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Consoles

Valve could give us a Nintendo Switch competitor

By Nadeem Sarwar May 26, 2021, 11:27 pm

While rumors of an alleged Nintendo Switch Pro with an OLED display continue to make rounds, we might soon get a rival handheld console from Valve, the company behind the Steam. As per a report from ArsTechnica, Valve might launch a handheld gaming console by the end of this year. However, there is a chance that the device might get delayed, or even canceled.

The device, codenamed SteamPal, is actually an all-in-one PC that looks like the Nintendo Switch. It has a touch-sensitive display flanked by gamepad controls on both sides with a standard array of buttons, triggers, a pair of joysticks, and a touchpad as well. However, you likely won’t find a QWERTY keyboard on it.


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Valve’s console will reportedly draw power from an Intel or AMD SoC, just like similar handheld PCs from relatively lesser-known Chinese brands such as the GPD Win 3 and AYA Neo. Dell has also showcased its take on the idea with a Windows 10-powered device called the Alienware UFO, but it is yet to become a commercially available product.

alienware UFO
Alienware UFO handheld Windows 10 gaming PC. (Credit: Alienware)

However, Valve’s upcoming handheld gaming console will be based on Linux, instead of Windows 10. The latest version of Steam also features some hardware-related code, something that was previously thought to be about a gaming controller instead of a handheld console.

Not much is known about the internal hardware of Valve’s upcoming handheld console. However, the report mentions that it will offer a docking functionality, just like the Nintendo Switch. One of the prototypes is actually said to be wider than Nintendo’s wildly popular console.


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There is no information about approximate pricing either. However, selling it as a standalone console and trying to make a profit solely on its hardware will likely put a high asking price on the device, and that might prove to be a deterrent. Instead, Valve can sell its console at a loss, and make a profit by selling games from Steam in the long run. This is not entirely a new concept, as Microsoft is also known to follow a similar approach with its Xbox consoles – selling them at loss and making money from the services.


View Nintendo Switch at Amazon


View Nintendo Switch Lite at Amazon

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