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Steam: Valve is working on a Switch-like gaming PC, Dekstop app may get new UI

This could be the console that Gabe Newell, the co-founder of Valve hinted at last month while responding to a question. Let’s check everything we know here around the new Switch-like portable gaming PC from Steam developer.

Video game distributor, developer, and publisher Valve seems to be working on a new hardware product for the gaming market. According to a new report, this new product will be like the Nintendo Switch when it comes to the form factor. In addition, the Linux-based gaming PC will run most Steam games and will land by the end of the year. The device surfaced in the Steam code with the code name “SteamPal”. Similar to any hand-held gaming PC, the portable device will feature a touch screen with physical gamepad controls. Valve is also working on a new UI for its popular video game distribution software Steam. Let’s check everything we know here around the new Switch-like portable gaming PC from the Steam developer, Valve.

Valve may launch Steam-like gaming PC with Steam soon; details

According to a report from Ars Technica, this is not the first time we have heard about “SteamPal”. This seems to be a new name to a device known as “Neptune” since September 2021. Valve initially mentioned the hardware device in the string “Neptune Optimized Games” in the Steam code. As the report noted, this may be the console that Gabe Newell, the co-founder of Valve hinted at last month. For some context, Newell stated, “You will get a better idea of that by the end of this year... and it won't be the answer you expect. You'll say, 'Ah-ha! Now I get what he was talking about.” He was responding to a question around any future consoles that Valve may have been working on behind the scenes.

It is worth noting that gaming hardware makers have launched several Switch-like hand-held gaming PCs in the market. Some of the companies working on these devices include Aya, GPD, and One-Netbook. We are not sure if the company will go with Intel or AMD for the CPU of SteamPal. Like Switch, SteamPal will feature the ability to “dock” so that it can work with proper gaming monitors or displays. The report stated that SteamPal will use a USB Type-C port for this docking feature.

Interested gamers should also remember that this is not the first hardware product from Valve. The company has launched Steam Machine, SteamVR, Valve Index, and Steam Controller. Given that the device will be based on Linux, this means that the device will make use of Steam Proton, the comparability layer that allows Windows games to function on Linux. Considering the state of prototype hardware, it is also possible that Valve may cancel the device at any time.

Steam Desktop app could get a redesign

As noted above, besides the Switch-like handheld gaming PC, Valve may also be working on a redesigned UI for Steam. This includes a new, more informative downloads page and a new Steam Library manager. Besides, Valve is also working on a new settings page for Steam, but one can’t access it to see the changes. The Library Manager and the Downloads page have already leaked online.