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HTML holes provide a glimpse of Steam Deck’s initial preorder numbers

Topher

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https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021...mpse-of-steam-decks-initial-preorder-numbers/

Though Valve is fiercely protective of its PC game sales data, a rare HTML hole in its Steam service revealed apparently firm order numbers for the Steam Deck, the company's recently confirmed Switch-like portable gaming PC.

For the first 90 minutes of the system's preorder period earlier today—as limited to shoppers in North America, the UK, and the EU—Valve's database coughed up exact preorder numbers, thanks to "queue" metadata appearing in publicly viewable calls to the HTML version of Steam. During that time, SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik kept track of the sales tally, and by his count, the publicly reported queue for confirmed preorders exceeded 110,000 across those three sales regions.
Djundik's count was limited to Steam Deck's pricier SKUs, so the estimate doesn't account for sales of the cheapest, $399 version (which comes with 64GB of onboard storage). His count, as backed up by other users' image captures of sales data through the preorder period's first 90 minutes, boils down as follows:

  • 512GB model, $649: 71,600 (of which 55,000 came from North America)
  • 256GB model, $529: 33,000 (of which 28,000 came from North America)
Other users have chimed in to count close to 10,000 64GB model preorders from North America, with other regions' 64GB counts remaining unclear.

As of press time, all three models are still available for preorder. However, only buyers in the very beginning of the preorder period could guarantee hardware arriving as early as "December 2021." Valve is continuing to accept preorders, with shipment estimates bumped to "Q1 2022" for the 64GB and 256GB models and "Q2 2022" for the 512GB model.

Mild scalper protections didn’t buttress the servers​

Still, even after a frantic opening to the Steam Deck preorder process, the company is happily accepting as many orders as customers want to make, so long as they're willing to get in line for more models to be produced. All preorders between now and Sunday, July 18, require a Steam account in "good standing," which is verified by any purchase made through Steam by June 2021. Once Sunday rolls around, anyone can place an order via Steam.

This process differs from the endless availability song-and-dance we've seen from consoles by Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, which tends to revolve around variable amounts of stock opening up at third-party retailers. Sony and Microsoft's own direct-sales options are similarly scattershot, though Xbox All Access is among the most scalper-proof options on the market. It requires attaching a buyer's Xbox account credentials, and its layaway price model includes a Game Pass Ultimate subscription.

That count of over 110,000 preorders came amid an apparent server maelstrom, as the earliest Steam Deck shoppers ran into error messages and emotional cartoon mascots. Worse, some would-be buyers were met by the insulting claim that they had "been attempting a lot of purchases in the last few hours"—likely due to the site itself telling users to refresh its error-filled pages. Getting to the latter error punted a user to the back of the line.

Anonymized purchase information appearing as public metadata doesn't represent a particularly concerning HTML hole, but it's not the first such problem we've encountered within Valve's Steam service. A 2013 report from Ars' Kyle Orland led the company to patch an issue that left a lot of potentially identifying user information out in public view, especially for users who had marked their information as private or friends-only. Orland has since followed that report with a number of examinations of Steam's sales figures and user numbers based on various data leaks and interpretations.

homer simpson GIF
 
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jaysius

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Around 100K and they're already pushing some models back to Q2 2022? They've gotta ramp production up better than that.
This way it's something sought after and fetishized. Then even if it's fake hype there'll be hype and desire. I can already see the shilltubers freaking out about how amazing it is and how you NEED ONE despite a mountain of flaws.
 
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Zannegan

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This way it's something sought after and fetishized. Then even if it's fake hype there'll be hype and desire. I can already see the shilltubers freaking out about how amazing it is and how you NEED ONE despite a mountain of flaws.
I don't think that works, honestly. And what's the point if the positive word of mouth if they don't have any to sell?

Artificial scarcity as a source of success for consoles has always been a BS premise, IMO.
 

Topher

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I don't think that works, honestly. And what's the point if the positive word of mouth if they don't have any to sell?

Artificial scarcity as a source of success for consoles has always been a BS premise, IMO.

Yeah....this idea of intentionally shorting supply to make a product seem more in demand is a bit silly. Generally that seems to be a narrative of someone who simply doesn't like that the product is in demand.
 

Buggy Loop

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Around 100K and they're already pushing some models back to Q2 2022? They've gotta ramp production up better than that.

It's Valve..

I mean, i bought almost all their hardware, except for the index, but they're a weird bunch that manufacture interesting products but at the same time, don't seem to care too much if it's a success. Expect little to no promotions, limited run and they'll pull the plug likely in a few years. As much as it would be wild that they ramp up production and get serious with it, they're so far from the Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo's output in electronics.
 
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kingpotato

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Seems like they fixed it. Canada was same number as US, so it's NA total.

Last numbers we saw:
NA 512gb: 55k
NA 256gb: 28k
EU 512gb: 9.6k
EU 256gb: 5k
UK 512gb: 7k


All the edit buttons are broken/locked for me right now on mobile NeoGAF so I can't put the tweet in a spoiler without knowing the tag syntax. Can't post gifs either 😢
 
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MrFunSocks

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Around 100K and they're already pushing some models back to Q2 2022? They've gotta ramp production up better than that.
They can't, they're restricted by parts manufacturers - especially AMD. You think AMD would be prioritizing APUs for this thing over the PS5 and Series S/X when MS and Sony are probably ordering 20 million a year each from them?

There's no limit on pre-orders they're taking from what I've read? 100k preorders doesn't seem like a raging success. No doubt the 64gb model will have the least pre-orders of all, as anyone that even knows what this is knows that 64GB is a non starter.
 
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GHG

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This way it's something sought after and fetishized. Then even if it's fake hype there'll be hype and desire. I can already see the shilltubers freaking out about how amazing it is and how you NEED ONE despite a mountain of flaws.

It's just a shame they didn't slap an Xbox logo on it so that we could have a bunch of people shilling this on here instead of bringing up the Series S in every thread about the Deck.
 

Stuart360

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Valve products sell huge on Steam, just look at the Index. Yes i know Steam machines were a flop, but has anyone here ever actually seen a Steam Machine?, me neither.
Steam machines were thought of as a glorified console with Steam users, and thats a big no no.
 

Zannegan

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They can't, they're restricted by parts manufacturers - especially AMD. You think AMD would be prioritizing APUs for this thing over the PS5 and Series S/X when MS and Sony are probably ordering 20 million a year each from them?

There's no limit on pre-orders they're taking from what I've read? 100k preorders doesn't seem like a raging success. No doubt the 64gb model will have the least pre-orders of all, as anyone that even knows what this is knows that 64GB is a non starter.
Does AMD have foundries of its own? I never knew. I thought they were just designers. Anyway, you're right that the chip shortage is hitting everyone hard this year, but even so, and even with a soft launch, you'd think they would be able to put up more than that for launch day.

I don't know when they hit 100K preorders or how far they've gone beyond that, but given that they've restricted preorders and that they announced a day before preorders went up, I wouldn't read it as a lack of interest. I still can't believe they can't get their hands on at least (completely arbitrary number here, but now that I've named it, I firmly believe it, lol) a million for launch day. I'm hoping they'll see the demand and scale up, but I won't hold my breath.

Maybe I should have gone for the mid-tier offering instead of the 512. Perhaps a laser-etched, antiglare screen is hard to source. Le sigh...
 

MrFunSocks

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Does AMD have foundries of its own? I never knew. I thought they were just designers. Anyway, you're right that the chip shortage is hitting everyone hard this year, but even so, and even with a soft launch, you'd think they would be able to put up more than that for launch day.
Not sure, but doesn't really matter who makes them, AMD make deals with OEMs for orders, and the Steam Deck will be way down the list. Sony and MS are getting every unit they can, and that just eats into their amount of available stock.
 

PhoenixTank

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Does AMD have foundries of its own? I never knew. I thought they were just designers. Anyway, you're right that the chip shortage is hitting everyone hard this year, but even so, and even with a soft launch, you'd think they would be able to put up more than that for launch day.
Global Foundries used to be AMD's own fab. Had to be spun off and sold as a separate entity.
These APUs are going to be on TSMC 7nm unless they've said anything to the contrary.

A lot of competition for that node still and AMD's orders with TSMC are spread thin across many products now.
 
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Fredrik

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Thought it would be more considering how broken the preorder process were. They need to fix that going forward. I managed to get one after trying for 2.5 hours.
 
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MagnesG

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Make sense that they shorting the stock production, considering they are selling it at heavy loss. Sony/MS use this tactic too for their XSS/PS5 PR edition.
 

Reallink

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The 512GB is now projecting Q3 2022. Less than half a day on "sale" and they're already backlogged an entire calendar year. Switch 2 will be out before most people can buy these.
 
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MrFunSocks

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Make sense that they shorting the stock production, considering they are selling it at heavy loss. Sony/MS use this tactic too for their XSS/PS5 PR edition.
They're likely not "shorting" anything - there is a worldwide chip shortage, and AMD are going to have this waaaaaay down their list of products to make chips for.
 

BennyBlanco

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Valve products sell huge on Steam, just look at the Index. Yes i know Steam machines were a flop, but has anyone here ever actually seen a Steam Machine?, me neither.
Steam machines were thought of as a glorified console with Steam users, and thats a big no no.

Steam Machines were just rebranded prebuilt junk from alienware, HP, etc that ran Valves OS. Not designed and manufactured by Valve.
 

Rob_27

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I went for the 64GB. Not too worried about speed of the flash or what ever it is. I want it to see its potential. How quickly will they be refreshing them with more powerful hardware 3 years? Is this them dipping their toes in the water.
 

CitizenZ

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I went for the 64GB. Not too worried about speed of the flash or what ever it is. I want it to see its potential. How quickly will they be refreshing them with more powerful hardware 3 years? Is this them dipping their toes in the water.

I think out of everything this was the biggest dropped ball. if you could easily upgrade the SSD, that easily makes this the most popular. But what does anyone know anymore as the highest priced version is the most popular.
 

MrFunSocks

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I think out of everything this was the biggest dropped ball. if you could easily upgrade the SSD, that easily makes this the most popular. But what does anyone know anymore as the highest priced version is the most popular.
It was intentional. They release that so they can advertise "from $399" knowing full well that it won't sell because thag storage is useless, and the actual cost of the machine starts at >$500.
 
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Topher

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It was intentional. They release that so they can advertise "from $399" knowing full well that it won't sell because thag storage is useless, and the actual cost of the machine starts at >$500.

I have a feeling that model was designed to compete with Switch, which it won't. More than likely Valve will realize at some point that no one wants it and it will be discontinued.
 

Rikkori

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I think out of everything this was the biggest dropped ball. if you could easily upgrade the SSD, that easily makes this the most popular. But what does anyone know anymore as the highest priced version is the most popular.
Y'all really overestimate the average buyer. No one's opening shit to change the SSD. Most people don't want to touch anything except plug & play once they get their devices, and that applies even to "hardcore" buyers of things like a Steam Deck. Hell, I just think of all the PCMR nooblets who even build their PCs but are afraid to do as simple an OC as allowing permanent turbo. You wouldn't think that that would be the case but the majority of people just don't want to do anything besides the bare minimum and are afraid of tinkering with their devices even on the software side.
 
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Speedwagon

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The 512GB is now projecting Q3 2022. Less than half a day on "sale" and they're already backlogged an entire calendar year. Switch 2 will be out before most people can buy these.
How far back is the queue going to get pushed back starting tomorrow when everyone can reserve one?
 

iHaunter

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Seems like they fixed it. Canada was same number as US, so it's NA total.

Last numbers we saw:
NA 512gb: 55k
NA 256gb: 28k
EU 512gb: 9.6k
EU 256gb: 5k
UK 512gb: 7k


All the edit buttons are broken/locked for me right now on mobile NeoGAF so I can't put the tweet in a spoiler without knowing the tag syntax. Can't post gifs either 😢
That seems incredibly low no? Can they just not produce many? >100k Launch?
 

MrA

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That seems incredibly low no? Can they just not produce many? >100k Launch?
chip shortage+ valve does manufacture stuff, but 100s of thousands so they don't have the same leverage with factories as people that produce millions so the people ordering millions get priority. plus like all handheld pcs, the thing is huge for an electronic device, a pound and a half

personally, I hope the thing does well, more competition is always good and the product looks solid, but I don't think it's for me, I've got a gaming laptop I never use, pc gaming just isn't for me. plus the size eliminates pocket portablitity and the 64 GB one could install what? 1 modern game and I don't want to risk the price of the bigger models on something I might not use.
 

iHaunter

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chip shortage+ valve does manufacture stuff, but 100s of thousands so they don't have the same leverage with factories as people that produce millions so the people ordering millions get priority. plus like all handheld pcs, the thing is huge for an electronic device, a pound and a half

personally, I hope the thing does well, more competition is always good and the product looks solid, but I don't think it's for me, I've got a gaming laptop I never use, pc gaming just isn't for me. plus the size eliminates pocket portablitity and the 64 GB one could install what? 1 modern game and I don't want to risk the price of the bigger models on something I might not use.
I definitely want a huge fire under Nintendo's ass so for me this is a good thing. Was hoping for way more though.
 
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Speedwagon

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I definitely want a huge fire under Nintendo's ass so for me this is a good thing. Was hoping for way more though.
I mean at the time that was posted their website was still getting hammered and some people that were there from the beginning still couldn't secure a reservation.
 

iHaunter

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I mean at the time that was posted their website was still getting hammered and some people that were there from the beginning still couldn't secure a reservation.
No I mean, I'm sure they'll sell out. I meant I was hoping they were able to make more.
 

Gargauth

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Well I "preordered" it today, but I'm most likely am not going to get it. Just preordered in case I change my mind.
 

CitizenZ

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as a linux gamer i'm more interested in the software development part of this thing and proton in general, if valve manages to bring those easy anti cheat games to linux it's going to make a lot of people happy and make using windows for pc gamers that much less necessary.

Ive been going down the deep rabbit hole watching and learning about Linux. Fck me interesting as hell, but that guy is kind of scary.
 
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junguler

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Ive been going down the deep rabbit hole watching and learning about Linux. Fck me interesting as hell, but that guy is kind of scary.
it took me a year to gather the courage to leave what i've been using since i was a kid, it's scary and exciting at the same time and it was the best choice i've ever made regarding computers my whole life.
 

Kenpachii

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I think a lot of people are on the fence on how this thing will run games.

I want to see some outlet like DF run this thing under a loop to see how it performs in:

Red dead redemption 2
AC valhalla
Anno 1800
They are billions
Dota's
Shooters, like battlefield 5
Control with raytracing.
Metro
Switch emulation will be interesting specially cemu and yuzu. ( yuzu team already is hyped about it, so i would not be shocked if this thing will emulate the switch ).
And a whole arrow of more games.

Will be interesting.

If the performance is anywhere near high at 720p at 60 fps i will bite and get one, specially if it runs emulation. Always wanted a all in one handheld.
 
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SlimeGooGoo

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as a linux gamer i'm more interested in the software development part of this thing and proton in general, if valve manages to bring those easy anti cheat games to linux it's going to make a lot of people happy and make using windows for pc gamers that much less necessary.
Out of curiosity, does Wine/Proton runs old Windows 98 games well or it's just for modern games?
 
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Fahdis

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This way it's something sought after and fetishized. Then even if it's fake hype there'll be hype and desire. I can already see the shilltubers freaking out about how amazing it is and how you NEED ONE despite a mountain of flaws.

Why you so salty? Couldn't grab one could you.
 
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junguler

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Out of curiosity, does Wine/Proton runs old Windows 98 games well or it's just for modern games?
it runs those older games just as well if not better than windows, it's all automatic too, there is a program called lutris which has many pre-made scripts that it runs and installs a game for you. it can download mods and other patches for the games too. just give it your gog or other launcher username and password so it knows you own the game legitimately and it off to the races.
 
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SlimeGooGoo

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it runs those older games just as well if not better than windows, it's all automatic too, there is a program called lutris which has many pre-made scripts that it runs and installs a game for you. it can download mods and other patches for the games too. just give it your gog or other launcher username and password so it knows you own the game legitimately and it off to the races.
Thanks. Never heard about Lutris, I will take a look at it.
 
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