Valve is reportedly working on a handheld gaming PC planned to launch later this year

valve logo.JPG

Citing "multiple sources familiar with the matter", Ars Technica reports that Valve is working on an "all-in-one PC with gamepad controls and a touchscreen". Sounds familiar to you? It should as this has been exactly what indie hardware manufacturers (yes it's a thing) have launched like the AYA NEO and GPD Win 3. Though niche, the popularity of such devices has interested bigger players to investigate a handheld gaming PC of their own though concepts (Alienware and Lenovo) or patents (Tencent) recently.

If Ars Technica's report is to be taken seriously (the reporter writes that he "can confirm the device's existence and development"), Valve might be the latest company to jump on this hype train. It's not just this report that points to the company's handheld gaming PC ambitions. Earlier this month during a panel conversation at a New Zealand school, Valve's Gabe Newell had a vague answer when asked by a student about whether Steam be porting any games on consoles. "You will get a better idea of that by the end of this year," Newell said. "... and it won't be the answer you expect. You'll say, 'Ah-ha! Now I get what he was talking about.'"

In another instance, SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik, noticed new changes to Steam's code this week. These pointed to a device named "SteamPal" and its "SteamPal Games", as well as a "quick access menu" and a "power menu". These changes led the developer to wonder whether Valve is making a handheld Steam console.

But Ars Technica's unnamed sources apparently provided more details. This "SteamPal" device has allegedly been in development "for some time" and is still in the prototype phase, where at least one "is quite wide compared to the Nintendo Switch" to accommodate for the controller hardware, joysticks and "at least one thumb-sized touchpad". It will run on Linux, have a touchscreen display, no detachable controllers and no physical keyboard (think AYA NEO); at least that's the state of the prototype version.

The report compares the "SteamPal" to a Nintendo Switch as it will apparently include a dock option via its USB-C port. But unlike the Switch, the device will not use an SoC from Nvidia but instead one from Intel or AMD. There's no indication if Valve will release multiple versions of the device with different specs to attend to different preferences. While Ars Technica doesn't provide an indication of the device's cost, it does mention that Valve plans to launch the handheld by the end of this year, "supply chain willing".

On top of taking these news with a grain of salt, we should keep our expectations in check since Valve is no stranger to pulling the plug on its hardware (or software) projects. That said, would you be interested in a Valve-made handheld gaming PC?

:arrow: SOURCE
 

masagrator

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I just need the following...

* A GPU that's slightly more powerful than a RX 550

* 6-8 GB of VRAM (I will gladly take 4 if it keeps the price down)

* 8GB of System RAM that can be upgraded

* Thunderbolt USB-C for docking on the bottom with the ability to use an external GPU

* USB-C port on the top

* Full Size SD Card Reader (So I can make my own Game Cards

* 256GB of Internal Storage (But will take 128 for a lower price)

* UNDER 400 USD!!!
And maybe french fries to that? :D There is no chance your device would cost under 400 USD. And beside forget about upgrading. Upgradability makes devices thicker and producing costs more.
 

Ampersound

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Imo if you make a handheld, make a proper one.Like the vita.
Amazing specs aren't meant for portability anyways, please focus on usability and ergonomics first.
Having a similar sized device like the vita, or just a little thicker, for steam games that is decently powerful would be pretty cool.

Another Tablet like the switch or GPD formfactor on the other hand? Nah i am good.
 

LightyKD

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And maybe french fries to that? :D There is no chance your device would cost under 400 USD. And beside forget about upgrading. Upgradability makes devices thicker and producing costs more.
I've seen thin Windows tablets with swappable batteries, ram slots and SSD slots that are thinner than the Nintendo Switch. For 400 USD I'm sure my wishful device could be made. A RX 550 isn't much. We don't need the latest chips in the portable, just enough to play most games from the last five years. That's why thunderbolt comes in handy. If you want current gen AAA gaming Valve could charge a decent chunk for a dock with external GPU support.
 
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