Valve's 'Project Neptune' may be a handheld Steam console

A new Steam client update provides further evidence that Valve is developing a handheld Steam console.

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Gabe Newell and the team over at Valve are constantly working on ways to innovate and push games forward, whether it be through hardware or software. The team can be quite secretive when it comes to what’s next, but new reports may indicate the company’s latest project. A new Steam client update may hint that the company is developing a handheld Steam console.

Pavel Djundik, the creator of SteamDB, tweeted about the latest update to the Steam client on May 25. Among all of the technical speak you would expect to read in such an update were some fascinating details about a mysterious project. In addition to Neptune, the update talks about something called SteamPal, as well as SteamPal games. In his reporting, Djundik shares that the update also includes language in reference to some sort of quick access menu. “Shutdown,” “suspend,” and “restart” can all be found. The working theory is that this is all in reference to some sort of Steam handheld console.

The prospect of a handheld Steam console is even more believable when you remember that just weeks ago, Steam boss Gabe Newell was doing a Q&A at a high school where he said that Valve would have Steam console news by the end of the year. What’s more, Newell specifically said “it won’t be the answer you expect.” A handheld Steam console would certainly be unexpected.

If Valve really is developing a handheld Steam console, it would seem that we’ll get official word by the end of this year. If that isn’t the case, then it’s still yet to be seen what exactly “Neptune” and “SteamPal” are referring to. Whatever news comes out, you can expect to read about it right here on Shacknews.

Contributing Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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