Valve has posted an official teardown of its upcoming handheld gaming PC, the Steam Deck. Before diving into the teardown, though, the company spends about a minute to strongly caution against taking one apart unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing.
“Even though it’s your PC — or it will be once you’ve received your Steam Deck — and you have every right to open it up and do what you want, we at Valve really don’t recommend that you ever open it up,” a Valve representative said in the video. “The Steam Deck is a very tightly designed system, and the parts are chosen carefully for this product with its specific construction, so they aren’t really designed to be user-swappable.”
Despite its warnings, however, the company likely understands that people are going to take the Steam Deck apart anyway, so this video could be a handy resource for people who are considering doing so.
In the video, Valve shows how to swap out two parts of the system. First, Valve shows how to replace the thumbsticks. The company cautions that they are completely custom, but says that it will offer a source for “replacement parts, thumbsticks, SSDs, and possibly more” in the coming months.
After that, Valve shows how to swap out the SSD, which could be helpful for people who may have reserved the cheapest version of the device with an eMMC hard drive with the intention of upgrading it themselves. Be aware that all versions of the Steam Deck use an m.2 connector, including the version with the eMMC drive, so if you plan to make a swap, you’re going to have to reinstall the OS and bring over any games you might have had loaded on your other drive.
Valve says the Steam Deck will begin shipping in December, though the initial reservations flew off the virtual shelves quickly. If you reserve one now, you’ll have to wait until at least the second quarter of 2022 for the opportunity to actually make an order.