Go back in time, and you might notice that the launch of the Nintendo Game Boy brought handheld gaming devices into the spotlight. The Nintendo Switch was built along the lines of the Game Boy, packing impressive hardware in a portable device.
The Nintendo Switch can run AAA titles on medium or low settings, which, to be honest, is quite impressive. This has resulted in various companies designing such devices similar to the lines of Switch. Valve, the company behind Steam, is planning to design something like Switch in the coming months.
It won’t be the first time Valve tries to build commercial PC handheld devices. Some people even tried to crowdfund a Steam machine called Steamboy. Chinese manufacturers have already materialized on this concept and already developed products like the GPD WIN 3, AYA Neo, and the ONEXPLAYER. Valve’s entry into the niche makes things interesting.
According to a report by ArsTechnica, the upcoming Valve Handheld PC is codenamed “SteamPal” and won’t come with detachable controllers as the Nintendo Switch has. This puts it in line with the Nintendo Lite.
The website also reported that the Valve device would be wider than the Switch. One interesting to note here is that the device will be running on AMD or Intel-powered chips instead of the ARM-based NVIDIA Tegra processors the Switch uses.
Steam machines have been hugely criticized in the past, mostly because of their specifications. It seems like Valve is cautiously entering the arena this time, keeping a tab on what their competition is doing. The report also suggests that Valve will use Linux. This might be a major blow to the platform since many games are designed to run on Windows.
Sources suggest that the Valve-powered handheld device will be available sometime later this year. But the company’s record in making in-house hardware suggests otherwise. Only time will tell if this will be another Steam Machine or Valve comes up with a real competitor to the Nintendo Switch.