PC giant Valve apparently has a new kind of games hardware in the works.
As initially spotted by SteamDB's Pavel Djundik, code in Steam has pointed towards a brand new device called "SteamPal." This is seemingly a continuation of the previously-discovered "Neptune", which was spotted in code in September 2020, alongside "Neptune Optimized Games".
ArsTechnica now reports that this hardware is at the prototype stage but seems to be heavily inspired by Nintendo's Switch machine, mostly notable the fact that it reportedly will be possible for users to plug SteamPal up to a monitor via a dock. One prototype boasts a wide screen, too, much like the Switch. The machine's operating system is apparently being built on Linux.
At the moment there aren't many further details about SteamPal, but it could well be what Valve boss and founder Gabe Newell was referring to earlier this year when he hinted at Steam games coming to console.
Valve has previously tried to make PC gaming more accessible with its ill-fated Steam Machine hardware, which were designed to bring the experience closer to that of a games console. The firm also released the Steam Link microconsole, which let users play games from their PC on a TV.
Valve has successfully launched its own VR headset, dubbed Index, which has been wildly popular.