Valve will make a rare E3 appearance at the PC Gaming Show to talk solely about Steam. Could this be the official SteamPal announcement?
According to PG Gamer (opens in new tab), Valve will be showing up at E3 2021 with a "message regarding Steam." Valve doesn't make a lot of E3 appearances, so it's certainly of note that the company will be at this year's all-digital event. It's also never been on the PC Gaming Show, so their appearance is twice as notable.
Recently we reported that Valve is working on a Switch-like portable console. That confirmation came from Ars Technica (opens in new tab) after dataminers discovered a new client beta referring to something called "Steampal." Turns out, SteamPal is a thing, and has been in development for years, and its current prototype boasts a touchscreen, typical gamepad controls and one thumb-sized touchpad. The SteamPal is expected to have either an Intel or AMD processor and a dock that will let you project your gameplay onto a TV or monitor, just like the Switch.
The datamined info included references to quick access, shut down, suspend, and restart options for the "Steampal" listed in the Steam client beta, as well as Bluetooth settings, WiFi, and airplane modes. Valve is no stranger to the hardware craft, as it's pushed out a Steam controller, Steam link, and the Valve Index virtual reality headset in the last several years. It'll be interesting what kind of handheld console the company is aiming for, and how it will stack up against the Switch and as-yet-unannounced Nintendo Switch Pro.
Gabe Newell teased that we'd be getting a Steam-related console announced before 2021 ends, and it certainly seems like Valve is teeing us up for that announcement at this year's E3. That PC Gamer threw the Valve/Steam news at the end of a bulleted list implies a sort of "oh, and one more thing" delivery that big presentations love to drop on unsuspecting gamers. I can already hear the squeals of delight and the clacking of mechanical keyboards as we all frantically send out Tweets about SteamPal.
For a list of some of the best games you can get on Valve's storefront right now, check out the 25 best Steam games.