Valve’s Steam Deck is formally a game console. The device is a handheld PC in a game console form factor, architectural and ideologically. It is possible to repair and upgrade it, assuming that you have the right parts. IFixit plans to offer all internal and external components for Steam Deck systems enabling do-it-yourself repairs. But those parts are not going to be cheap.
On Friday, iFixit started to offer Steam Deck components in its U.K. store (opens in new tab), offering everything from chargers and buttons to displays and the motherboard, according to a report from GamingOnLinux (opens in new tab). However, as it turned out a bit later, iFixit was a little too early to start sales, so it had to take the appropriate page down (for a while), yet respect orders made by early birds, the company said on Twitter (opens in new tab).
“Earlier today we published some pages related to our upcoming parts launch with Valve,” the statement by the company reads. “These went live earlier than we planned, so we ended up taking them down. If you did get a parts order in, we’ll honor it. Stay tuned for the real launch soon!”
While the tweet itself means that iFixit does not sell (or maybe not allowed to sell) the right parts ahead of a specific date, it also means that the company has plans to offer them in the future. In addition, it means that the company is waiting for a Valve approval or an announcement of a DIY repair program. The key takeaway is that the replacement parts will soon be available to Steam Deck owners.
But one has to keep in mind that these Steam Deck parts from iFixit are everything but cheap. For example, a regular screen for the 512GB model costs $99.99, $19.99 for the thumbsticks, and $24.99 for the fan, whereas Steam Deck’s motherboard without an SSD can be yours for a rather whopping $349.99.
It is unclear whether Valve plans to introduce a DIY repair program for its Steam Deck or iFixit just teamed up with the platform holder for this project. But a key question here is whether, because of this program, enthusiasts will be able to build their Steam Decks or even use the console’s motherboards for various non-gaming projects. Raspberry Pi has demonstrated how creative people can be, and while considerably more expensive and harder to program, Steam Deck is also much more powerful. So why not?