Valve has released hardware before, but nothing quite so big and ambitious as the Steam Deck before. And releasing proper hardware means Valve had to think of something a software-first company hasn’t had to think of very often: what should its box look like.
While the Steam Controller looked like a Logitech headset you’d get on sale and the Index VR headset came in an almost-generic black box, a little more thought has gone into the Steam Deck’s packaging. And, in a rarity in a space obsessed with looking as grown up and consumer tech as possible, even some humour.
Valve revealed the box earlier today in a blog post, and this is it. Just a brown cardboard box, with absolutely nothing on the top of it at all. I am 100% here for this kind of minimalism in packaging, which I know is a luxury of this thing never having to sit on a retail shelf and vie for attention, but which I’m enjoying regardless. It’s clearly saying that Valve knows its a software-first kind of company, and so the box is getting out of the way as fast as it can so you can focus on the games. Which is the whole point of the Steam Deck, after all.
On the side there are some big safety warnings that look like they came straight out of the Portal universe, mixing joke warnings with actual ones in a way that is probably going to end up having someone try and unfold the packaging and use it as an umbrella.
Inside the box is a nice sleeve for the Steam Deck’s carry case (that looks more like what you’d have expected from the actual box art) and, all across the top, what look like more warnings and/or legal notices but are really just examples of the kinds of places you can take and play the handheld. Like a ferris wheel, the subway, on the couch or, and at least they’re aware of this ahead of time, on the toilet.
The carry case itself looks like something I’d buy for $US10 ($14) on Amazon when I lost/broke the official one — I think it’s the Steam Deck logo, which I don’t love — but you can’t win ‘em all I guess.