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Valve Possibly Working On Handheld Console


Valve is reportedly working on a handheld device dubbed “SteamPal”.

Valve’s most recent update makes several references to “SteamPal,” leading to widespread speculation that the company is working on a new handheld console.

Pavel Djundik, the founder of SteamDB, apparently detected references to “SteamPal” and “Steampal Games” in the update, which appear to refer to a “Neptune” controller of some sort.

The concept isn’t that far-fetched, given that the firm has long wanted to develop hardware, as evidenced by the Steam Machine concept unveiled in 2015.  The Steam Machine was a line of pre-built gaming PCs with video game console capabilities that were designed to run Valve’s SteamOS via the Steam client.

The Steam Controller, a Valve gamepad that replaced the traditional thumbstick with dual touchpads to imitate the accuracy of a mouse, was released alongside these prebuilt PCs. While both pieces of technology had their supporters, neither was a commercial success.

Valve Possibly Working On Handheld Console

Valve also released the “Valve Index VR headset” which was released on the 28th of June 2019. The Index is a second-generation headset and the first to be manufactured by Valve, Development for the headset started way back in 2015. The headset is designed to work with the Valve Index Controllers, formerly known as the Knuckles Controllers during development, although it also works with the HTC Vive and HTC Vive Pro controllers.

Valve Possibly Working On Handheld Console

The “SteamPal” project had several references in the update to power settings, menu options, rumble and Haptics, and even an airplane mode among other things that would not be needed for a PC, further pointing to a handheld application. There is also now a list of games compatible with the “SteamPal”.

The Steam Database account had this to say in a recent Tweet.

In January this year, Gabe Newell said that Valve has games in development that are waiting to be announced.

If this is all true then could we be looking at a new precedent for Valve? Valve hasn’t always had the best track record when it comes to hardware development. But this might be the project that changes that, as well as help Valve establish itself as a hardware producer and add another feather to their cap.

Other handheld gaming systems on the market are currently expensive and, in some cases, hard to transport, therefore having a portable and affordable handheld system from Valve would be greatly welcomed by the gaming community.