Valve is reportedly developing a Nintendo Switch-like portable console that will be based on Linux. It is expected to be an all-in-one PC with touch controls and a gamepad. It will reportedly run Steam games and may release by the end of this year. Valve has not shared any information on such a device but mentions of a new device have been spotted in the code for the latest version of Steam. Additionally, earlier this month, Valve co-founder and Managing Director Gabe Newell had reportedly hinted at an upcoming console.
While there is very little to no information available on an upcoming handled gaming device from Valve, a report by Ars Technica citing multiple sources familiar with the matter states that such a device has been in development for some time. Making matters more interesting is that creator of SteamDB Pavel Djundik found new hardware-related code in the latest version of Steam beta desktop client. Steam is Valve’s storefront for PC, Mac, and Linux games. The code reportedly mentions new hardware called “SteamPal” that is related to the previously spotted “Neptune” controller.
Djundik also found a quick access menu and a power menu with ‘Shutdown,’ ‘suspend,’ and ‘restart’ functions, possibly for an upcoming Steam handheld console. The report adds that this device could be an all-in-one PC with touch control support, as well as a gamepad. This speculated device resembles the form factor of the highly popular Nintendo Switch that allowed players to game in both handheld and couch console mode.
Furthermore, Gabe Newell had hinted that Valve may launch a new console by the end of this year at New Zealand’s Sancta Maria College. In response to a question about Steam games on consoles, Newell reportedly said, “You will get a better idea of that by the end of this year… and it won’t be the answer you expect.” The answer was shared by a Reddit user but the post has since been deleted, though Ars Technica claims to have spotted it before being removed.