Steam Deck 2 should be modular

- Advertisement -

Powerful steam bridge it changed the landscape of gaming PCs, but despite its success, it also seems like a missed opportunity. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Portable Power Station and don’t have many qualms about its overall design. However, the ability to transform PDA hardware inside and out at will could be a game changer, and Valve could dominate this market indefinitely by making its next PDA modular.

The idea of ​​a modular Steam Deck 2 may seem absurd, but the concept itself is far from new. While the top contenders for gaming laptops today aren’t particularly repairable, iconic machines like the IBM Thinkpad once featured a car-hood approach with component blocks hidden inside. No screws, no tinkering with flimsy innards, just a simple Lego-like replacement.

- Advertisement -

It’s worth noting that modularity didn’t go away with the innovative IBM technology of the ’90s, as Framework 13-inch laptops, just like 13-inch laptops, help keep the dream alive. However, portable gaming PCs are a different beast, and I’d like to see Valve take it a step further by creating a no-compromise Steam platform.

If you’re a Steam Deck master and owner, chances are you’ve already hacked into your laptop. Unsurprisingly, its interior is a compact sandwich of carefully placed pieces, and Valve says you should think twice before digging inside. That’s good advice, as one fake slip can send you to a big card table in the sky, but it seems like the company wants to let you play inside the deck, but can’t.

Making the interior of the upcoming Steam Deck more accessible would make it look like a normal deck, but it wouldn’t eliminate the risks involved. Rather than just catering to seasoned enthusiasts, a selection of hot-swappable components can encourage novice gamers to get involved and make setup ten times easier. Valve doesn’t even have to reinvent the wheel to do this, as many products already dabble in the idea of ​​modularity.

Steam Deck with a shiny Seagate SSD for Xbox

modular SSDs

Swapping Steam Deck storage for the best gaming SSD isn’t difficult, but I can see why some users are hesitant to try. Again, Valve advises against playing with portable parts and you’ll need to manually remove the existing drive guard to protect the muck. So to eliminate that nonsense, I think Valve should take a cue from Microsoft’s book and use something like the Xbox Storage Expansion Card.

Now I know what you’re thinking and I agree that Microsoft Xbox discs are unreasonably priced. However, if Valve offers something cheaper, it will give the laptop an expandable storage method that will replace Steam Deck’s better SD card options, especially if you implement an external case slot.

Alternatively, Steam Deck 2 could follow in the Framework’s footsteps and opt for widely spaced internal modules. You’ll probably still need to make a less daunting tech matchup to make it work, but at least you’ll be greeted with crisp branding, simple connectors, and a less cramped environment to work in.

Inside a Modular Framework laptop with parts labeled
Image source: Marco

modular battery

Like it or not, the Steam Deck’s battery won’t last forever and will run out at some point. Technically, you could replace it, but iFixit calls the job “difficult” (it’s easy to see why when you look at the steps involved). Unfortunately, this fact is likely to send many games to their graves, and some users will pay for a new PDA rather than risk having it repaired.

I’m not a Valve engineer, but I’d like to see a replacement Steam Deck battery that pays homage to Sony’s PSP. To change the blades on this retro bad boy, simply unscrew a single screw and pull it out. This will not only make it easier to replace dead cells, but it will also allow players to easily add a higher capacity pad, which can appeal to anyone who constantly runs out of charge.

Modular APU, RAM and motherboard

In some ways, the Steam Deck’s low specs are part of the appeal, but they’re still a factor in the handheld’s longevity. Trying to increase frame rates in AMD’s portable APUs is only going to get more complicated over time, and the release of a successor with a better chip continues the cycle.

With that in mind, what if you could put something new in your PDA instead of buying a whole new device? In theory, this would eliminate the need for a Steam Deck 3 and allow Valve to constantly track competitors like Onexplayer and Ayaneo. However, I would still prefer to see a full system module rather than separate APU and RAM components, as it would save gamers from having to match the respective specs.Ifixit tutorial image manually removing the Steam Deck screen
Image source: iFixit

modular screen

Do you wish the Steam Deck had an OLED display? Well, not everyone shares this opinion, because it will probably increase the price of the portable device. Again, the solution to this particular puzzle is to make the screen modular, as this will add an element of visual versatility that would normally snap into place.

I’m not saying Valve should necessarily sell multiple displays for no reason, because even the next platform probably won’t be able to handle a 4K display. Instead, I’d like to see the possibility of using a lower resolution screen and potentially lowering the price of Steam Deck 2.

It’s hard to assume with a straight face because it’s not much of a precedent, but a screenless steam deck might make sense. After all, pairing a portable device with the best Steam Deck makes for a cheap desktop setup, so you can ditch the built-in display entirely and use a mod to fill the gap. Funny sounds? Maybe, but the idea might appeal to budget-conscious gamers.

Of course, modular screens are a great advantage in terms of maintainability and will mitigate the consequences of possible accidents. Sure, paying for a new screen will probably break your wallet anyway, but at least you won’t have to send it off to a repair shop.Steam Deck with control knobs and buttons on a white surface

Modular buttons and sticks

Oddly enough, the prospect of Steam Deck’s modular sticks and buttons excites me more than anything mentioned above, not to mention probably the most practical thing to implement. Changing the deck design may seem like a fundamental change, but for someone who is easily put off by the feel of a portable device, it’s the most important thing.

If your current setup includes the best controller for PC, you may already be familiar with modular gamepads. Accessories like the Thrustmaster Eswap Pro have magnetic button modules, joysticks, and trigger grips, and you can even change their position.

Using similar technology, Steam Deck 2 may appeal to more handheld enthusiasts, especially those who don’t like the original’s symmetrical design. It will also give you the option to completely replace Valve’s touchpads with something else. If it were up to me, I’d throw in a Playdate-inspired weirdo, but that’s why I’m not Gabe Newell.

Ultimately, the Steam Deck 2 Modular will help increase the versatility and durability of your portable device. However, it will also contribute to the same fight as the framework, as modern design constantly undermines consumers’ right to redress. By giving users access to modular components, Valve is able to cement its dominance in the portable gaming PC space, which will benefit both gamers and the future of the platform.

Source : PC Gamesn

- Advertisement -


Related articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here