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Is Valve building a Switch-like portable gaming PC?

By AYIE LICSI Published May 27, 2021 11:39 am

PC gaming giant Valve is reportedly working on new hardware: a portable gaming PC similar to the Nintendo Switch.

Word on the handheld gaming device comes from tech news site Ars Technica, who says the system will be able to run a number of games on Steam via Linux. The writer also spills that the device might be named “SteamPal” or “Neptune” based on a recent code dump spotted by SteamDB.

The console will be an all-in-one PC with dual controllers and a touch screen a la Switch. Its controllers are expected to sport a d-pad but won’t have the Switch Joy-Con’s removable functionality. Rumors also say that it can also be docked via USB-C like Nintendo’s hit console. Details about the new hardware are sparse but Ars Technica suggests we might be seeing it by the end of the year.

That’s based on what Valve co-founder Gabe Newell said in a panel at a New Zealand school recently, where he was asked about the company’s plans for future consoles. “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.’”

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen concepts of a Switch-like portable gaming PC, too. Last year, Alienware showed off its Concept UFO prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show, which promised to play Windows games handheld.

Valve hasn’t made any comments yet about the reports, so it’s best to take it with a grain of salt. But imagine playing Steam games like Cyberpunk 2077, CS:GO, and Dota 2 wherever and whenever you want?