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It Looks Like Valve is Creating a Nintendo Switch-Like Handheld Gaming PC

Poorna Shankar Posted:
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So here’s a thing. It turns out Valve, the caretakers of Steam and the like, are creating a handheld gaming PC which is said to be similar to the Nintendo Switch.

In reporting by ArsTechnica, it looks like a SteamDB fellow by the name of Pavel Djundik came across a change in Steam’s code. This change called out a supposed device called “SteamPal.” And what is SteamPal?

It turns out SteamPal may come from “Neptune” which originally came about last September alongside a “Neptune Optimized Games” string. This in itself pointed to a controller of sorts. It should be noted at this point there is no current confirmation that “SteamPal” is the real name of said device.

This handheld device, whatever it may be, could potentially be what Valve’s Gabe Newell alluded to just earlier this month during a panel. During the panel, Newell didn’t outright answer inquires around Valve’s plans for any future console hardware. Instead, he noted,

“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.'"

You can read ArsTechnica’s full article here if you’re curious. But one can’t help but think back to Steam Machines. These PCs were announced back in 2013 and would run SteamOS which was a Linux-based operating system.

However, even though the announcement of such devices were initially received well, Steam Machines never really panned out. Given the way Steam Machines went, do you think we’ll see a similar trajectory for this as-yet-unannounced handheld device? We shall see. Sound off below.


Poorna Shankar