Valve’s next mystery gadget may be imminent

Now, Valve may be actually getting ready to ship at least one of its hardware ideas. South Korea’s National Radio Research Agency has certified a “low power wireless device” from Valve with the designation “RC-V1V-1030,” as spotted by @dxpl at (via Brad Lynch).

The South Korean certification tells us basically nothing about the device, save that it uses 5GHz Wi-Fi, which most computers already have at this point. It could be pretty much anything.

But telecommunications regulatory agencies typically don’t require certification for internal prototypes — only if you’re going to import at least a small quantity of devices in a country, and maybe put them on sale. (For what it’s worth, it looks like the Valve Index was certified by South Korea days after it was first announced.)

The Valve device has not yet appeared at the United States’ FCC database, nor the Bluetooth SIG — and it may never appear at either one. Valve managed to get the Steam Deck past the FCC without being spotted early, by having its Wi-Fi / Bluetooth vendor Realtek re-certify the wireless module rather than certifying the Steam Deck itself.

Galileo and Sephiroth.
Screenshot by Phoronix

There are other hints in Valve’s own code, however — Phoronix’s Michael Larabel spotted that Valve has added new changes around the Steam Deck’s Van Gogh APU, including the mysterious product name “Galileo” and product family “Sephiroth.” (Aerith, closely connected to Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII, is another name for the Deck’s APU.)

While Larabel initially suggests it might just be a Steam Deck refresh reference board, Valve’s Greg Coomer told me in 2021 that the Steam Deck’s existing APU might make sense in a standalone VR headset. A new controller wouldn’t have an entire Steam Deck chip inside, though.

“We’re not ready to say anything about it, but it would run well in that environment, with the TDP necessary… it’s very relevant to us and our future plans,” he told me.

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