Steam Deck replacement parts could be stocked by iFixit in just a few months’ time, according to a new report.
The Verge (opens in new tab) spoke to Kevin Purdy, an editor at iFixit – the tech site which publishes teardowns of hardware and scores devices for repairability – who indicated that said parts would be made available from this summer.
As you may recall, in February, Valve revealed that iFixit would be one of the authorized sellers of replacement parts for its handheld gaming PC, but we didn’t know when this scheme would kick-off.
The Verge also probed as to which parts might be available initially, but didn’t have any joy in getting specifics just yet (though the site did point out an email marketing sign-up (opens in new tab) you can use to be notified by iFixit when the official Steam Deck parts come into stock).
However, Valve has previously mentioned that two elements which will be on sale are set to be thumbsticks and SSDs, both obvious and useful candidates for switching out should anything go wrong with the originals. The firm also mentioned that “possibly more” components would be available to buy, as well.
Note, though, that Valve shared the above details in a video (opens in new tab) (from October 2021) where the company stressed that it isn’t recommended that Steam Deck owners ever open the device, and that its components “aren’t really designed to be user-swappable” even if this is possible.
Analysis: Always good to have options…
All that said, Valve’s aforementioned video from last year does demonstrate how to perform jobs like swapping the SSD, and the company doubtless realizes that some folks will open up their devices – but presumes that only confident tech-savvy gamers are going to do so (at their own risk, naturally).
Clearly, this is a useful facility to have for those who are up to the task, and if a thumbstick does go awry, or the drive, it’d be great to be able to replace it and keep your Steam Deck going without paying for the hardware to be sent away for repair.
We’ve already seen in the early days of the Steam Deck that there have been reports of stick drift – meaning a direction is registered on the thumbstick when it’s not being touched – but Valve quickly fixed this up via an update, as it was a software-side issue, not a problem with the hardware itself, fortunately.
- These are the best Steam games