Valve is reportedly making a Nintendo Switch-like portable gaming PC
Valve is reportedly working on a Nintendo Switch-like portable gaming PC that might hit the market later this year. The handheld console codenamed “SteamPal” will let users access a vast library of games on the Steam PC platform via Linux.
According to Ars Technica, several sources familiar with the matter have confirmed that the hardware has been in development for quite some time. While Valve is yet to issue an official statement on the matter, SteamDB operator Pavel Djundik has spotted new hardware-related code in the latest version of Steam pointing towards a device named “SteamPal.” The report adds that the name is a derivative of a previously discovered code term, “Neptune,” which first appeared in September last year along with a “Neptune Optimized Games” string. However, at the time, it was believed to be some type of controller.
Ars Technica has now confirmed that the codename “SteamPal” refers to an all-in-one PC that features gamepad controls, a pair of joysticks, at least one thumb-sized touchpad, and a touchscreen. The device will likely feature an SoC from either Intel or AMD, it’ll offer a docking solution like the Nintendo Switch via a USB Type-C port, and it’ll be based on Linux. Since the device is still a prototype, we can’t be sure if the production unit will offer all these features or not.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time we’re hearing about Valve’s console plans. Earlier this month, the company’s co-founder Gabe Newell gave a cryptic answer to a question about Valve’s plans for future console video games at a New Zealand school. “You will get a better idea of that by the end of this year…and it won’t be the answer you expect. You’ll say, ‘Ah-ha! Now I get what he was talking about,'” Newell said. It seems like Gabe N. was referring to the “SteamPal” at the time, as it’s also expected to hit the market later this year.