Steam Pal: Valve is working on Switch competitor for Steam games

Steam Pal: Valve is working on Switch competitor for Steam games

Steam Pal

According to current reports, Valve is supposed to be working on a handheld with which you will soon be able to use your Steam games on the go. In the data of the latest Steam version, references to a "SteamPal" can be found, which previously appeared with the code name "Neptune". "Neptune Optimized Games" was also mentioned again and again. In the end, however, it was assumed that it might be a new controller.

In essence, Valve wants to bring a mobile PC on the market that is equipped with a Linux operating system. The device should be visually reminiscent of a Nintendo Switch - including a touchscreen and a permanently attached controller on both sides of the hardware. In contrast to the Joy-Con on the Nintendo Switch, the controller parts cannot be removed. The publication is apparently planned for the end of the year. The name "SteamPal" is probably not yet final.

In addition to the traditional buttons, shoulder buttons and analog sticks of a controller, Valve would also like to accommodate a touchpad on the device. The handheld can then also be connected to other devices via USB. However, it is unclear whether the company is also planning a docking station, which is available on the Nintendo Switch, for example. Details of the built-in hardware have also not yet been revealed.

A few weeks ago, Valve boss Gabe Newell indicated in a question and answer session that we would have a better idea of ​​the future of Valve on consoles towards the end of the year looks like. It is possible that Newell was referring to the mysterious Steam Pal here. What do you think of such a device? Would you buy it to play Steam games on the go?

Source: ArsTechnica

Valve reportedly building its own Steam-based gaming platform called “SteamPal”

Previously, the project was suspected as a controller that could potentially be replacing the controversial Steam controller under the codename “Neptune”. But the latest discovery points to something else entirely and what critics speculate as a handheld similar to the Nintendo Switch.

Telltale signs

Putting out the word in the social media space, Steam Database (@SteamDB) tweeted a probable Steam console called “SteamPal”. Its operator, Pavel Djundik, himself was hands-on in digging information about Valve’s recent mystery.

In the said tweet, it claims that the Steam’s latest beta client displayed references to more than just a controller. It also hints at functionalities that are seen in a system that is significantly larger in scope than for just a gamepad. In particular, there were variables that are indicative of user-interface, system settings, and power menu. Elements that are staple among modern portable systems, like Nintendo’s current-gen gaming platform.

What we know, so far

Ars Tecnica dug even deeper on the topic, giving notions at how the project develops. The comparison with the Switch being not too far off as early prototype suggests of similar form factor. But with one major difference in that the built-in gamepad is not detachable like the Joy-Con.

Although the idea behind SteamPal is likely to be sold as a portable console, it also plays on the hybrid perspective. That is, by being dockable, thanks to a USB Type-C port. This means that playing games on a bigger screen is as simple as connecting the device to a display.

It’s not just the added lines of codes to the Steam client that’s telling of a potential Steam handheld, however. Valve’s co-founder, Gabe Newell, also seems to be ambiguously vocal about it. Especially after a panel discussion at a certain New Zealand school where he hinted at what’s to come.

Likely possibility

A Switch-like console is hardly far from reality, though. With Chinese OEMs, like GPD, Aya, and One-Netbook, already building their own versions, it’s not unlikely that Steam could follow suit.

As for which operating system could be powering Valve’s newest undertaking, it could be something open-sourced as Linux. However, a Windows operating system is also a likely probability as well. But choosing the latter could entail a more sophisticated approach in as far as making it affordable for the average gamer. Otherwise, Valve could choose to sell at a loss, with the intent to recoup on software sales once it has gotten traction.

Image used courtesy of raphaelsilva/Pixabay

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