Valve hasn’t let up on their hardware aspirations. First reported by Ars Technica, a change in Steam’s code referred to a new device called ‘SteamPal.’ The change in code was detected by SteamDB operator Pavel Djundik. In a tweet, he also made references to Valve’s ‘Neptune’ controller, which appears to be related to the SteamPal itself. There were also references to a ‘Callisto Developer Program,’ which may be a dev kit for game developers for this supposedly new console.
Valve’s “Neptune” controller shows up in latest Steam client beta again.
It’s named “SteamPal” (NeptuneName) and it has a “SteamPal Games” (GameList_View_NeptuneGames)
— Pavel Djundik (@thexpaw) May 25, 2021
It looks like Valve will try entering the console market again. Previously, Valve developed the Steam Machine, a portable PC hardware that can be hooked up on televisions and monitors. Following commercial failure, Valve discontinued the Steam Machine in 2018. Part of the Steam Machine project was Valve’s own controller, which introduced a touchpad, a progenitor of the DualSense controller’s touchpad.
Earlier last month, Valve’s Gabe Newell made references to the company’s console plans, saying that fans can expect more news ‘later this year.’ He says that the console surprise they have won’t be something that fans would expect. So far, the SteamPal seems to be something that is very off-field to Valve’s current products. Does this mean that we can play Half-Life Alyx on a VR-enabled Nintendo Switch-like handheld console? We’ll never know until Valve makes official announcements. Hopefully, they have something lined up for the E3 2021 season.
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