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Valve's Gabe Newell confirms Steam Box games system in development

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December 10, 2012

Valve's Gabe Newell has finally confirmed that Valve has a 'Steam Box' games system in the...

Valve's Gabe Newell has finally confirmed that Valve has a 'Steam Box' games system in the works

Speculation that video game developer and distributor Valve could compete directly with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo in the console stakes has been rife since March, when the corporation's MD Gabe Newell floated the possibility to Penny Arcade. The hardware has since been dubbed "Steam Box," after the digital distribution system Steam, pioneered by Valve. Speaking to Kotaku, Newell has now confirmed that Valve does indeed have a "Steam Box" in the works, though he did not refer to it by that name.

"If we have to sell hardware we will," Newell said in March. It appears that Valve is making good on that promise (or threat?), with Kotaku reporting that "according to Valve boss Gabe Newell, you'll be able to buy a living-room-friendly PC package next year."

The dedicated PC would inevitably run Steam, a popular games (and software) distribution platform that allows PC gamers, and more recently Mac gamers, to download and manage blockbuster games old and new, as well as independent titles, to their computers. Gamers are able to access their games and save data over numerous computers.

According to the report, Valve is working hard to get Steam's support for Linux, an open source operating system, out of the Beta stage.

The Steam Box project is further buoyed by a "stronger than expected" public launch of its Big Picture mode, which lets users navigate Steam to buy, download and launch games on a big screen such as a living room TV, with a user interface optimized for a gamepad rather than a keyboard and mouse. Kotaku reports that Valve's next step is to get Big Picture mode up and running on the Linux version of Steam.

The reports all but confirm that Valve is looking to Linux as the operating system that will run on Linux, following intense criticism of Windows 8 from Newell. However, Newell did warn that prospective owners should expect a "very controlled environment," less open than a regular Linux PC with a Steam installation.

Kotaku also reports that Newell predicts that other companies will launch TV-optimized PCs in 2013 which could also run Steam. Gamers considering a console upgrade next year may be drawn the prospective of accessing their saved games on both their desktop PCs and their TV games consoles.

Source: Kotaku

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.   All articles by James Holloway
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3 Comments

The answer for this is easy: Microsoft and Apple saw what Valve had going with Steam: a curated, walled garden, in which Valve got a chunk out of every sale of every game hosted on their platform. Now Apple/Microsoft are copying Valve by hosting their own walled gardens, and since MS/Apple control the operating systems, they have the power to cut out the competing publisher (Valve).

This presents a pretty bleak picture of personal computing, going forward. Valve's read the tea leaves: with MS & Apple becoming the defacto software publishers for their own ecosystems, Steam will become irrelevant. Only by making their own gaming platform can Valve compete with Microsoft/Apple on even terms.

Alex Angel
10th December, 2012 @ 12:31 pm PST

With all the free add on campaigns and other stuff you get with PC, and that being rolled into a console, the competition can't compete. I will always use a keyboard and mouse to game with.

Larry Hoffman
11th December, 2012 @ 05:26 pm PST

This is good news for Linux, should force developers to port to the platform! could this be the rise of OpenGL in AAA games?

Dan Gibbs
13th December, 2012 @ 05:15 pm PST
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