Valve is making a Nintendo Switch-like portable Gaming PC. The SteamPal is reportedly in development at the company and features a lot of tech that sounds very much in line with the Switch. For starters, the SteamPal will have the ability to dock into monitors and TVs through a USB-C port allowing the device to switch from a handheld gaming PC to a console-like device.
According to a new report from Ars Technica, Valve has been working on the SteamPal for some time now. However, the hardware has only come to light recently due to new code for the device popping up in Steam. Previously, users spotted references for a device codenamed “Neptune” which first appeared last year. It seems the codename has since been officially named the “SteamPal”.
Ars Technica claims that the SteamPal is designed to be a portable gaming PC powered by either an Intel or AMD chip. It will pack a fairly large, high-resolution display and a controller layout featuring a D-Pad. Although, unlike the Switch, the controllers are not designed to be removed from the device. The controller layout will feature a “standard array” of buttons including triggers, analogue sticks, a small touchpad and more.
The SteamPal will run a custom Linux OS. However, Ars Technica also says that Valve could make it compatible with Windows 10. By the sound of things, Valve has yet to decide on whether or not the SteamPal will run Windows 10. This is partly due to the fact that the device is still in prototype. While the SteamPal might sound new to a lot of people, Valve president Gabe Newell has actually been dropping hints about the device for some time now.
Reports claim that the SteamPal could actually arrive before the end of the year if testing goes to plan. With that being said, Valve does have a lot of challenges to overcome in order to make this a reality. For starters, the industry is currently facing a massive shortage of semiconductors, a vital part of the device’s architecture. In addition, Valve has not had the best run of hardware releases to date. Back in 2014, the company attempted to release Steam Machines with an all-in-one PC approach. It did not go well.
There are also other devices including Steam Link and the Steam Controller that lasted a few months before being replaced with apps and third-party gaming controller support including the DualSense and Xbox Controller. Valve keeps trying to compete in the hardware front and they seem to fall on the wayside. Will SteamPal be the exception? We will have to wait and see.
Source: Ars Technica