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Valve rumoured to be working on 'Steam Box' console

by Alistair Lowe on 5 March 2012, 09:50

Tags: Valve

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Rumours are that Valve has been working on a 'Steam Box' console for quite some time and may very well at last announce such a device at either this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC) or E3 events.

It has been suggested that Valve is looking to create an open platform for gaming not dissimilar to Sony's 'PlayStation Certified' approach for Android, though for the PC, whereby Valve provides a software platform including content delivery. Hardware manufacturers are to offer up systems that meet Valve's minimum specifications to ensure a common base for developers to work from, according to reports. This should ensure consumers looking to purchase their next computer will have greater compatibility with the latest games for the next three or so years.

It has even been suggested that Valve is working on its own official gaming peripheral specifications to help narrow down the diversity for developers and consumers. Apparently at this year's CES, a hand-built concept of the console was demonstrated behind closed doors, featuring an Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM and an NVIDIA GPU.

There are some interesting insights to be found at the following sources, though at this stage a 'Steam Box' is a speculative rumour; there are strong suggestions that something may indeed be stirring inside the walls of Valve HQ and we wonder if it has the potential to shake up the gaming industry; we also wonder just how, if at all, this will factor in with the expected next-gen Xbox and PlayStation offerings.

http://www.steampowered.com/steamworks/thebigpicture.php

http://www.gamesradar.com/valve-has-three-big-surprises-for-us-is-experimenting-with-biometrics/

http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/valves-gabe-newell-talks-wearable-computers-rewarding-players-and-whether-w/1

http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20110105231#b

Credit to TheVerge for piecing together all the facts.



HEXUS Forums :: 22 Comments

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It'd be a shame if one of the better PC devs goes fully AWOL :\
To be fair they've more than dipped their toes with the orange box, portal et al. Maybe they're holding off HL3 for a console exclusive?!

cheers
brasc
Well I guess it depends if its just a Windows PC with a badge and a spec thats good enough to run games for a few years (i.e. work with games developers to ensure they all work on that spec)? In which case it might work. Otherwise I can't see it making an impact as it'll cost to much to replace a 360/720 or PS3/4.
It would be great to shock Sony PS and MS XBox nexg gens. Every console owner and FPS player dreams of getting native KB/mouse support. That alone can shift the balance to Valve side. Never mind possible high price. Plus, all the accessories and Media Centre PC possibility? Full fledged now, unlike PS3 and XBox 360 with limited codexes etc.
cheesemp
Well I guess it depends if its just a Windows PC with a badge and a spec thats good enough to run games for a few years (i.e. work with games developers to ensure they all work on that spec)? In which case it might work. Otherwise I can't see it making an impact as it'll cost to much to replace a 360/720 or PS3/4.

If its just a highstreet aimed games-box running windows 8 (maybe with a few custom tiles) it will be easy to get on with for average users (looks like xbox due to windows 8) and so easy to develop for. Would be a good plan imo
From what we gather, it's not clear at this stage if the offering will be a ‘console’ or a ‘platform’ or a bit of both. It would be nice to be able to use the end result as a full-blown PC as opposed to something that's stripped down.

Offering both choices may be a good idea to help boost the PC industry whilst creating a clear market entry point and to attract gamers who aren't as PC tech savvy.