ArsTechnica has revealed that Valve has been working on a top-secret project designed to further increase their already Olympian-level reach in the gaming space.
Codenamed “SteamPal”, the new device is said to be a Linux-based portable system with more than a hint of the look of the Nintendo Switch about it. The device would run a large number of the titles that already exist on Steam’s PC platform and could even be available at retail, supply chain willing, as soon as the end of this very year.
The SteamPal – which will very likely be named something else when it launches, thankfully – reportedly features two joysticks, a touch screen, and one thumb-sized touchpad. We would imagine the touchpad would work in the similar way that they do on Valve’s own Steam Controller, giving the ability to play mouse-heavy titles without a mouse.
The rumored ability to link the device to a monitor via a dock will add more fuel to the Switch comparison fire. Though with no word on what the final cost of the device would be, it’s hard to draw any sort of real conclusion as to what it would potentially do to the shape of the market.
We’ll bring you more on the SteamPal as soon as we have it.