At last, Valve has admitted it: The giant of PC gaming plans to release a living room video game console based on its Steam distribution platform.
The idea of a “Steam Box” has been somewhat of an obsession for the gaming world lately. Rumors about the product have been circulating for months, and Valve has stirred the pot with its own hints before. It’s looked to hire industrial designers, released a TV-friendly version of its software called “Big Picture” and has gone on record talking about its desire to make innovative hardware.
But in a recent interview with Kotaku, Valve head Gabe Newell gave the best indication yet that the company’s actually working on a console. “We’ll do it but we also think other people will as well,” Newell said, referring to other hardware makers who might release their own living room PCs along with Valve. Newell suggested that Valve’s hardware may run on a Linux-based operating system, in a “very controlled environment,” while users who wanted more flexibility could go with a more general purpose PC.
Why would a Steam game console be important? Several reasons.