Steam Decks get cheaper, but you’ll have to wait for second-hand price drop

Valve sells refurbished Steam Decks to undercut second-hand pricing on its own store, offering a better condition product.

Steam Decks get cheaper, but you’ll have to wait for second-hand price drop
Published by José @ PC Game Spotlight a year ago

Valve's Refurbished Steam Decks Offer a Cheaper Alternative

Steam Decks are cheaper through official channels, but you’ll have to be patient if you want to get the handheld console through Valve. The gaming giant is offering up refurbished versions of the portable at a discount, cutting out scalpers and giving you a better condition product. It’s a clever move that feels strangely archaic, like a scheme from the 2000s. The launch of the Xbox Series X/S and PS5 highlighted the need for change, and Valve has presented a solution. Will Sony and Microsoft choose to take note?

You can now buy a 64GB model for $320, the 256GB model for $420, and the 512GB model for $520. All models have a one-year warranty and are refurbished, but Valve says they may have “minor cosmetic damage.”

This pricing strategy feels backwards, like the kind of thing you’d see on an old GameStop advert in the early 2000s. I’ve been a PC gamer since 2005, and the dominance of second-hand gaming has always sat uncomfortably with me. It started with Steam, where some developers began to complain about the effects of second-hand sales on their ability to make a profit.

The problem has since been exacerbated by the rise of collectors with too much money and scalpers looking to make high profits. Official second-hand stores like CEX in the UK bought PS5 consoles for more than the asking price, essentially acting as middlemen, to sell them to you at inflated prices.

I’d like to see second-hand stores be cheaper, but it now takes years for prices to drop. Valve’s solution of selling refurbished Steam Decks cuts out scalpers and offers you a better condition product. Sony and Microsoft should follow its lead and buy second-hand consoles directly, refurbish them, and sell them at a discount on their websites.

This won’t eliminate scalping overnight, but it will allow the companies to set the second-hand market price and offer a viable alternative to buying from a middleman. It won’t eliminate the need for a secondary market, but it will dictate the market and provide a better option for consumers.

Valve is one step ahead of the console makers on this, and it feels like a reaction to the launch of the Xbox Series X/S and PS5. The launch of the next-gen consoles felt like a step backwards, with the new Xbox costing $500 and not including any games.

Valve has been working hard to counter the Xbox, and Steam Deck is a portable PC with the best games included. The company is now offering up cheaper second-hand Steam Decks, and it feels like it’s trying to set the bar for console prices, showing Microsoft the way forward.

Featured image credit: Valve.

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