According to Valve’s Gabe Newell, the Steam Deck will feature an internal M.2 SSD slot. However, there are many catches.
Valve unveiled its new logo on Thursday Steam Deck The handheld PC device would be available in three distinct SKUs, each with a different internal storage capacity and speed. The information was widely sharedValveInterview shortly thereafter stated that the internal storage cannot be replaced and that users could use a MicroSD slot for additional storage. However, this may not be true based on comments from Valve’s Gabe Newell.
Newell is well-known for responding to emails promptly. Newell was asked directly about the Steam Deck’s storage options. Newell was initially asked if the SSD in Steam Deck could be replaced or if it is soldered to the mainboard. Or is it really hard to access. Newell replied, reportedly saying “2230 M.2 Slot”, implying that the Steam Deck will have an easily accessible M.2 2230 slot which allows users to swap out the SSD.
According to reports, a follow-up email was sent asking if the M.2 SSD slot would also be included in all SKUs within the Steam Deck. Newell also replied to the email saying “yes”. This means that all three Steamdeck SKUs will be equipped with an internal M.2 2230 SSD slot, which allows users to expand/replace the game’s storage.
However, there is a catch. The first is that the slot is internally protected from EMI and thermal shielding. Replacing it could potentially void a user’s warranty. This is confirmed by Pierre-Loup Griffais, Valve coder on Discord. However, it hasn’t been confirmed. It is possible to replace/upgrade the Steam Deck’s internal storage, but this is only for people who are experienced in PC alterations.
M.2 2230 SSDs can be difficult to find. They are limited to 512GB and can run around $300. Although 128GB options can be purchased on Amazon for $15-$20 each, Steamdeck buyers won’t open their handhelds often to swap out 128GB cards to play other games. Although it is possible that M.2 2230 cards will be cheaper in the near future than they are now, this won’t change anyone’s minds.
The third problem is that users will need to reinstall SteamOS on their Device in order to replace the Steam Deck’s internal storage. A new storage solution is like starting from scratch.
This means that advanced users will have to cancel their warranty to alter the Steam Deck. Many people are interested in homebrew, emulator or installing Windows on the Steam Deck. They may be able save money by purchasing a $399 Steam Deck and upgrading. The best option for most people is to use the standard Steam Deck storage solutions straight out of the box.