Files inside Steam’s latest beta client suggest that it might have a handheld gaming device in the pipeline, according to details shared on Steam Database’s Twitter account. The client code is also viewable on Github, mentioning a device called a ‘SteamPal’, with references to aspects such as airplane mode, screen brightness, and Bluetooth – all ingredients of a traditional handheld gaming device.
If a portable console is in the works, Gabe Newell’s statement earlier in the month would make more sense. Responding to the question on whether Valve plans to port Steam games to consoles, the Newell says we’ll have a “better idea of that by the end of this year”, before adding “it won’t be the answer you expect”.
It could be the perfect time for Valve to enter the handheld PC gaming market, with devices like the Aya Neo aiming to be an ultra-portable alternative to the best gaming laptop. It remains to be seen whether such a device from Valve would be Linux or Windows-based, however.
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