Evidence that Valve is working on a Switch-like portable device that will allow Steam users to play some of their game library on the go is starting to mount, with a new report from Ars Technica offering some potential details about the project. Citing several sources “familiar with the matter”, the post indicates that Valve is working on an all-in-one PC with gamepad controls “on and off for some time.” Taking a page of devices like the Aya Neo, the device would include an AMD or Intel system-on-chip while likely coming with Linux. At least one prototype would be larger than the Nintendo Switch and feature the usual assortment of console buttons, triggers, and joysticks. The prototype also includes a touchscreen and a Steam Controller type touchpad.
Like the Switch, the device will include a USB-C port so you can connect it to an external display. Ars could not find out if Valve plans to release multiple variations of the device that will include different components. He also had nothing substantial to say about the price, noting that current global chip shortages could prevent Valve from selling a device close to the $ 299 the Nintendo Switch costs. He says Valve could release the device by the end of the year, although supply constraints may affect that timeline.
While we would take today’s report with a fair amount of skepticism, there is some evidence to show that Valve has been working on a new hardware project. Since September of last year, the company has added snippets to Steam referencing something called “Neptune” and “Nepture Optimized Games”. Initially, most people thought Valve was working on a new controller. But on Tuesday, the company added additional code linking Neptune to snippets that refer to “SteamPal” – Ars Technica says it can’t confirm if this is the final name of the new device. Additionally, earlier this month, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell said the company would have something to share regarding console gaming. “You will have a better idea by the end of this year,” he said. told a school in New Zealand. “… that won’t be the answer you expect. You will say, ‘Ah-ha! now I understood what he was talking about.'”
At the same time, we will note that Valve is a company with a reputation for incubating projects only to cancel them later and turn their attention to something else. After all, we had to wait 13 years to play a new Half-Life game. Additionally, the company has a history of success with computer hardware projects. Valve Index received good reviews in 2019, but a year earlier Valve stopped offering steam machines. Anyway, we’ve reached out to Valve for comment, and we’ll update this article if we have any news.
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