Wednesday, May 26th 2021

Valve Reportedly Developing "SteamPal" Switch-Like Portable Gaming PC

We have recently seen an influx of rumors about an upcoming "SteamPal" portable gaming computer under development by Valve. The first indication that this new device is real was a recently uncovered "SteamPal" device name referenced under the unreleased "Neptune" controller in the latest Steam Client Beta. This SteamPal device name reportedly refers to an upcoming portable gaming computer with a similar controller design to the Nintendo Switch albeit unremovable featuring a standard set of gamepad buttons and triggers, dual joysticks, at least one thumb-sized touchpad, and a 7"-8" touchscreen display. The SteamPal is still in the prototype stage so final hardware configurations are not confirmed and are subject to change.

There is good reason to believe these rumors are true after a recent cryptic comment from Gabe Newell about bringing Valve games to consoles with him stating that we will have a "better idea by the end of this year" which is in line with rumors stating that Valve is targeting a Q4 2021 announcement for the SteamPal. The device will reportedly feature a quad-core Van Gogh APU from AMD with 8 RDNA2 compute units which would allow gamers to run their entire Steam library on the portable device. Valve is reportedly targeting a 399 USD price for the device however as with all these rumors take it with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Sources: Ars Technica, @Kepler_L2, VideoCardz, Reddit, @thexpaw
Add your own comment

19 Comments on Valve Reportedly Developing "SteamPal" Switch-Like Portable Gaming PC

#1
lynx29
my steam controller and steam link have done nothing but collect dust. steam OS is non-existent in updates and usability... valve index is too expensive for the average person... and I could go on, but really what's the point anymore. /shrug
Posted on Reply
#2
evernessince
lynx29my steam controller and steam link have done nothing but collect dust. steam OS is non-existent in updates and usability... valve index is too expensive for the average person... and I could go on, but really what's the point anymore. /shrug
The valve index really isn't expensive if you already had an HTC Vive. You can swap out just the HMD.

Mind you price clearly isn't an issue for Valve, the Index has constantly sold out nearly a year after it's release now.

Valve does a lot of random things and a lot of the times they miss but sometimes they hit. The index and half life alyx are both examples of hits.
Posted on Reply
#3
kayjay010101
evernessinceThe valve index really isn't expensive if you already had an HTC Vive. You can swap out just the HMD.

Mind you price clearly isn't an issue for Valve, the Index has constantly sold out nearly a year after it's release now.

Valve does a lot of random things and a lot of the times they miss but sometimes they hit. The index and half life alyx are both examples of hits.
The $1000 Index isn't that expensive if you already spent $799? Wow, what a relief.
An Oculus Rift (f*** facebook by the way) is $399 for the whole kit.
Posted on Reply
#4
evernessince
kayjay010101The $1000 Index isn't that expensive if you already spent $799? Wow, what a relief.
An Oculus Rift (f*** facebook by the way) is $399 for the whole kit.
The Vive is $500, not $800. You probably should have done a basic google search on it's MSRP before making that statement, it's been this way for awhile now. You are $300 off and that's no small amount. In addition, you can sell the HTC Vive HMD and link box once you've upgraded to the Index HMD, which should yield about $280 on eBay. Given that the index is far superior than any of Oculus's products, a net cost of $220 for the upgrade is a pretty small amount.

The Oculus Rift isn't sold anymore and isn't anywhere comparable to the even the Vive. The sensors are terrible on the Rift and you need to spend another $70 to even get basic room scale. On top of that there are wires for each sensor that need to be run to your PC and you need a high end USB card, another $80 to $120, to avoid USB bandwidth issues. Even the newer Rift S (which is also being discontinued) has it's own set of issues, like the complete lack of an IPD slider and the need to use it in a well lit room. It also has a lower refresh rate to boot. The quest 2 has an MSRP of $299 but it's going to run you $80 for a cable to connect it to your PC and another $50 for a decent strap (the included one is the worst I've any VR headset on the market save for maybe $30 chinese sets). The quest 2 is also front heavy due to the built-in parts. Comfort wise it's on the lower end of VR headsets.
Posted on Reply
#5
m9eyNqp9
evernessinceThe valve index really isn't expensive if you already had an HTC Vive. You can swap out just the HMD.
Index HMD-only option has never actually been in stock. I ended up going for a Cosmos Elite because of that.
Posted on Reply
#6
kayjay010101
evernessinceThe Vive is $500, not $800. You probably should have done a basic google search on it's MSRP before making that statement, it's been this way for awhile now. You are $300 off and that's no small amount. In addition, you can sell the HTC Vive HMD and link box once you've upgraded to the Index HMD, which should yield about $280 on eBay. Given that the index is far superior than any of Oculus's products, a net cost of $220 for the upgrade is a pretty small amount.

The Oculus Rift isn't sold anymore and isn't anywhere comparable to the even the Vive. The sensors are terrible on the Rift and you need to spend another $70 to even get basic room scale. On top of that there are wires for each sensor that need to be run to your PC and you need a high end USB card, another $80 to $120, to avoid USB bandwidth issues. Even the newer Rift S (which is also being discontinued) has it's own set of issues, like the complete lack of an IPD slider and the need to use it in a well lit room. It also has a lower refresh rate to boot. The quest 2 has an MSRP of $299 but it's going to run you $80 for a cable to connect it to your PC and another $50 for a decent strap (the included one is the worst I've any VR headset on the market save for maybe $30 chinese sets). The quest 2 is also front heavy due to the built-in parts. Comfort wise it's on the lower end of VR headsets.
I was going off prices when they launched. Guess what; the MSRP was $799 when it was introduced.
And by rift I did mean Rift S, I was just referring to the brand, not a specific model. I'll take the hit on that one though, I could have included the S to avoid confusion.
Yeah, not a fair comparison, but hey, the regular ol' Vive is the newest <$1000 HMD that isn't an Oculus, Pimax, or one of those overpriced Pro/Cosmos headsets, despite being, what, 6 years old? If they had a newer competitor that was more reasonable I would obviously use that for comparison.
evernessinceThe sensors are terrible on the Rift and you need to spend another $70 to even get basic room scale. On top of that there are wires for each sensor that need to be run to your PC and you need a high end USB card, another $80 to $120, to avoid USB bandwidth issues...Even the newer Rift S (which is also being discontinued) has it's own set of issues, like the complete lack of an IPD slider and the need to use it in a well lit room.
I did just fine with the 2 sensors and no added USB card on multiple different computers when I had my Rift (non-S). Sold that later though as I didn't have space for VR after a move.
Room-scale tracking wasn't bad at all with just 2 sensors, and I had no issues with USB bandwidth and I usually have plenty of other USB devices plugged in.
I did get to use a Rift S at a friends' house a couple times and the room wasn't well-lit at all yet the inside-out tracking worked perfectly. The lack of a mechanical IPD slider is a bummer for sure but the software one worked for my eyes (though I can't comment on others experiences with it, obviously).
Posted on Reply
#7
TheDeeGee
With all these mobile asset flips on steam it's not a surprise they want to try and reel in more money.

Atleast Epic hosts quality games with a slimline launcher :clap:
Posted on Reply
#8
medi01
Valve's projects look like being directed by a headless chicken.

This is yet another portion of embarrassment, nothing else.
Posted on Reply
#9
Ravenas
lynx29my steam controller and steam link have done nothing but collect dust. steam OS is non-existent in updates and usability... valve index is too expensive for the average person... and I could go on, but really what's the point anymore. /shrug
I own the Steam Link and Steam Controller. I use them frequently, and they provide a wonderful way to play and continue my PC games on the couch. I also own the Valve Index. I use it frequently. Really there is no better headset on the market, its priced to its hardware.

SteamOS hasn't been updated since Debian 8, or 2019. There has been plenty of background work on it, and some leaks about clockwork. While SteamOS has become dormant, GamerOS has taken this project on, and has many users.

Your comment comes off a little bit glass half empty. I am excited to see what they come up with, but I doubt they are working on a handheld "Nintendo Switch" like device.
Posted on Reply
#10
lynx29
RavenasI own the Steam Link and Steam Controller. I use them frequently, and they provide a wonderful way to play and continue my PC games on the couch. I also own the Valve Index. I use it frequently. Really there is no better headset on the market, its priced to its hardware.

SteamOS hasn't been updated since Debian 8, or 2019. There has been plenty of background work on it, and some leaks about clockwork. While SteamOS has become dormant, GamerOS has taken this project on, and has many users.

Your comment comes off a little bit glass half empty. I am excited to see what they come up with, but I doubt they are working on a handheld "Nintendo Switch" like device.
SteamLink is for 1080p only max... you have a 6900 XT graphics card... you are doing it wrong homie. you should be running a HDMI cable, even if its a very long one, from your PC to 4k tv. and gaming at 4k 60 fps.

if you own a 6900 XT and Valve Index and only a 1080p tv... again you are doing it wrong. no offense.
Posted on Reply
#11
evernessince
kayjay010101I was going off prices when they launched. Guess what; the MSRP was $799 when it was introduced.
And by rift I did mean Rift S, I was just referring to the brand, not a specific model. I'll take the hit on that one though, I could have included the S to avoid confusion.
Yeah, not a fair comparison, but hey, the regular ol' Vive is the newest <$1000 HMD that isn't an Oculus, Pimax, or one of those overpriced Pro/Cosmos headsets, despite being, what, 6 years old? If they had a newer competitor that was more reasonable I would obviously use that for comparison.
Do you often use the price that a product was 5 years ago to justify a product purchase now? No, it's silly just like your justification. Misleading plain and simple on your end and a massive $300 difference. As I pointed out mathmatically in my last comment, the HTC Vive to Valve index is an extremely economical upgrade contrary to what you initially implied.
kayjay010101I did just fine with the 2 sensors and no added USB card on multiple different computers when I had my Rift (non-S). Sold that later though as I didn't have space for VR after a move.
Room-scale tracking wasn't bad at all with just 2 sensors, and I had no issues with USB bandwidth and I usually have plenty of other USB devices plugged in.
I did get to use a Rift S at a friends' house a couple times and the room wasn't well-lit at all yet the inside-out tracking worked perfectly. The lack of a mechanical IPD slider is a bummer for sure but the software one worked for my eyes (though I can't comment on others experiences with it, obviously).
As a person who owned the original Rift (and owns the vive, vive pro, index, odyssey, and more), it's a fact that it does not support room scale without at least 3 sensors. You HAVE to place the 2 sensors front facing, which means you can't turn around without loosing tracking and thus does not support room scale without those 3 sensors. It's irrelevant whether it "worked well" for you (which you've proven thus far to throw out misleading or false statements), it doesn't change the fact that it's not room scale, which was my point. FYI the USB card was in conjunction with 3 sensors as I mentioned in my last comment. It's not a factor with 2. Go and google Oculus USB disconnects.

"I did get to use a Rift S at a friends' house a couple times and the room wasn't well-lit at all yet the inside-out tracking worked perfectly."

This is a double subjective but anyone with hands can google that in fact the Rift S or any inside out tracing system utilizing cameras needs lighting in order to operate. Of course that's pretty obvious, Camera's need light to see. It's not up for debate.
Posted on Reply
#12
Ravenas
lynx29SteamLink is for 1080p only max... you have a 6900 XT graphics card... you are doing it wrong homie. you should be running a HDMI cable, even if its a very long one, from your PC to 4k tv. and gaming at 4k 60 fps.

if you own a 6900 XT and Valve Index and only a 1080p tv... again you are doing it wrong. no offense.
I play 4K with my Apple TV 4K on a 4K TV using the Steam Link app. Although 4K streaming is not always preferred, even when using 6900 XT or 3090. Steam Link hardware is also good because 1080P streaming is about the best you can, however, the app is what I’m using.

4K gaming mostly occurs at the desktop for me.
Posted on Reply
#13
lynx29
RavenasI play 4K with my Apple TV 4K on a 4K TV using the Steam Link app. Although 4K streaming is not always preferred, even when using 6900 XT or 3090. Steam Link hardware is also good because 1080P streaming is about the best you can, however, the app is what I’m using.

4K gaming mostly occurs at the desktop for me.
I didn't even know there was a steam link app that supported 4k, I was referring to the hardware. Sorry for the confusion.
Posted on Reply
#14
Ravenas
lynx29I didn't even know there was a steam link app that supported 4k, I was referring to the hardware. Sorry for the confusion.
I own the hardware as well. The hardware is nice because of its usability designed directly for Steam Link.

4K game streaming to the Steam Link app works well on older games, but modern high demanding graphics games can't maintain ultra-settings 60 FPS minimum at 4K over streaming, must be on desktop.

Apple TV 4K Steam Link app works well, however, you can expect Apple's normal restrictive nature using the app. This is in reference to not allowing users to purchase games through the app. However, the work around is using the iPhone Steam app, which doesn't allow streaming of games, but does allow purchasing of games. (I love how Valve finds a way to work the system, rather than breaking down and suing everyone.) Any Android device, i.e., a TV, a streaming device such a Nvidia products doesn't have this restriction. Another solution is buying a Rasberry Pi 8 Gb on Amazon, sudo apt install Steam Link, and this enables 4K streaming without any restrictions found on Apple TV 4K, and more privacy in relation to Android based devices.

Still at the end of day, 1080P works fine on the couch using Steam Link hardware for those users who were lucky enough to purchase one in the window of their availability.
Posted on Reply
#15
swirl09
lynx29SteamLink is for 1080p only max... you have a 6900 XT graphics card... you are doing it wrong homie. you should be running a HDMI cable, even if its a very long one, from your PC to 4k tv. and gaming at 4k 60 fps.

if you own a 6900 XT and Valve Index and only a 1080p tv... again you are doing it wrong. no offense.
If I am wired, then I dont want to be stuck at 60fps.

As far as streaming is concerned, I have very much enjoyed playing many games, most recently finished Breath of the wild on an iPad with a PS controller in bed at a higher quality/res/fps vs its native source.

Not sure why others suggested you cant stream modern 4K60 titles either, you certainly can! There is a little overhead with streaming, but if you can reliably keep over 4K60 on your desktop (not a big target anymore) then you can stream it fine with the appropriate HW. Even wifi ac wasnt bad, some noticeable latency which is razer thin with ax, at least it doesnt bother me anyway.
Posted on Reply
#16
Ravenas
swirl09If I am wired, then I dont want to be stuck at 60fps.

As far as streaming is concerned, I have very much enjoyed playing many games, most recently finished Breath of the wild on an iPad with a PS controller in bed at a higher quality/res/fps vs its native source.

Not sure why others suggested you cant stream modern 4K60 titles either, you certainly can! There is a little overhead with streaming, but if you can reliably keep over 4K60 on your desktop (not a big target anymore) then you can stream it fine with the appropriate HW. Even wifi ac wasnt bad, some noticeable latency which is razer thin with ax, at least it doesnt bother me anyway.
Not happening. It’s more taxing than you have stated. Try to play Devil May Cry 4, Resident Evil Village, or Red Dead Redemption 2 at 4K on Steam Link and maintain 60 FPS. There are games capable of maintaining this which aren't as demanding.

I have experienced Steam Link over multiple generations of GPUs. 1080P used to be taxing on my 290X. My Vega 64 was better, but not quite there on some titles. The 5700 XT was much better, but still remained taxing on some titles. My 6900 XT has no problems at all with any 1080P title and can play titles a 4K which aren't as graphically demanding or older titles. The story was the same with a RTX 3090, which didn't perform as well as my 6900 XT.
Posted on Reply
#17
swirl09
Well I dont know what to tell you, I have been doing it for some time. And thats how its been working out for me - if I can reliably run something at over 4K60 on desktop, I can stream it at 4K60 fine.

I dont have the steam link device, I normally stream to an iPad (Can also stream directly to a TV with moonlight). But for the sake of giving you some perhaps more comparable info I ran a test using an old PC (3770k/GTX1060) to stream to (which I didnt even let finish doing whatever the hell it was doing coz I havent turned it on in so long, so updating games/OS updates/who knows).

Horizon Zero Dawn (Ultimate preset) runs on desktop capped at 60fps (host 9700k/RTX3090) @ CPU:38.2% GPU61% usage (idle, outdoors, npcs and mobs on screen). When streaming (at 4K60 which it does fine) the usage on host goes to CPU:55.5% GPU:81%. Do with that what you will. It would be kind of daft of me to make up such things on a tech website, there is nothing special about my setup/software/hardware, anyone who has these/similar parts can verify it!
RavenasNot happening. It’s more taxing than you have stated. Try to play Devil May Cry 4, Resident Evil Village, or Red Dead Redemption 2 at 4K on Steam Link and maintain 60 FPS. There are games capable of maintaining this which aren't as demanding.
I dont own the games you mentioned, but since I believe DMC5 is the most recent, I would imagine 4 wouldnt be a problem by any means (Is there a remake? IDK). RE:Village seems to run very well as per TPU, so again I would guess that wouldnt be a problem with the 3090 getting more FPS than HZD, even with RT on. RDR2 appears to be a little more demanding than HZD (at least TPU puts my GPU as getting 78.5fps in its review of my GPU, and other places have HZD as mid 80s), going on that I would say yes its still within the realm of doable while maxed out.
Posted on Reply
#18
Ravenas
swirl09Well I dont know what to tell you, I have been doing it for some time. And thats how its been working out for me - if I can reliably run something at over 4K60 on desktop, I can stream it at 4K60 fine.

I dont have the steam link device, I normally stream to an iPad (Can also stream directly to a TV with moonlight). But for the sake of giving you some perhaps more comparable info I ran a test using an old PC (3770k/GTX1060) to stream to (which I didnt even let finish doing whatever the hell it was doing coz I havent turned it on in so long, so updating games/OS updates/who knows).

Horizon Zero Dawn (Ultimate preset) runs on desktop capped at 60fps (host 9700k/RTX3090) @ CPU:38.2% GPU61% usage (idle, outdoors, npcs and mobs on screen). When streaming (at 4K60 which it does fine) the usage on host goes to CPU:55.5% GPU:81%. Do with that what you will. It would be kind of daft of me to make up such things on a tech website, there is nothing special about my setup/software/hardware, anyone who has these/similar parts can verify it!



I dont own the games you mentioned, but since I believe DMC5 is the most recent, I would imagine 4 wouldnt be a problem by any means (Is there a remake? IDK). RE:Village seems to run very well as per TPU, so again I would guess that wouldnt be a problem with the 3090 getting more FPS than HZD, even with RT on. RDR2 appears to be a little more demanding than HZD (at least TPU puts my GPU as getting 78.5fps in its review of my GPU, and other places have HZD as mid 80s), going on that I would say yes its still within the realm of doable while maxed out.
I own RE: Village. I have tried to play via Steam Link with a 3090 and a 6900 XTXH, it doesn't play 60 FPS 4K with max settings. I'm not sure how you are correlating because it runs on desktop that it must run on Steam Link 4K. It is more taxing then you have experienced is my guess.


---


I want to provide an update to this post. I tried the Steam Link app on my Samsung 4K TV, and the 4K streaming results were much better than that of my NV Shield. I am not sure what is causing the performance hit on NV Shield, but in fact 4K titles play much better. Kudos to you, you encouraged me to revisit this on a different platform.
Posted on Reply
#19
swirl09
Glad it worked out. Happy gaming :)
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment
Copyright © 2004-2021 www.techpowerup.com. All rights reserved.
All trademarks used are properties of their respective owners.