Gaming on Linux reports that some developers at a KDE conference said that Valve’s Steam Deck has sold over one million units:
Perhaps the biggest bit of info coming out of this is that according to Edmundson, Valve has shipped over a million. At about 29:45 in the above video in response to a question on it Edmundson said “They have crossed over a million, and they’re still processing back orders”. Valve haven’t actually given out any numbers in public on it yet and Edmundson was not speaking for Valve but still, the answer was pretty confident and clear.
I had to wait awhile for my Steam Deck due to ordering system snafu’s on pre-order day but when it finally did arrive I was not disappointed. Valve did an amazing job on this device across the whole stack: both hardware and software. They also managed to hit a reasonable price tag on it which is no doubt driving so many sales. You can see my full review here:
If these sales figures are true this is by far the most successful hardware product Valve has put together to date. What’s interesting is that it incorporates technologies developed on less than successful products, namely the Steam Controllers and SteamOS / Steam Machines.
I reviewed one of the Steam Machines way back in 2015. While I liked the approach of a dedicated Linux gaming OS and the hardware felt solid, compatibility with Windows games just wasn’t there. I ended up installing Windows on it.
Valve has done a ton of work over the last seven years addressing the compatibility issues with their Proton project, which simplifies the compatibility process and has become so good that most Windows games will run on the Steam Deck and other future devices running Steam OS or other flavors of Linux.
The moral of this story is that even when things fail or fall short of expectations ideas can morph into something better. That’s clearly evident with Valve’s patient approach to the hardware business. Many other VC backed companies would have thrown in the towel years ago.