Valve has announced today that their hotly anticipated handheld, the Steam Deck, has been delayed until 2022.
Sadly, every company making computing hardware has been facing component shortages and various shipping delays and it seems that Valve has been unable to get around it. They said "The launch of Steam Deck will be delayed by two months. We’re sorry about this—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.".
So now, instead of December 2021 the first set of order invitations will go out to customers in February 2022. That is the new starting point, with everyone being shifted (ours is now saying Q2 2022).
Valve apologised and mentioned they will "continue working to improve reservation dates based on the new timeline, and will keep folks updated as we go".
While it's a huge shame, there is a positive side to this. A delay gives Valve plenty more time to get Steam Play Proton into a state where it can run even more games, and run them with good performance too. It's been a struggle for some multiplayer games with the various anti-cheat systems, even with the recent announcements for Easy Anti-Cheat and BattlEye, not many developers are willing to confirm their support for it just yet.
As before you can visit the Steam Deck page to see when yours will hopefully be available.