The Smach Zero is a Handheld Steam Machine

Valve’s Steam Machines are planned to come in all shapes and sizes but, naively, I never considered that meant we’d see a handheld PC. A PC Vita, if you will.

The Smach Zero, which used to be called the SteamBoy Project, is chock full of powerful kit and, when it releases late next year, will be able to run a load of the games from your Steam library. Or so the developer says. In a piece over on Hexus it’s said the Smach Zero can play Half-Life 2, Civilization V, Dota 2, Tropico 5, BioShock Infinite, and Cities: Skylines.

However, until its in my hands I’m sceptical. While we’ve seen mobile versions of high-spec games in the past, those are stripped down and optimised to fit the platform. That wouldn’t be the case with the Steam games, as they’re the same version you have on your more powerful desktop. So, a handheld that could play Bioshock: Infinite would be seriously impressive. Also, while the Smach Zero may technically be able to run Dota 2, a handheld is very unlikely to give you the control you would need for the fast-paced MOBA.

Those worries aside, there are some perfect Steam game candidates for a handheld: Spelunky, Cave Story, Dear Esther, Portal, TowerFall, and Invisible Inc all come to mind. The machine would come loaded with SteamOS so we’d need to wait for Linux builds of games to play them on the Smach Zero.