Why The Hell Can’t We Pre-Order The Steam Controller Yet?

Why The Hell Can’t We Pre-Order The Steam Controller Yet?

It always takes a day or two for Australian gamers to get prompts on Steam. It happens with sales, it happens with the news and it happens with just about anything that is important.

This morning prompts for the Portal 2 + Rocket League deal with Steam hardware — or the controller, which is what I want — came through to my account. They were already viewable online, of course, if you used incognito mode or an American VPN or just opened it up normally. But pre-orders still aren’t available.

What the hell is going on?

When I started at Kotaku, one of my first questions to Mark was whether we — or anyone in the country, really — would be able to get our hands on some of the Steam hardware. The Steam controller in particular caught my interest, given its features and cost to alternatives like the Xbox One Elite controller or some of the Scuf Gaming custom pads that console pros have used.

So I sent an email out to Valve. I didn’t expect a reply, in truth, but I gave it a shot. “I was looking for someone at Valve to reach out to in regards to the Steam Controller and whether it would become available for pre-order in Australia and/or New Zealand any time soon,” I wrote.

That was almost two months ago to the day. Nothing’s changed. Australians still get pop-ups about the Steam Controller, Steam Link and the various Steam boxes on sale. (There’s a link to SteamVR now as well, but the link simply goes to a separate web page rather than a description or an actual store listing.)

People can pre-order Steam hardware at retail — provided you live in, you know, the United States. Or Europe. Australia? No. JB Hi-Fi and EB Games don’t have any listings at all, not even ones with placeholder dates, and searching the StaticICE aggregator turns up nothing.

The wall of silence continues. November inches closer and closer and yet my dream of bowling rubbish off-spin with Steam’s haptic feedback is just as far away from reality as it ever was.

Again: what the hell is going on?


    • I can’t see the Vive making it out this year in any numbers. They have gone awfully quiet on it.

  • As to what the hell is going on? I would imagine it is as simple as them only having manufactured enough to perhaps not meet domestic US demand, and thy won’t open it up to other markets until they have enough stock to service them.

    • According to Neogaf threads they’re being delivered in Europe too. In terms of numbers, Australia is pretty small. So it feels like there are other reasons.

  • I REAAAAALLLY want the Steam Link.

    Can you please add that to your questions about AU pre-orders if they ever respond? Thank you!

  • I am still waiting for the razer forge tv, by the time that reaches australia it will be outdated and the second will be announced.

    People are going to start selling steam hardware on ebay for 200% more, and perhaps knockoffs will start being made

  • I asked the staff at my local eb store about the steam controller and they said they will be stocking it but its not on their system yet.

    As for why its we Aussies can’t preorder it, is because valve only sell services to Australians (ACCC fight).

  • I have a feeling this may have something to do with the ACCC case that is going on between Valve at the moment. Without getting into it to much, I think I am right in my assumption, as no other country is limited to pre-orders at the moment; I don’t think we are being “punished” for this, I think the ACCC are being snarfing dick heads about a law they cannot apply to a product that is digital and also dose not apply to them since the business is overseas and the consumer is based in Australia, thats utter bullpoopies!…Any way, I think they are taking there time to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s with there team before they even attempt to sell the product in AUS because of this bullpoop!

    We may just have to buy it off Ebay once it comes out. Sad, but true. Unless they are locked to your Steam Account when you get them, in which case we are snarfed!

    • The ACCC has a perfectly reasonable case, if you actually think they cannot apply our laws to digital products you’re either naive, stupid or both. Valve were claiming they did not have to offer a refund as they were “not doing business in Australia” since they’re based in the US and their servers are in the US.

      Them, then, selling a piece of hardware in Australia would definitely require them to read up on all the rules and regulations the ACCC enforces, especially since they’re currently in legal proceedings with the ACCC for that very reason.

  • I too have emailed, tweeted, posted in the Steam forums… I guess if Kotaku can’t get an answer then I’m not going to either. Even a statement on the delay would be nice. The silence is maddening.

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