A new Steam handheld console could be on the way if references in a new Steam update are to be believed.
Just below, you can see the complete breakdown of files found within the latest update to hit Steam, through two tweets by a Steam dataminer. It turns out Steam's new client beta refers to something called "Steampal," which some believe is a handheld device that Valve is planning to release, boasting the ability to play PC games on the go.
This update also added a "quick access menu" and a "power menu"— Pavel Djundik (@thexpaw) May 25, 2021
I have a feeling all these strings related to "Neptune": https://t.co/Ih0K2y4E5A
Is Valve making a handheld Steam console?
That's not all, though. The new update for Steam makes reference to both "quick access" and power menus, as well as options to "shut down," "suspend," or "restart" the system in question. There are even references to Bluetooth settings, wifi, and airplane modes, further pointing to a handheld device.
Valve has obviously dipped its toe into the hardware waters several times over the past few years. There have been the likes of the Steam controller, the Steam link, the Valve Index virtual reality headset, and other devices, so the likelihood of Valve developing a new handheld device for portable PC gaming isn't exactly outside the realms of possibility.
Recently, Valve CEO Gabe Newell hinted at possibly bringing Steam games to consoles at some point in the future. During a Q&A session in New Zealand, where Newell has been living since last year, the CEO was asked whether Steam games could ever come to consoles, to which Newell replied that people would "get a better idea by the end of this year." It's a surprisingly candid answer for a question with such massive potential behind it.
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