Valve has tried its hand at hardware a few times in the past. Some of them have been pretty successful (like Valve Index VR), while others… well, not so much (like the Steam Machine). But it seems they might be preparing to take another crack at it.
SteamDB founder Pavel Djundik recently took to Twitter and shared mentions of some interesting things found in the update files of the Steam client beta again. Valve’s “Neptune” controller shows up, apparently called “SteamPal”, while there’s also mention of “SteamPal Games”. Meanwhile, the update has also added a power menu and a quick access menu.
All we can do at this point is speculate as to what this could be referring to, but based purely on these files, it seems more than likely that Valve is working on a Steam-based console. A Switch-style hybrid device that runs Steam might just be a very good idea.
Just earlier this month, when asked if Valve would be releasing more games on consoles, Valve boss Gabe Newell said that we’d be hearing more about that “by the end of this year.” At the time, it seemed like Valve would be announcing console games or ports, but now it’s looking like Newell may have been referring to something else entirely.
This update also added a "quick access menu" and a "power menu"
I have a feeling all these strings related to "Neptune": https://t.co/Ih0K2y4E5A
Is Valve making a handheld Steam console?
— Pavel Djundik (@thexpaw) May 25, 2021