Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but it seems that Valve are going to make a gaming console. References to the device, codename SteamPal, have started popping up on the Steam database and it is reported that the hardware is a Nintendo Switch style portable gaming platform.
Arstechnica report that the device will use either an Intel or AMD chip and that one prototype that has been seen is “quite wide compared to the Nintendo Switch.” The extra width is said to allow for lots of control options including two joysticks, a thumbpad, triggers and a large touch sensitive screen. The device will also include a docking function which uses a USB Type-C port connection to a monitor.
The device is said to run Linux/SteamOS and it is suggested that Gabe Newell will reveal the device sometime this year. Earlier this year Gabe was talking at a school in New Zealand and was asked if Valve have any plans for a games console. : “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 replied.
If this sound rather familiar it’s because Valve have already took a stab at ‘consoles’, the ill fated Steam Machines project which tried to persuade consumers that a snazzy PC should live under their television, rather than an Xbox, PlayStation or Switch. The project failed, partly due to the fact that the machines launched late with prices ranging from $459 to $4999, and rather surprisingly some of them could not be upgraded.
PC based portable gaming devices already exist but they aren’t exactly flying off the shelves, Nintendo dominate the entire market so Valve will have a very big hill to climb to if they are to make even the tiniest dent in the market. Many hit indie games the jump from PC to Switch so Valve are going to have create something special and it will have to be competitively priced.
Would you by a Valve portable console? Let us know the comments.