Research Predicts The Steam Deck Crossing 3 Million Lifetime Users In 2023

According to a new report, the handheld will reportedly sell almost 1.9 million units in 2023.

Story Highlights

  • According to a new report from Omdia, the Steam Deck will have more than 3 million users by the end of 2023.
  • The handheld sold 1.6 million units in 2022 and forecasts predict it’ll sell 1.9 million this year, a 14% increase.
  • The relatively small install base is not a worry for Valve as the company’s goals go beyond just hardware sales.

Valve’s Steam Deck is expected to surpass 3 million lifetime sales in 2023, according to a new prediction. In 2022, the PC gaming handheld sold 1.6 million units after hitting the shelves on February 25. Now, a forecast projects the console to sell 1.9 million units in 2023, which will be a 14% increase from last year. This projects the Steam Deck’s install base to acquire more than 3 million players by the end of this year.

Research group Omdia reported these numbers in a new report focused on Valve’s portable console. Senior Games Analyst James McWhirter talks about the future plans of the Steam Deck in this report. Even though the console has a niche place in the gaming ecosystem, Valve’s goals extend beyond just sales. The company is going to launch SteamOS to the public in 2023, which will give way to a new PC gaming strategy per the report.

It is clear Steam Deck remains a niche portion of the PC gaming landscape. However, this is unlikely to deter Valve, whose end game goes beyond Steam Deck itself, thus its relatively small installed base is unlikely to be an area of concern in the short term.”

Steam Deck Annual Sales As Per Omdia
Steam Deck Annual Sales As Per Omdia

Competing hardware developers are expected to make use of Valve’s new gaming-oriented operating system for their own products. The gaming corporation wants to utilize the early usage data from Steam Deck to improve its SteamOS software. By doing this, Valve wants to bring PC gaming to brand-new platforms like Chromebooks and Teslas. As per McWhirter, it will reduce the company’s reliance on Windows. 

Valve is focused on utilizing early usage data to refine and improve the SteamOS software powering Steam Deck – software which has already enabled the company to translate a large portion of Steam games from the Windows operating system. Valve aims to increase its addressable market via Steam for Chromebooks and Tesla vehicles, now that it has reduced its dependence on Windows.”

Therefore, the handheld’s relatively small user base doesn’t affect Valve as it is using Steam Deck to achieve a bigger goal. In addition, the console is regularly increasing its game library by adding major titles like Hogwarts Legacy. Per Omdia, the Deck is the first example of a portable gaming PC, a new category of devices that can run AAA games. But, it is still an untapped niche and does have some weaknesses.

According to the report, Steam Deck has a limited retail presence and only appeals to Steam users. Big AAA games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and FIFA 23 are also not available on the device. Even though Valve can’t fix the cause of this issue, that being anti-cheat solutions, the absence of these titles is still palpable. Ports of games like The Last of Us Part I are seemingly not a priority for the portable PC, which is concerning.

Furthermore, compared to other devices, Steam Deck is less “approachable” as per Omdia. Despite all these hurdles, the Valve handheld is going to sell over 3 million units if the prediction is right. For sure, that does seem small compared to the other popular handheld Nintendo Switch. But considering Valve’s focus on the bigger picture, this is a competent performance.

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Ahmed Mansoor is a News Writer who has a deep passion for single-player adventure games. He loves to keep tabs on the gaming and technology industries and loves to break stories that interest his audience. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and several years of experience writing for games. Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Journalism || Written 600+ News Stories.

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