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Why Are Steam Deck OLEDs Cracking?


  • Steam Deck OLED cases are cracking under normal use.

  • Material flaws or design issues likely cause the problem.

  • Monitoring and reporting cracks can help address issues faster.

The Steam Deck OLED versions have reportedly started showing cracks in their cases, raising concerns among users and industry watchers. These incidents have sparked a flurry of discussions and investigations into the build quality and material used in the manufacturing of these gaming devices. Users have noted that the cracks seem to appear without any significant impact or mishandling, suggesting a possible inherent flaw in the device’s design or material composition.

Over time, gaming hardware often faces scrutiny over its durability and design. In the case of handheld devices, the stress from regular use can reveal weaknesses not apparent during the initial release. Similar issues have historically arisen in other gaming consoles shortly after their release, leading to recalls or design modifications by manufacturers to rectify the flaws and restore consumer trust.

What Causes These Material Failures?

The nature of the materials used in the Steam Deck OLED might be a contributing factor to the reported cracks. Plastics and polymers, commonly employed in portable gaming devices, can vary widely in quality and durability. Factors such as the plastic blend’s susceptibility to stress and environmental conditions like temperature and humidity might be exacerbating the cracking issue.

Is User Behavior a Contributing Factor?

While some might speculate that user handling could influence the durability of the device, the reports suggest that many of the cracks developed under normal usage conditions. This indicates that the problem could be more related to design choices or material deficiencies rather than user error.

How Is the Industry Responding?

In a study published in the Journal of Polymer Science, titled “Durability of Polymer-Based Components in Consumer Electronics,” researchers explored similar issues in various devices. The paper highlights how repetitive stress and material fatigue can lead to structural failures in polymers used in consumer electronics, suggesting that ongoing research and development into more resilient materials could benefit future designs.

Points to Take into Account

  • Check your device regularly for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Consider using protective cases to mitigate potential stress.
  • Contact customer support if you notice unusual changes in your device.

The emergence of cracks in the Steam Deck OLED raises important questions about the long-term durability of handheld gaming devices. As manufacturers continue to push the limits of compact and portable gaming technology, the materials and designs used play a crucial role in the overall longevity and user satisfaction. This incident serves as a reminder for companies to invest in rigorous testing and perhaps, reconsider material choices to enhance the structural integrity of their devices. For users, it is advisable to monitor their devices’ condition and report any issues to the manufacturer, ensuring that any widespread design flaws can be addressed promptly.

Kaan Demirel
Kaan Demirel
Kaan Demirel is a 28-year-old gaming enthusiast residing in Ankara. After graduating from the Statistics department of METU, he completed his master's degree in computer science. Kaan has a particular interest in strategy and simulation games and spends his free time playing competitive games and continuously learning new things about technology and game development. He is also interested in electric vehicles and cyber security. He works as a content editor at NewsLinker, where he leverages his passion for technology and gaming.

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