Although Valve is fiercely protective of its PC game sales data, a uncommon HTML gap in its Steam service revealed apparently agency order numbers for the Steam Deck, the corporate’s recently confirmed Switch-like portable gaming PC.

For the primary 90 minutes of the system’s preorder interval earlier immediately—as restricted to customers in North America, the UK, and the EU—Valve’s database coughed up actual preorder numbers, because of “queue” metadata showing in publicly viewable calls to the HTML model of Steam. Throughout that point, SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik kept track of the sales tally, and by his depend, the publicly reported queue for confirmed preorders exceeded 110,000 throughout these three gross sales areas.

Djundik’s depend was restricted to Steam Deck’s pricier SKUs, so the estimate would not account for gross sales of the most affordable, $399 model (which comes with 64GB of onboard storage). His depend, as backed up by different customers’ picture captures of gross sales knowledge by the preorder interval’s first 90 minutes, boils down as follows:

  • 512GB mannequin, $649: 71,600 (of which 55,000 got here from North America)
  • 256GB mannequin, $529: 33,000 (of which 28,000 got here from North America)

Different customers have chimed in to depend near 10,000 64GB mannequin preorders from North America, with different areas’ 64GB counts remaining unclear.

As of press time, all three fashions are still available for preorder. Nevertheless, solely patrons within the very starting of the preorder interval might assure {hardware} arriving as early as “December 2021.” Valve is continuous to just accept preorders, with cargo estimates bumped to “Q1 2022” for the 64GB and 256GB fashions and “Q2 2022” for the 512GB mannequin.

Gentle scalper protections didn’t buttress the servers

Nonetheless, even after a frantic opening to the Steam Deck preorder course of, the corporate is fortunately accepting as many orders as prospects wish to make, as long as they’re prepared to get in line for extra fashions to be produced. All preorders between now and Sunday, July 18, require a Steam account in “good standing,” which is verified by any buy made by Steam by June 2021. As soon as Sunday rolls round, anybody can place an order through Steam.

This course of differs from the countless availability song-and-dance we have seen from consoles by Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, which tends to revolve round variable quantities of inventory opening up at third-party retailers. Sony and Microsoft’s personal direct-sales choices are equally scattershot, although Xbox All Access is among the many most scalper-proof choices available on the market. It requires attaching a purchaser’s Xbox account credentials, and its layaway worth mannequin features a Recreation Go Final subscription.

That depend of over 110,000 preorders got here amid an obvious server maelstrom, because the earliest Steam Deck customers bumped into error messages and emotional cartoon mascots. Worse, some would-be patrons had been met by the insulting declare that that they had “been attempting a lot of purchases in the last few hours“—possible as a result of website itself telling customers to refresh its error-filled pages. Attending to the latter error punted a consumer to the again of the road.

Anonymized buy data showing as public metadata would not symbolize a very regarding HTML gap, but it surely’s not the primary such drawback we have encountered inside Valve’s Steam service. A 2013 report from Ars’ Kyle Orland led the corporate to patch a problem that left a variety of doubtlessly figuring out consumer data out in public view, particularly for customers who had marked their data as non-public or friends-only. Orland has since adopted that report with various examinations of Steam’s sales figures and user numbers primarily based on varied knowledge leaks and interpretations.

Itemizing picture by Valve

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