New Steam client beta includes “SteamPal,” a possible reference to Steam handheld device

The update also includes a reference to “Neptune,” another Valve project codename.

Image via Valve

SteamDB founder Pavel Djundik has uncovered some interesting details in the latest Steam client beta update. Djundik claims that he managed to find references to a Valve project thought to be codenamed “Neptune” and several strings that could indicate progress towards Steam’s compatibility with consoles or a console built to use Steam to run games.

The latest Steam client update includes the strings of text, “SteamPal and SteamPal Games.” It’s thought that these could be how games are named when using a specific version of the marketplace on consoles or “Neptune.” Adding to this, other string references for “quick access, power, restart, and shut down” were also found. Apparently, the Steam client beta also has back-end functionality for airplane mode and Bluetooth. All of these are listed in SteamDB’s tracking GitHub. There, you can also find a reference to the “Callisto Developer Program,” which could be a codename for the developers involved in working on titles for “Neptune.”

Djundik even went as far as questioning if Valve was doing more than bringing Steam to consoles, stating that the company could be making its own handheld device. The device would probably take the form of a handheld PC, not unlike the Alienware UFO. However, all the handheld-specific details mentioned could just as easily be references to a mobile Steam client.

Valve is no stranger to the hardware market. The company has produced the Valve Index VR headset, the Steam Controller, and the Steam Link. It’s not out of the question that Valve would be making a handheld console, but no official word has been provided at the time of writing.

When asked about the possibility of Steam coming to consoles during a recent visit to Sancta Maria College, Valve co-founder Gabe Newell answered, “You will get a better idea of that by the end of this year… and it won’t be the answer you expect.” Note that Newell’s statement could link to the “Callisto Developer Program” in what he’s saying here too.