“In one way, this is a how-to video, but in another way, it’s a why you really shouldn’t do this video”.
We’re just a few months away from the first batch of Steam Decks shipping, and, in the run-up to release, Valve has ripped open its handheld gaming PC to give those curious sorts in the audience a quick peek at its decidedly compact innards.
“One of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received about Steam Deck,” Valve’s explains over on Steam, “is about the components inside it, and whether they’re replaceable or upgradable. The answer is a bit more complicated than just a yes or no, so we’ve made a video to explain all the details.”
Despite Valve’s willingness to expose the inner workings of Steam Deck and provide some much-requested information about its components, the company stresses it doesn’t recommend disassembling the handheld or replacing parts yourself. “In one way, this is a how-to video”, it says, “but in another way, it’s a why you really shouldn’t do this video”.
“The Steam Deck is a very tightly designed system,” it continues, “and the parts are chosen carefully for this product with its specific construction so they aren’t really designed to be user-swappable. Opening up and replacing parts might mess things up…like profoundly”.
Those unconcerned with potentially damaging their Steam Deck, setting themselves on fire, or voiding their warranty can, of course, tinker with their system to their heart’s content on its eventual arrival, but for everyone else, Valve’s video might provide all the nosying they need.
There’s a look at detaching the unit’s backplate, replacing the bespoke thumbstick, and the steps required to remove the Steam Deck’s SSD – all alongside repeated warnings that you probably shouldn’t do any of this yourself – before Valve’s first public look at what’s inside the device reaches its conclusion. “Let us know whether this is useful information for you as a Steam Deck reservation-holder,” it concludes, “and what else you’d like to see in future updates.”
For some early reservers, Steam Deck – which starts at £349/$399 USD for 64GB storage – will begin shipping relatively soon in early December, but others will have a much longer wait until either Q2 or Q3 2022. Despite the potentially lengthy roll-out, it’s still an incredibly promising gaming machine, as Digital Foundry argued back in July.