(Photo: iFixit)Last Friday iFixit accidentally revealed it would soon sell replacement parts for the Steam Deck, making it easy for owners of the new Valve console to conduct repairs at home. Since then, said replacement parts have officially gone up for sale.
The popular self-repair hub has apparently been working with Valve for a while to develop and finalize the parts list. Though iFixit planned on announcing the partnership on a later date, it published web pages selling a number of Steam Deck components Friday evening. The pages were quickly removed, followed by an acknowledgement on Twitter that the company had leaked its “upcoming parts launch with Valve” earlier than intended.
Earlier today we published some pages related to our upcoming parts launch with Valve. 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!
— iFixit (@iFixit) May 21, 2022
The short-lived sales pages included parts like trigger and bumper buttons, thumbsticks, screen replacements, and even the console’s AMD Aerith-equipped motherboard. A few chance viewers were even able to complete purchases in the few minutes the pages were online—purchases that iFixit has reportedly promised to fulfill.
Now that the parts are officially available though, it’s been revealed that almost every piece of the Steam Deck is replaceable. From the aforementioned buttons and motherboard to the console’s speakers, left and right daughter boards, and front and back plates. Pretty much anything that cracks or stops working can undergo replacement via iFixit’s partnership with Valve. Steam Deck owners are even able to upgrade their consoles using parts like an anti-glare screen (which currently only comes with the 512GB model) and a quieter fan. iFixit doesn’t yet appear to sell the Steam Deck battery, but the company acknowledges that this is a crucial part of device upkeep and hopes to offer this part in a future “wave” of releases.
An important factor in choosing whether to purchase a gadget is the ability to repair it when something inevitably goes wrong. Thanks to companies like John Deere and Onewheel withholding vital diagnostic elements or using copyright loopholes to prevent customers from repairing their own equipment, it’s become clear that some manufacturers are fine with you ensuring your property’s longevity, while others would prefer you make a whole new purchase. Therefore it’s exciting to see a company as powerful as Valve openly support right-to-repair by making its first console’s replacement parts widely available.
Still, few are surprised that Valve is making it relatively easy for Steam Deck owners to maintain their devices. Though a look under the console’s hood might be a little tricky for a first-timer, the Steam Deck does appear to have been designed with DIY repair in mind. The internal design of the console is highly modular, and nearly every part is labeled, making them easy to identify and replace. And now that iFixit’s not-so-secret replacement parts are on the market, it’s a DIY repair free-for-all.