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?