Seems Valve really are expecting big things from the SteamOS 3 Linux-powered Steam Deck handheld, according to a new report from PC Gamer. Originally due to be launching this month, Valve ended up delaying it until February 2022. Due to all the worldwide shortages, many were worried about another delay but Valve appear confident in hitting that new date.
In the new report Valve sound very bullish, with designer Greg Coomer mentioning how different their shipping will be compared to traditional consoles. Valve don't need to ship masses of boxes around to traditional stores, as it's only sold in the one place - Steam.
Valve won't give out numbers but it seems they expect millions to have a Steam Deck by the end of 2023:
"We're going to have a launch that looks like a significant number of users right out of the gate, and then build that over time, rather than having the biggest splash on day one and then generally declining after that," he said. "If you extend the timeline out through 2022 and all the way to 2023, we expect to be building on our numbers constantly throughout that whole time, to the point where there's many millions of customers if things go the way we think they will, who are using Steam Deck by the end of that year or so, through 2023."
The good news is that their own production of Steam Deck units is not a bottleneck, just getting the parts is. Hopefully that will improve over the next year, as it's the same issue other hardware vendors also have.
According to Playtracker, they seem to think that somewhere around 700,000 people may have put down a deposit for a Steam Deck.