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Steam code references what seems to be a handheld console from Valve
By Chad Norton on May 25th, 2021 at 01:20pm - original article from game-debate

A lot of information is hidden inside code, which is why some people scour the lines of text to sometimes find interesting details that have not yet been revealed. Speaking of which, the latest Steam client beta has some interesting code that reveals possible plans for a handheld console from Valve.

The creator of SteamDB, Pavel Djundik, recently uncovered some details regarding a project by Valve called ‘Neptune’ back in September last year, however new information has come to light linking to the secret project that mentions “SteamPal” as well as “SteamPal Games”. There’s also references towards a quick access menu, a power menu, a low battery notification, as well as bluetooth and airplane toggles and even several options for restarting, shutting down, and suspending a device.

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Djundik said they think all those things mentioned above relate to project Neptune, and with a little guesswork and technical know-how, it seems that Valve may be working on some sort of handheld device like a mobile console.

That lines up pretty well with previous information, one where a student at a school in New Zealand asked Valve CEO and founder Gabe Newell about whether Steam games would come to console: “you will get a better idea of that by the end of this year,” Newell said, “and it won't be the answer you would expect.

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A Steam/Valve handheld console is certainly something we weren’t quite expecting, especially when back then we thought it was just alluding to a Steam Machine 2.0. But Valve’s toe-dipping in real world hardware shows no signs of slowing down at the moment, so a handheld console isn’t the most far-fetched idea.

Aside from the details mentioned above, we still have no idea what exactly Valve is on about and whether or not it even is a handheld console, but it certainly sounds like one. Either way, we don’t know if it will be Steam-exclusive games, a cloud-based console, or something else entirely. Unfortunately, we’ll just have to wait for the end of the year when Newell will supposedly spill the beans.

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What do you think? Would you be interested in a handheld console from Valve? What features would you like it to have over other handheld devices? Let us know!