Rumor: Valve Working On A “Switch-Like” Portable Gaming PC

Rumor: Valve Working On A “Switch-Like” Portable Gaming PC

An interesting rumor has surfaced about an upcoming project at PC gaming giant Valve, one that could potentially serve as a rival to the Switch.

The rumor comes via an “exclusive” article by Ars Technica, which claims multiple sources “familiar with the matter” have confirmed that Valve is working on a “Switch-like” portable PC. According to the sources, this device is “an all-in-one PC” that will “look and function exactly like a Nintendo Switch”, complete with gamepad controls and a touchscreen.

A summary of the key details can be found below:

  • The device is believed to be called a “SteamPal”, a term recently added to the code for Valve’s online storefront “Steam”
    • This term is derivative of the previously discovered code term “Neptune”, which first appeared last September and was initially believed to point towards a new controller for Steam.
  • The SteamPal will run on a chip from either Intel or AMD, but not Nvidia
    • It’s unclear whether Valve will release multiple SKUs to offer customers a choice of power level, battery life, and other specs.
  • SteamPal is still in its prototype stage, at least one SteamPal prototype is “slightly wider” than the Switch, features subject to change.
    • Extra width accommodates additional control options, no detachable controllers.
    • It has a standard array of gamepad buttons and triggers, along with a pair of joysticks and at least one thumb-sized touchpad (in addition to the device’s touch-sensitive screen).
    • Touchpad is likely smaller than the pair of touchpads that came standard on every Steam Controller.
    • Will not have a full QWERTY Keyboard.
    • Will include an option to “dock” on large monitors using a USB Type-C port, additional details about docking unknown.
  • SteamPal was built with Linux OS in mind.
    • Part of Valve’s continued push to make its entire catalog compatible with the open source OS.
    • Valve’s good relationship with Microsoft could mean it gets Windows instead.
  • Valve is still in a position to “change gears”, may delay or cancel the project at any time.

What do you think of this rumor? Let us know in the comments.