If you’ve ever seen the video or text guide by iFixit on how to replace the Deck’s battery, you’d know how gruesome and tedious of a process it is. Draining the battery, taking the back plate off, disconnecting the appropriate cables, heating up the adhesive with a heat gun/hair dryer, gently prying it out with a handful of plastic cards…yeah, it’s a lot of work and risk. It’s the one glaring flaw when it comes to the Deck’s otherwise easy-to-replace components.

However, by 2027 – as noted by overkill.wtf – a new regulation by the European Council will mandate that any device that has a battery, including the Steam Deck, the Nintendo Switch, and the ASUS ROG Ally, will need a user-replaceable battery. The documentation provided with this regulation states “a portable battery shall be considered readily removable by the end-user where it can be removed from a product with the use of commercially available tools, without requiring the use of specialised tools, unless provided free of charge with the product.” Instructions and safety guidelines will need to be supplied with the device.

For a company like Valve, I’m sure they won’t have an issue complying with this new regulation. In fact, that’s one of the things they want to address – to make the battery easier to work with. I’ve got a pretty good hunch that Valve is already looking into this with the next-gen Steam Deck, even before this law takes effect. Knowing a company like Nintendo, however, I’m 95% certain they will fight this law tooth-and-nail to find loopholes with the Switch 2.

At any rate, though it will be a while before this law takes effect, I’m glad to see efforts are being made to support the right-to-repair.

Cover image credit: iFixit