Valve has announced that they have now opened several Steam Deck repair centers, effectively ensuring that cancellation requests are resolved even faster.
Although still largely a niche product, Valve’s handheld gaming PC, the Steam Deck, has already proven itself in the market. Valve is making this even more important with the launch of several new Steam Deck repair centres. These special facilities allow Valve to process user RMA requests more quickly and efficiently, but even devices that may no longer be under warranty have a good reputation.
Of course, Steam Deck is not without problems, and some devices have reported quality assurance problems. According to Valve’s announcement, the newly launched repair centers will be able to help users who ended up with a device in a not-so-good condition, for example with a faulty battery. Affected users simply need to contact Valve Customer Service to arrange shipping of their device, and the nearest repair center will diagnose the problem and repair it at no additional cost – as long as the warranty covers the problem.
However, the particularly good news is that the Steam Deck Repair Center can fix even issues that are not covered by the warranty. “If your dog chews on your thumb button and it breaks”, the blog post says, “this is not covered by the warranty”. Whereas before, the only option available was to have iFixit try DIY repair using Steam Deck parts from the store, from now on, users can solve the problem at the official repair center. However, this is subject to a fee.
Although Valve plans to release more versions of the Steam Deck in the future, maintaining the first iteration’s longevity is also very important to the company. The mere fact that individual parts can be purchased through iFixit is virtually unprecedented in this niche. With dedicated Steam Deck repair centres in the picture, even out-of-warranty shouldn’t be much of a problem for owners of the device years later.
Perhaps the bigger problem is the fluid nature of modern software. Just a few days ago, an update to 2K’s BioShock trilogy broke Steam Deck support when the publisher tried to integrate its new launcher with the old titles. While leveraging Linux and coming with SteamOS was the way to go instead of relying on Windows to support Steam Deck, Valve opened a strange can of worms with this approach, and there’s a good chance that this was only the first such problem to arise, and the there will be more in the future.
Still, Steam Deck remains an exciting option for many PC gamers. And with the device’s manufacturing capabilities ramping up, Valve has some good news for Steam Deck reservation owners. Notably, anyone who had a reservation at the end of July can expect to receive the Deck before the end of 2022. And since the repair centers are already online, even if someone gets a defective Deck, it will be relatively easy to fix the problem.