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Published: May 26, 2021

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • Valve is potentially looking to launch a handheld console, a new piece of mined code reveals
  • The information about a “SteamPal” console was obtained by data miner Pavel Djundik who uploaded his findings on GitHub
  • Valve has tried to launch itself in the hardware space at least once before, resulting in a quiet debacle for the “Steam Machine” pre-built gaming PC

SteamPal, a rumored new device by Valve, may be a harbinger of the company’s forays into the console market space.

Is Valve Getting Involved with Consoles? 

Everyone is innovating these days, and after a report surfaced that Netflix is exploring ways to enter the video gaming industry, a rumor has been floated that Steam may be looking for an opportunity to launch a handheld console.

The news was dropped on GitHub where the developer and Steam data miner Pavel Djundik posted information revealing that Valve, the company that owns the Steam marketplace, may be working on two new projects codenamed “Neptune” and “SteamPal.”

SteamPal is what Djundik and the community think is the handheld console which could be a harbinger of Valve packing and taking your gaming on the go. The code revealed functions such as “Airplane Mode,” and low battery messages, as well as grip buttons, Bluetooth options, and more, all pointing to that whatever it is Valve is brewing, it has a lot to do with handheld and mobile gaming.

This only confirms suspicions raised by Valve president Gabe Newell who said that the company would shed some details on the swirling speculations about Steam coming to consoles. “It won’t be the answer you would expect,” Newell said.

Valve’s Previous Attempts in Hardware Space 

Valve has tried to diversify into hardware at least once before. In 2015, the company created the Steam Machine, a pre-built gaming desktop PC that was manufactured in collaboration with Zotac, Alienware, Digital Storm, and others to deliver an encompassing rig capable of supporting even the fussiest gaming needs.

However, the resulting product ended up well below consumers’ expectations and was received poorly, with only half a million units sold before the product was taken off the Steam store and the memory of it disappeared. 

There seems to be no fitting upcoming occasion during which Valve may drop a fairly big piece of news as the arrival of a new platform. Regardless, Valve continues to experiment, albeit cautiously, with new initiatives.

Counter-Strike and Dota 2 have proven strong gaming mainstays, and the Steam Store is still posting strong results even though competition from Epic Games Store and others is constantly mounting. 

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