’s one more reason to assume the Steam Deck isn’t a flop, although: persons are loving it. I do know I do, and my pals and colleagues who lucked out with preorders inform me they really feel the identical.

I do know I stated it was a multitude, as a result of it was, however Valve and builders have been cleansing up that mess week after week since launch, and it’s getting higher on a regular basis. I’m principally enjoying Elden Ring and Vampire Survivors proper now, however I haven’t had a crash shortly, and video games that didn’t work earlier than are opening up — video games I complained about like Again 4 Blood and Halo: The Grasp Chief Assortment and Duck Sport are both fastened or within the strategy of getting fastened, even when Fortnite and Future 2’s homeowners are refusing to chew. I performed a bunch of Duck Sport final night time.

I hear Amazon’s New World may even be working now, although I haven’t but tried.

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