Valve’s Steam has been at the forefront of digital distribution for a while now, ever since it kicked off as an initially pretty annoying way to prevent piracy for the developer’s Half-Life series. Now it seems Valve’s eyeing up Steam’s logical evolution – a fully-fledged gaming console for your living room -- the “Steam Box.”
According to The Verge, sources have said that instead of making the box itself, Valve will come out with a hardware specification and platform software that’ll allow third parties to make compatible boxes, which will also be able to play any PC game.
Gabe Newell, Valve’s co-founder, has stated in the past “if we have to sell hardware we will,” but that “we'd rather hardware people that are good at manufacturing and distributing hardware do [hardware].”
There were rumours that Alienware’s new X51 mini-gaming PC box was designed with this Steam Box idea in mind, which looks more likely given that The Verge have a rough specification of a Core i7 chip backed up by 8GB of RAM and a Nvidia GPU tipped.
Apparently they’ll be a proprietary USB controller too, possibly with swappable components for different play styles. Biometric feedback is also rumoured, meaning the game should be able to respond to your emotions and pulse rate for instance.
Rumours are just that, but I’d be pretty stoked to see Valve pull something like this. It could bring PC gaming well and truly into the living room, which has been the domain of the traditional console since its launch. Let’s just hope the Steam Box doesn’t break the bank; otherwise I reckon it’d have a tough time displacing the PS3 and Xbox 360. [The Verge]