An early Steam Deck prototype was called the “Ugly Baby”

Poor Steam Deck

One of the Steam Deck‘s early prototypes was apparently called the “Ugly Baby” according to a Valve developer.

In an interview with IGN‘s Ryan McCaffrey, Gabe Newell and Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais discussed the Steam Deck and revealed some of the other names the handheld device originally had.

Some early names were things like “Steam Buddy” and “Steam Pal” as Newell said in the interview, while Griffais revealed that the Steam Deck had some “pretty terrifying prototypes” so the team “gave them appropriate names”.


“Like Ugly Baby, and things like that. Those weren’t great,” Griffais said.

Newell responded, “Steam Ugly Baby?” To which Griffais said: “So we didn’t go for that as far as names go.”

Steam Deck
Steam Deck. Credit: Valve

Valve announced the Steam Deck earlier this month (July 15) and is a handheld PC that can play your entire Steam library on the go.

The Steam Deck has a 7-inch touch screen, trackpads, gyro controls, a choice of 64, 256 or 512GB storage along with a 7-8 hour battery life.

It was recently reported that half of Steam’s most popular games may not run on the Steam Deck however, Valve did confirm that “Steam Deck is a PC so you can install third-party software and operating systems.”


Elsewhere, the Steam Deck apparently isn’t trying to compete with the Nintendo Switch. Speaking on the console’s similarities to the Switch, Valve Designer Greg Coomer said: “We’ve ended up with a device that cosmetically shares some traits with a Switch, but it’s kind of an artifact of how we’ve proceeded down the design direction.”

In other news, the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster is out now on Steam.