Valve Potentially Working on a Steam Handheld Console

Pavel Djundik, the creator of SteamDB, publicized the latest beta update to Steam as a potential teaser for a handheld Valve console. Currently known as “SteamPal” and internally codenamed “Neptune,” the update adds references to console-related settings. This coincides with a Q&A session held by Valve CEO Gabe Newell in New Zealand, in which he vaguely answers about Steam games coming to consoles.

Valve Potentially Working on a Steam Handheld Console Cover

The latest update to Steam’s beta client reveals that Valve may be working on a Steam-based handheld console. The update calls it “SteamPal,” and it contains references to ‘Neptune’-based names. In addition, it mentions console-related features such as controller bindings, UI strings such as a quick access menu, system settings such as WiFi and Bluetooth, and a power menu.

This information was publicized by Pavel Djundik, creator of the Steam database SteamDB.

Two weeks ago, Valve CEO Gabe Newell held a talk at Sancta Maria College in Auckland, New Zealand. When a student asked if Steam would have its games on console, Newell answered, “You will get a better idea of that by the end of this year.” He likely referred to SteamPal, but further details such as appearance, hardware, and overall function remain uncertain.

If SteamPal’s a handheld/home console hybrid like Nintendo Switch, Valve could strike gold in a largely untapped market. After all, the Switch has sold at least 84.59 million units so far – making it Nintendo’s 4th best-selling console. If it can’t differentiate itself outside of a massive pool of games, however, it could flop like the Steam Machine and Steam Controller (the latter reaching a meager 500,000 sales after 7 months of release).

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