Developers can get their hands on a Steam Deck early

Dev kits are limited but will be sent out as quickly as possible

Valve have opened up requests for developers to get their hands on the Steam Deck before it’s released later this year.

Taking to the Steam community, Valve said, “We’re thrilled to announce that Steam Deck dev kits are ready to ship, and we’ve opened up the request form.

“As a Steam developer, you can go to the hardware request form to request a Steam Deck Dev Kit. Fill out the form and be sure to read through the agreement and dev kit guidelines. Dev kit supplies are limited, so we’ll be reviewing requests via the online form on a case by case basis and will be shipping them out as quickly as possible.”

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To request one, developers will need to be registered for Valve’s Steamworks partner program, the API that lets developers implement Steam functions like achievements or microtransactions into their games. Registering requires a separate filling out a separate form and comes with a £72 fee.

Lucky developers will receive a Steam Deck that’s “functionally identical” to the real consumer device aside from minor cosmetic differences.

The Steam Deck will be released December 2021. Valve see the console as a PC upgrade for customers but the company say it’s not being released to compete against the Nintendo Switch

Since it was announced in July, demand for the Steam Deck has been high. Days after reservations went live, scalpers were trying to sell the console for over three-times its retail price before Ebay cancelled all listings.

“To comply with eBay’s presale policy, listings must clearly indicate that they are ‘presale’ items and must guarantee postage within 30 days of purchase. As the Steam Deck is not expected to ship until next year, these listings are in violation of our presale policy, we are working to remove all listings of the product.”

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In other news, the virtual Minecraft Live showcase is returning this October, for the second year in a row.

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