On April 1st, we almost believed in the arrival of a Lidl console. This time it’s very serious. Valve plans to introduce its competitor to the Nintendo Switch. Valve, which is best known as a pioneer and market leader in the digital distribution of video games, offers with its Steam platform.
First, let’s remember the context. In 2017, when Nintendo introduced the Switch, the console immediately ran into a major problem as it faced no real competition. This hybrid console with a sedentary and nomadic mode does not seek to compete directly with the PlayStation or Xbox, but is aimed at a much larger audience. So far, there is no console that can claim to offer the same functionality as the Nintendo Switch.
Steam isn’t on the first try
Upon seeing this, Valve begins to envision some sort of Steam-compatible laptop largely inspired by the Switch. This isn’t the first time Steam has attempted to break into the gaming hardware market. In 2014 we saw the introduction of the Steam Machines or Steam Box. These are home game consoles manufactured by third party companies with specifications managed by Valve. Unfortunately, the expected success wasn’t there, as was the case with the Steam Link or Steam Controller projects.
Not only does Valve collect bugs, however, the company has some success with the Valve Index, a virtual reality headset that was launched in June 2019. So let’s hope his new “Konsolen” project follows this dynamic. By searching the Steam code, curious people could discover the existence of a name that has been used multiple times: “Steam Pal”.
According to initial information, it could be a device that is largely inspired by the Nintendo Switch with a central touchscreen and controllers arranged on the side. Unlike the Switch, these controllers wouldn’t be detachable, a bit like the PSP or ultimately the Switch Lite. Many details are still unknown, but Valve co-founder Gabe Newell seems to be planning on telling us more in the coming weeks.