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Steam Deck developers will start getting machines this week

Steam Deck is the brand new handheld console from Valve. As we went hands-on with it for the first time this week, a Valve spokesperson revealed that even the developers behind the games we were playing are yet to get to try the machine.

"Some partners are really generous in that they haven't even seen Decks themselves," said Valve.

"The reason is we haven't had any until this week, right now. These units came in and were really getting booted up by us for the first time a couple of days ago. So we were nervous after inviting you that we wouldn't really receive these in time and we wouldn't have anything to show you. They were in customs."

It's a testament to the Steam Deck that other than a few crashes, the games we got to play ran smoothly, which is a small miracle given the intricacies of PC gaming and the lack of game developer input. 

"My point is there haven't been units to show outside the building so not even game developers, the developers of the games you're playing, have seen these devices in their own hands. Our next step is we're going to be sending hundreds of units out to game developers."

Steam Deck was announced on July 15, and a few days later the demand for pre-orders took down Steam and Valve's website. If you were lucky enough to grab one of the first waves of units, you can expect to receive it in December. 

Steam Deck will release in three flavors at the end of this year. You can read our full hands-on here. 

Rachel Weber

Between Official PlayStation Magazine, GamesIndustry.biz and Rolling Stone I've picked up a wide range of experience, from how to handle the madness of E3 to making easy conversation with CEOs and executives of game companies over seafood buffets. At GamesRadar+ I'm proud of the impact I've had on the way we write news, and now - as managing editor in the US - the huge traffic successes we're seeing. Most of all I'm proud of my team, who have continued to kick ass through the uncertainty of 2020 and into 2021, and are what makes GamesRadar+ so special.