Steam Deck, the increasingly popular portable console created by Valve that works a bit like a small computer, seems to have ended up at the center of a series of online scams. Now the manufacturer is warning potential buyers about the scams.
Similar to the newly released next-gen consoles, Steam Deck struggled to ship to all pre-orders. As a result, without getting hold of this technology through the official channels, some have had to equip themselves or, in many cases with mixed success, have tried other means.
Among other things, the official announcement from Valve’s Twitter account also triggered several controversies that go far beyond the question of possible cheating when purchasing the console. One controversy has mostly brought up the console’s availability and the way Valve organizes the distribution of its console – which some believe is the basis for the scams Valve is warning users about.
Hello, and happy new year! A quick note that the only official ways to purchase Steam Deck are directly from Steam (in the US, CA, EU, and UK), or from Komodo (JP, KR, TW, and HK). Steam Decks sold via any other websites or retailers are unofficial – please be careful. pic.twitter.com/hawVka9MLP
— Steam Deck (@OnDeck) January 10, 2023
Valve warns of Steam Deck scams
A message came from the official account opened for the Steam Deck used to enlighten those who want to buy the console, addressing what to expect, and more importantly, where not to look for it.
The announcement stated that in some parts of the world, the only way to buy the handheld console is through Steam, while in other parts of the world (e.g. the Far East), you can buy it through Komodo.
The same notice concludes that the “Steam Deck sold through other websites or retailers is unofficial.” Since its release in February 2022, the Valve console has been the subject of several scams, in which people bought devices that didn’t even remotely resemble the Valve console. But unlike the scams with the next-gen consoles such as PS5, where some people bought the products early and then resold them for higher prices; when it comes to Steam Deck console, the community thinks it’s Valve’s own fault for creating unofficial markets.
Official distribution of Steam Deck not available everywhere
Valve has decided that sales of its console will only be possible through certain channels, and those channels have not been yet activated for some parts of the planet.
So to warn against third parties when there is no official availability of this product in some places comes as a bit naive. In fact, many comments under Valve’s well-intentioned post indicate that this is the same business model that the company has chosen previously, which has spawned the scalpers trying to make money off a product that otherwise cannot even be reserved.
Some known markets where you can’t buy the Steam Deck include Australia, New Zealand, and parts of South America.