Valve 'Steam Box' home gaming console rumored to be in development
Now, information is being uncovered that suggests that Valve has secretly been working on hardware. But not only that, it seems that they've been working out a strategy to make Steam the center of all things open gaming-related, similar to what Android is for Google.
According to The Verge, Valve has been working on the hardware spec and associated software which would form the foundation of what has been called a "Steam Box", but that the actual devices may be made by a number of partners. That would mesh well with what Newell said about how the company doesn't actually wish to make the devices. "We'd rather hardware people that are good at manufacturing and distributing hardware do that."
Further info says that a hand-built Steam Box was shown to potential partners during CES. Apparently, the device's specs include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GPU. It will be able to run any standard PC title, and it will even allow the downloading of rival gaming services (like EA's Origin). The reason for setting a baseline for hardware is to give developers a clear idea of their products' lifecycles.
In addition, developers will not use a required developer kit and will not have to put up with licensing fees to make software for the Steam Box.
The Verge said that the device will be compatible with a large number of USB peripherals. However, it will likely come with a proprietary controller, maybe a controller that comes with swappable components, allowing gamers to reconfigure it to fit the type of game they're playing. Kind of like the controller Valve filed a patent for last year.
Also, the Steam Box will, supposedly, make use of Steam's "Big Picture" mode, which Valve showed off at last year's GDC (though has yet to release), and will allow users to enjoy Steam on their TV screens.
One of the most interesting pieces of info is that the device is not meant to compete with the current gaming consoles. Instead, it seems Valve's real competition is Apple and their upcoming Apple TV. This is possible, considering what Newell said about Apple. "On the platform side, it's sort of ominous that the world seems to be moving away from open platforms," he told the Seattle Times. "They build a shiny sparkling thing that attracts users and then they control people's access to those things."
While Valve has yet to confirm or deny the existence of a Steam Box, it is possible that we may (and I stress the "may" part) see something of what the company is up to at the upcoming GDC or at E3 in June. Until then, feel free to speculate in the comment box below.
Source: The Verge
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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