Handheld PC Gaming — Plus, SteamOS 3.3.2 claims to improve the experience with third-party docks. Samuel Axon – Oct 6, 2022 9:42 pm UTC
A render of the Steam Deck Docking Station.
A photo of Steam Decks ready to ship, from a community update by Valve.
The Steam Deck’s long-delayed official dock is now available for order, according to Valve, the company behind it. The dock was initially planned to launch closer to the launch of the Steam Deck, but it was delayed this summer on account of supply chain challenges.
Officially called the “Steam Deck Docking Station,” it works as both a dock to work with an external monitor or TV and as a charging station. It has three USB-A 3.1 ports, one USB-C charging port with passthrough, DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and a gigabit Ethernet port. It also includes a power supply just like the one that comes with a Steam Deck. Valve says it can also work off of the Steam Deck’s battery power, but doing so affects the bandwidth of the ports.
Unlike the Nintendo Switch in docked mode, don’t expect your Steam Deck to perform any differently while docked.
The Steam Deck Docking Station costs $89, and at least at the moment, you can buy it right now with relatively brief shipping times. That said, Valve says that the product might switch to a reservation-based ordering process if demand begins to outpace supply
Speaking of reservation-based ordering processes, there’s big news about the Steam Deck, too.
For months, would-be Steam Deck buyers have had to place reservations for the device and wait for an email from Valve. Demand far outpaced supply, but Valve said it’s catching up. The company previously said it planned to fulfill all outstanding reservations by year’s end.
It seems that process has gone well; you no longer need to make a reservation to buy the Steam Deck in the US and Canada. Even folks without reservations can expect to receive the device within one to two weeks after they order.
There’s one other key development to consider regarding the dock: the Steam Deck has received a firmware update (SteamOS 3.3.2), which Valve promised will significantly improve the reportedly lackluster user experience of the Steam Deck not just with the official dock, but also with third-party USB-C docking stations.
Before the introduction of the official dock, third-party docks were the only option, but users and reviewers often complained that it was a bit janky—a far cry from the Nintendo Switch’s plug-and-play docking experience.
For example, SteamOS 3.3.2 adds an “external display output resolution and refresh rate selection UI in Display Settings” and “automatically avoids problematic resolutions like 4096×2160 or 30Hz modes on external displays.”
The firmware update is available on all Steam Decks right now.
Listing image by Valve