A new report from Omdia currently doing the rounds is that the Steam Deck from Valve is set to hit 3 million sales during 2023.
We already knew it had hit at least 1 million in 2022, when a KDE developer gave away the figure but Valve actually hasn't talked about the sales figures yet. It's easy to see why Valve aren't announcing any figures — but it seems others will do it for them anyway like this. The report estimates Valve hit about 1.6 million during 2022 and will ship 1.9 million in 2023.
So why don't Valve give out any figures themselves? Valve has always been pretty tight-lipped about details, and this is really no different to their normal operation. They don't need to give out figures either, they're a private company and don't have anyone to please but their own pockets. If they did release regular figures, can you imagine the wider headlines from the major gaming press (and likely other media too)? No doubt it would be instantly talked down like a failure because it's not hitting the levels of the Switch or Xbox.
As we know, it doesn't need to shift multiple millions per month for Valve, since it's part of a single ecosystem where they continue to print money with their 30% cut of Steam games. It doesn't really help though that it's sold in very limited places (mostly via Steam or Komodo), with the only actual retail presence recently announced in Asia and even there it's limited. So when you think it's shifting this many with no traditional retail store presence outside of the previous link talking about a few Asian regions, and still only being available in select countries officially worldwide, it's doing well overall.
Realistically speaking, the Steam Deck is a niche device, especially considering a lot of people using Steam would already have a PC or Laptop to play their games. That said, it does seem to be hitting above its weight, as Valve devs noted over around 42% of people buying one ended up spending the majority of their gaming time with it. Plus, with a Steam Deck 2 likely years away, there's no reason to hold off on picking one up now if you want to play PC games on the go that it enables.
What are your thoughts?