In an intriguing turn of events, Valve Corporation, the renowned video game developer and digital distribution company, has quietly launched a refurbishing program for its popular gaming handheld, the Steam Deck.
This announcement follows a brief leak on the Steam Database, which revealed pricing and other details about the refurbished Steam Decks before Valve promptly removed the information. The program, as detailed on Valve’s website, offers a 25% discount off the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for refurbished Steam Decks. This pricing aligns with the leaked information and mirrors the pricing of new models during the Steam Deck’s inaugural sale. The 64GB model is priced at $319, the 256GB model at $419, and the 512GB model at $519.
The refurbished Steam Decks come with the same one-year warranty as new models, and include the carry case and power supplies. Valve assures customers that these refurbished units undergo rigorous testing and repair, including a complete factory reset, software update, and an extensive examination involving over 100 tests at one of Valve’s facilities.
At the time of the announcement, the cheapest model was already sold out, highlighting the demand for a more affordable portable gaming machine. The other two models, however, remain available for purchase. Valve has cautioned potential buyers via its Twitter account that supplies are limited and stock levels will fluctuate.
In a strategic partnership, Valve has teamed up with iFixit, a wiki-based site that teaches people how to fix almost anything, to ensure buyers can easily repair any potential issues with their refurbished Steam Deck. The launch of this refurbishing program by Valve is a significant move. It not only represents a potentially lucrative revenue stream but also allows Valve to maintain quality control over its refurbished products. This is a notable advantage over the third-party used and refurbished console market, which can be inconsistent in terms of pricing, quality, and warranty coverage.
The 25% discount makes the refurbished Steam Decks particularly attractive to budget-conscious buyers who might be deterred by the regular price. This is especially true for the cheapest model, making it an enticing option for those wishing to play low-end indie titles that don’t require extensive storage. With Valve’s backing in terms of pricing, quality, and warranty, this refurbishing program promises to be a safer and more consistent option for consumers. The challenge now lies in meeting consumer demand with a sufficient supply of refurbished units.