Valve Has A Plan To Stop Bots And Resellers Buying Out The New Steam Deck

An animated gif shows a robot hitting a button and killing another robot in Portal 2.
An animated gif shows a robot hitting a button and killing another robot in Portal 2.

On November 16, Valve will let folks purchase a new Steam Deck OLED Limited Edition model, which features all the upgrades of the base OLED version of the portable PC, but with some extra cosmetic details, too. And to help folks actually get a chance to buy this thing, Valve is implementing some safeguards to slow or stop bots and resellers from buying them all up instantly.

About a year after its initial launch, Valve’s Steam Deck portable PC is getting an upgrade. While it’s not a full-on Steam Deck 2 (that’s coming…one day) this new OLED model sports some much-appreciated improvements, including a bigger battery and a gorgeous new OLED screen. As you can imagine, a lot of people are excited about this new version of Valve’s popular handheld. And some want to buy the pricier Limited Edition model, which comes with all the upgrades found in the standard Steam Deck OLED, plus a fancy translucent body and extra colorful details, like orange vents and thumbsticks. But people are also rightfully worried that—as with most expensive, limited-edition hardware—resellers and bots are going to gobble up the device before most people get a chance to buy it. Luckily, Valve has a plan that might help slow down these dastardly fiends.

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“We see the Limited Edition model as an experiment (both in terms of learning how to pull it off, as well as gauging customer demand),” posted Valve in a follow-up tweet. “We’re hopeful that people are excited about this release, and if we see high demand it will give us confidence to do more colorways in the future.”

Valve also confirmed that once the Limited Edition Steam Decks sell out, that’s it. The company doesn’t plan on producing anymore.

While many were happy to see Valve trying to slow down bots and resellers, others were frustrated that the company behind Steam wasn’t doing more. As some pointed out, there are plenty of bot accounts and resellers who will still be able to buy up Limited Edition Steam Decks. For example, there are bot and reseller accounts on Steam in the US that frequently buy games and DLC on sale to stay active and look authentic, so these accounts may not be locked out of purchasing a new Steam Deck at launch. Perhaps Valve in the future should add a rule about playtime requirements and account age to further slow down bots.

While I wish Valve had implemented a few more rules or checks, it’s still better than what we usually get with new hardware releases where retailers just say “It’s available!” and chaos ensues.

The Steam Deck OLED launches tomorrow, November 16. Here are the prices and versions of the device:

  • $549 - 512 GB Steam Deck OLED

  • $649 - 1TB Steam Deck OLED

  • $679 - 1TB Steam Deck OLED Limited Edition


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