Valve and their Stream store are undisputed kings of PC gaming, but with the SteamPal Valve console rumours ramping up, it seems that Gabe Newell is planning to conquer the console market as well.
While not yet officially announced, several leaks and rumours are strongly pointing towards the existence of Valve's console, codenamed SteamPal.
This includes leaks from the Steam code, data mining from reputable members of the community like Pavel Djundik, and reports from respectable gaming sites, like Ars Technica. Even Gabe himself has recently hinted out that Valve has some plans in regards to consoles, and that those plans might be revealed later this year.
With all that being said, let's check out what we currently know about the console.
SteamPal Valve console leaks
Is Valve trying to compete with Nintendo? (Picture: Nintendo/Valve)
First leaks started appearing in 2020, but back then there was a different codename - Neptune.
The "Neptune" term started appearing in September 2020, and it included strings like "Neptune Optimized Games", which at first prompted many to think that it is maybe a new Steam controller.
The name "SteamPal" first appeared in the latest Steam update from May 2021, when it became clear that this actually might be a console.
The leak includes several clues:
- "SteamPal" (NeptuneName)
- "SteamPal Games" (GameList_View_NeptuneGames)
- "Quick access menu"
- "Power menu"
- "Device Optimized Games"
All these details are pointing toward a new console, but at this point, it's all just leaks and nothing concrete yet. Nonetheless, the latest report from Ars Technica all but confirms that we are indeed getting a Steam-baed console in a near future.
SteamPal specifications and design
The Chinese One X Player is a similar Switch-like portable PC (Picture: One Notebook)
According to a report by Ars Technica, their sources confirmed that Valve has been secretly developing "a Switch-like portable PC" for quite some time.
Reportedly, the device is designed as an "all-in-one PC" and it will have a touchscreen, built-in inseparable gamepads on both sides, and "at least one thumb-sized touchpad."
While the exact details about specs are not yet confirmed, the device will reportedly be able to run "a large number of games" from the Steam PC library.
The report states that the SteamPal console will use either Intel or AMD, while Nvidia is not an option, which is similar to the other Switch-like PCs on the market.
Supposedly, the SteamPal prototype is significantly wider than the Nintendo Switch, but it will not include a standard QWERTY keyboard like some other Switch-like PCs.
Will this be another failure like the Steam Machine? (Picture: Valve)
The current prototype includes a full set of standard buttons, joysticks, triggers and other inputs you might expect to see on a modern controller.
As the device is still in the early prototype stage, currently there are no specific details on the most important hardware specs. This means that battery size, screen size and type, pixel resolution, RAM, and storage capacity are currently a complete unknown.
Finally, it should be noted that in terms of software, the system will operate with a unique Steam version based on Linux.
SteamPal Valve console price
As we've mentioned above, the device is still not defined in terms of system specifications, and thus it is still very early to talk about the price.
If Valve wants SteamPal to run a vast majority of games from Steam, that will probably demand some strong components, which will have a negative effect on the final price.
On the other hand, if Valve wants to compete with currently the most popular handheld console, Nintendo Switch, then the price will need to be affordable and in the similar range as the regular Switch and the Switch Lite.
SteamPal Valve console release date
Given that the console isn't even officially revealed yet, the release date can currently only be speculated about.
Rumours are claiming that the console can be launched as early as late 2021, but that's unlikely to happen.
And that's about everything we currently know about the SteamPal Valve console. We will update this article with more information as soon as they become available.