As is customary in Valve’s creator, Gabe Newell has answered himself to some of the questions posed by the community, and there are obviously a lot of questions in the air about the brand’s new handheld console. In particular, the million dollar question is whether it makes sense to purchase the most expensive version of the console that carries an M.2 NVMe SSD or whether it is better to buy the cheapest model and install an SSD on our own.
We can expand the SSD of the Steam Deck console
The CEO of Valve has confirmed that the console uses an SSD unit in M.2 2230 format, a type of unit that although it is available in the market without problems is not the most standard (2280) and therefore does not have an availability generalized, nor will we be able to find large capacity SSDs in this format (remember that the most expensive Steam Deck model has a 512 GB SSD).
This exchange of emails with Steam fans has forced Valve to update the official technical specifications of the console to specify the type of SSD they use, but they have also made it clear in them that it is not designed for the user to replace the SSD. on your own.
Why don’t you recommend that the user change the SSD on their own? Surely for three reasons: the first will be because it will not be easy to install SteamOS again and make it work, the second because, as we have commented, the availability of SSDs in M.2 2230 format is not too wide, and thirdly because if you want a Higher capacity or faster SSD for that they sell you the most expensive version (and they are interested in you buying it because they will earn more money) Besides, the console has a slot to install memory cards, let’s not forget it.
The M.2 2230 form factor is the smallest currently on the market, and is generally not sold individually as most devices are adapted for the M.2 2280 format, which are considerably larger. . In addition, SSDs in the M.2 2230 format do not even have a controller, something that should lower their cost, but this means that the controller must be in the device to which it is connected and not in the SSD itself.
This leads us to the fact that in addition to being difficult to find these devices, they are usually quite expensive although it is true that prices vary a lot and we can find from 512 GB units for 200 euros to others of 1 TB for 150 euros, at the same level than normal M.2 2280s.
In a different vein, there are still months before Steam Deck is available, and at this point we have not yet seen the inside of the device to be able to know if it is difficult or easy to install an M.2 SSD, although it is true that a Good insurance will not be an accessible socket and we will have to gut the console to access it, something that on the other hand will void your warranty.