All the games in Valve's Steam Deck reveal were running off the SD card
“SD” does not mean “Steam Deck”, btw
I bet when you were watching Steam Deck's first media presentation, you probably weren’t thinking: “Hmm, yes. Looks good, but what storage medium are these games running from?” That's the sort of question that arrives later. But it’s worth asking, because even the biggest and best of Valve’s new portable PCs only has 512GB of drive space. I eat that for breakfast. As it happens, a lot of the games we’ve seen running already were stored on a microSD card.
Don’t just take my word for it. Valve engineer Lawrence Yang said so on Twitter. Someone called K-Med asaked: “Are there concerns about the read/write speed of the SD card and slot? Will games on the SD card be playable, just taking longer to load than if stored internally?”
Yang responded: “Yep, games will load faster off internal storage, but games still play great off an SD card. When IGN came by, all the games they tried (and shot footage of) were played off a microSD card.”
That's a bold move by Valve. But it’s also a nice little mic drop to have in your back pocket when asked about it. 'Oh, no need to be worried. You’re already seeing how well they run.'
I grabbed the 256GB version when pre-orders opened last Friday (I have a 2TB version of this Samsung drive lying around), but it’s great news that I can just grab more storage if required. I was worried because I'll probably fill the thing full of mods. Though not all SD cards are created equal, we’re probably at a stage where a reasonably specced and affordable card could double or triple the capacity of the device without adding the additional burden an external SSD would bring.