Valve tears down a Steam Deck but says you probably shouldn't

Opening up the portable PC is something better left to the professionals, according to the gaming company.

Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is a Texas native who covered video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
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Oscar Gonzalez
2 min read
Take a look inside the Steam Deck

Take a look inside the Steam Deck.


Valve revealed its Nintendo Switch-like gaming device, called the Steam Deck, in July. The portable game console doesn't come out till December, but in a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday, Valve gave a look inside the gadget and explained why owners shouldn't open up their own Steam Decks. 

Under the hood, the Steam Deck isn't much different from other portable devices. It takes only eight screws to open it and gain access to the battery, SSD storage and everything else. However, Valve said that once the Steam Deck has been opened, it's weaker and less drop resistant. Though the device's components can be somewhat easily accessed, the company said the Steam Deck's parts weren't designed to be user-swappable. 

According to the video, the parts of the Steam Deck are custom-built, and Valve will provide info in the coming months on how to order parts such as the thumb stick and SSD drive. 

Speaking of the storage, the included NVMe SSD drive can work with similar drives, but Valve advised against replacing it. The SSD that comes with the Steam Deck is designed specifically for the device, and other drives can cause issues by requiring more power or interfering with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth due to its proximity to those components. The company said people who want more storage on their Steam Deck should instead use a microSD card in the slot available. 

Watch this: Valve's Steam Deck Is a Portable, Handheld PC

Valve's Steam Deck can be ordered only from the company's PC gaming platform, Steam. There are three versions: a $400 model with 64GB of storage, a $530 offering with 256GB, and a $650 unit with 512GB. The first Steam Decks are scheduled to start shipping in December, but people who place their orders now will have to wait for theirs to ship after the second quarter of 2022.