The problem with Steam Deck is that Valve has never reported official sales figures since starting shipping its portable PC in February 2022. However, there is still some indirect data that can be used to estimate the number of owners.

Steam Deck sales could already reach 3-4 million units, according to GameDiscoverCo

Image credit: Valve

In its latest newsletter, GameDiscoverCo did some calculations and tried to answer the question of how many units of Steam Deck have been shipped since its launch.

  • In October 2022, David Edmundson from KDE, an open source community that created the desktop user interface used in SteamOS, revealed that Valve had shipped over 1 million units of its device.
  • “If we just pretended the same speed from February to October 2022 continued until October 2023, we’d be at somewhere around 2.5 million Steam Decks in the wild,” GameDiscoverCo founder Simon Carless said. “We think this is conservative, though.”
  • Another indirect data that could help estimate sales is Aperture Desk Job, a free demo that Valve made specifically for Steam Deck. Using info from GamingAnalytics, Carless noted that this game is currently owned by 2.9 million players.
  • There are two issues: 1) not every Steam Deck owner has Aperture Desk Job in their library; 2) it can be downloaded even by users who don’t have Valve’s portable PC.
  • “But with a combination of these two extrapolations, we’d guesstimate between 3 and 4 million Steam Deck owners ‘in the wild’ right now,” Carless said.
  • This is in line with a report from research firm Omdia, which said in April that Steam Deck “will surpass 3 million units sold during 2023.”
  • GameDiscoverCo also broke down Aperture Desk Job owners by country, using data from Steam public profiles, to see the regions with the most possible Steam Deck users. The US accounts for 26% of the total, followed by China (6.7%), Russia (5.9%), the UK (5.5%), Germany (4.7%), Canada (4.2%), Brazil (3.1%), Poland (3.0%), Turkey (2.5%), and France (2.4%).
  • According to Steam’s latest hardware survey, 0.7% of all Steam players currently use the SteamOS Holo. Plus, Steam Deck’s graphics processor AMD Van Gogh has a 0.7% share of all GPUs on the platform.
  • In 2021, Steam had 132 million monthly active players, and the number has likely increased since then (in January 2023, the platform set its new daily concurrent player record by peaking at over 33 million CCU).
  • It is hard to calculate the number of active Steam Deck players, but GameDiscoverCo guesstimated that it is possible that “1-2% of those 130 million++ MAUs are on Deck nowadays, but only half or a third of those people filled out the Hardware Survey.”

Got a story you'd like to share? Reach us at [email protected]