Valve is partnering up with iFixit in delivering replacement parts for the Steam Deck. A process that will give tinkerers an option to tweak their new toy’s hardware when the handheld officially releases. Although which components will be sold in retail remains to be under talks between the two companies.
However, there appears to be a profound interest in the possibility of including the battery, the screen, the thumbstick, and the SSD with the aftersales. These are the typical hardware essentials that will more likely require replacing after some time of prolonged use. Or in the case of a better experience, due to the need to upgrade on certain parts, like a theoretical extended battery or replacing even the fastest SD card for Steam Deck with larger m.2 internal storage chips.
As per Valve:
“… if you watched our Take a look inside Steam Deck video (aka the “please don’t do this” video), you may remember we said certain Steam Deck replacement parts would be available for purchase. Today, we’re announcing that iFixit will be one of the authorized sellers of Steam Deck replacement parts – as well as replacement parts for the Valve Index VR products. We are still hammering out the details, and will be sharing more info on this soon.”
For years, iFixit has established itself a name as a reputable resource for all things tech, including repairs. Its video showcasing a complete breakdown of the Steam Deck just shows the platform’s prowess when it comes to electronics. And the tearing down of the handheld is no small feat as certain parts seem to be harder to remove than others. One specifically is the battery, which the iFixit video narrator describes as the ‘Achilles heel’ of the device. Or in other words, a vulnerable point that could render a robust device broken beyond repair, as in the case of it catching fire.
It, therefore, only comes auspicious to the platform for it to become integral in the distribution of proprietary components of the machine. And it comes off as well-deserved considering it is among the trusted brands out there in the field.
Steam Deck Under the Hood
Valve recently published a video showcasing the disassembly of the Steam Deck. Titled “Take a look inside Steam Deck™!,” it demonstrates a teardown of Valve’s prized hardware. But it comes with the expressed purpose of getting into the internal parts, such as the thumbsticks and SSD storage. Specific hardware components that, more or less, will more likely be an issue among users down the line because of wear and tear. From removing which screws to disconnecting connections, the video shows will-be tinkerers what it takes to strip the Steam Deck to get into its inner parts.
But just like any attempt at dissecting an electronic machine to its core components, the method comes with a risk of voiding the warranty. This is not to mention the likelihood of mishandling, leading to permanent damage on the handheld. Like, for instance, the battery catching fire that could incinerate the entire thing. Something that Valve has been explicit about, while also a given, for users to consider before doing.