Valve engineer confirmed that Steam Deck is fully capable of playing directly from SD cards. According to Steam Deck, even the top model has only 512GB of internal memory, which isn't much these days.
Valve announced last week that the Steam Deck is a handheld gaming console that appears to do what Nintendo did on console with its PC gaming Switch. Steam Deck starts at $399, but only gives you 64GB of internal storage. Additional models with a maximum storage capacity of 512GB have been announced, but at the highest level you'll get a $649 refund. And let's be honest - 512 GB still doesn't save much on PC games. Fortunately, all Steam Deck also have a microSD card slot for mass storage.
Going back for a moment, Valve made a point to highlight the fast internal memory used in Steam Deck. But when your internal memory runs out and you have to use the SD card slot, what kind of performance do you expect?
This question was recently asked to Lawrence Young, a Valve engineer. Yang acknowledged that games can download faster from the system's internal storage, but noted that they are still highly playable on SD cards. "When IGN arrived, all the games they tried (and their videos) ran on a microSD card," he added.
Yes, the games load faster from the internal storage, but the games still play great on the SD card. When IGN came along, all the games they tried (and their videos) ran on a microSD card. Lawrenceyang Jul 17, 2021
Young is of course referring to the IGN test video that aired on the same day as Steam Deck.
Valve began accepting Steam Deck reservations shortly after the announcement. It appears that the demand for the system is high as the current demand is expected to reach the second quarter of 2022.
Steam Deck games play great from an SD card and that's a big problem