Patience is a virtue because somehow, two years after launch, it’s still hard to find a PlayStation 5. But thankfully, if you’re in the market for a Steam deck, you no longer have to chase a distant pre-order: Valve now ships them right after purchase. No waiting, no lines, no $5 reservations. In addition, an official docking station is now also sold.
Valve announced the easier ordering and availability of the new docking station accessory over Twitter and steam. Additionally, Valve announced “many, many” software updates for SteamOS that will dramatically improve the docking experience. The keyboard also gets an update, as does offline mode. (The latter should help alleviate a common pain point for Steam Deck users, as many Steam games require an online connection for authentication.)
You can check out what’s new in Valve’s announcement video here:
The Official Steam Deck Docking Station will set you back $89. And while there are some third-party docks, some of which are cheaper, hopefully Valve’s dock will set a new standard for connectivity. For example, JSAUX’s lower-priced dock comes with USB 2.0 connectors, while all USB-A connectors on the Valve dock are version 3.1. It also offers Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, which will be very helpful when downloading large games. DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 connections are present, allowing the Steam Deck to output to multiple monitors with a choice of 4K 60Hz or 1440p 120Hz alongside the usual FreeSync support.
I’m curious to see if the official docking station fits popular peripherals the deckmate, the upcoming keyboard improvements are very welcome. I found the keyboard to be a bit finicky, so it’s great to see Valve making typing on the touchscreen or touchpads a little more reliable. The keyboard is also expected to get additional language support, with Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean being added soon.
Continue reading: Yes, you can use the Steam Deck as a computer (Here’s how)
However, Valve was sparse when it came to offline mode improvements. This mode basically does what you’d expect, but it wasn’t the best feature of the deck. As many users have pointed out, at unreliable offline mode somehow something like the deck kills portability. Such problems don’t just plague multiplayer games; Many users have found problems with also single player gamesand heaven help you if the game has Again. As if we needed another reason to be angry about the unspeakably annoying DRM software.
But a tricky offline mode is just a bump in the otherwise fun road that’s been the Steam deck experience so far. Good to see Valve ironing out the kinks in production.