Some important details have emerged about Valve’s Steam Deck handheld console-meets-PC — particularly about its target performance level and whether you can actually install your own NVMe SSD to upgrade storage.
In a video interview from IGN, Valve stated that the Steam Deck’s 800p display, capable of up to a 60Hz refresh rate, will be targeting 30Hz for gameplay. In other words, the Nintendo Switch comparisons might go a little deeper than the surface, as many games on that platform run well below 60 frames per second. Though, given that most PC games offer a trove of graphical settings to fine-tune, the Steam Deck should be able to achieve smoother gameplay at the cost of graphical quality if you’re willing to knock down a few settings, depending on the game of course.
Valve also shared that, crucially, the standard M.2 2230-sized SSDs used in the Steam Deck aren’t soldered to the board. In the world of gaming laptops, this usually means that effort has been made to ensure that M.2 SSDs are easy to swap out for, say, a bigger one you might already have on hand, or one that maybe doesn’t cost as much as Valve is charging for storage upgrades. An article from IGN confirms that you can technically remove and upgrade the storage in a Steam Deck yourself, but the focus is on repairability, not for increasing the tweak factor for the everyday user. So, those SSD slots may not be as accessible as we’re hoping, like the PS5’s slot that’s covered in an easy-to-remove plastic shield, but we don’t know for certain as Valve hasn’t shown off the inside of the Steam Deck.