Valve Is Allegedly Developing A Handheld Gaming PC To Challenge Nintendo Switch
Thanks to the pandemic and stay-at-home orders over the last year, gaming has seen a massive uptick. However, traditional consoles and even PC components have been hard to come by due to the global semiconductor shortage. Amidst this console-supply vacuum, though, handheld consoles like the Nintendo Switch have achieved record sales, and now hardware and software company Valve may want in on the action.
On Tuesday. SteamDB creator and data miner Pavel Djundik found a reference to a device codenamed “Neptune,” within the Steam Client beta. He further explained on Twitter that this “Neptune” controller is named “SteamPal” and has a list called “SteamPal Games,” which led to speculation of a handheld console. However, this is not the first time “Neptune” appeared, as a reference to it dates back to September alongside a “Device Optimized Games” string added to a JS file for the Steam UI.
After these tweets came out, Ars Technica corroborated the handheld console speculation, stating that Valve is working on an “all-in-one PC with gamepad controls and a touchscreen.” It will be powered by either an Intel or AMD chip and will come with a standard gamut of controls like gamepads, buttons, joysticks and triggers. Effectively, this new device would look and act like a Nintendo switch, give or take some features.
This is an interesting time for Valve to get into the handheld console market, as the demand is high, but competitors are also starting to come along. Of course, the Nintendo Switch has been around for some time now, but other consoles like the GPD Win 3 console featuring Intel’s Tiger Lake processors have come out and are quite impressive. However, the price will be the big factor in whether this new device takes off. While the Nintendo Switch sits at around $299, the GPD Win 3 clocks in at over $1,100, which is quite a large margin.
Hopefully, Valve Corporation will announce something about this soon, as Gabe Newell has hinted at previously. If Valve manages to offer solid performance at a reasonable price, there is no reason why the “SteamPal” would not take off. Gamers would likely get easy access on the go to their already purchased Steam libraries which could be quite vast. In any case, let us know what you think of a potential Valve handheld console coming to market, perhaps even this year, in the comments below.