In anticipation of the Steam Deck’s release, Valve has released a five-minute teardown video showing what the insides of Steam’s handheld device actually looks like, but warns repeatedly in the ‘how-to tutorial’ video that it doesn’t recommend users opening it up.
The video was put up by valve this past Wednesday and shows off how to take the Nintendo Switch-inspired handheld apart with commentary from a Steam Deck technician. The video gives tech enthusiasts a first look at the internal specs of the handheld device. The whole “why you really shouldn’t do this” messaging in the video, definitely feels like a liability disclaimer from the business side of Valve.
Valve isn’t saying this just for legal reasons but for user safety as—worst-case scenario—a battery explosion could lead to death. Less harmful issues users may face include the Steam Deck’s structural integrity weakening after taking it apart and putting it back together, this basically means the device will be less drop resistant. It’s also possible that exposing wires to static electricity through some form of contact can possibly brick the PC handheld.
“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,” the technician said. “Opening up and replacing parts might mess things up, like, profoundly.”
Although even with that said, the technician adds “even though it’s your PC…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.” This approach Valve is taking is a breath of fresh air in a world of companies that are actively hostile to their own customers or third-party repair services looking to repair the product that customers have bought with their hard-earned money. It’s nice to see Valve exercising Steam Deck user’s right to repair
It should be noted, whatever damage that Steam Deck users could possibly face won’t be covered in the warranty. If you’re looking to replace components like thumbsticks or an SSD attempt it at your own risk. On that Valve says ‘stay tuned’ as it will give an update on where you can obtain replacement parts.
Anyone who got to put down their deposit early can expect the first batch of Steam Decks to start shipping sometime in December. If you got your Steam Deck deposit in a little later, you can expect your Steam Deck to start shipping sometime in spring 2022.