Valve May Be Entering the Console Market with "Steam Box"

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Valve May Be Entering the Console Market with "Steam Box"

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New evidence suggests Valve's developing a high-tech console to compete with the current generation of consoles.

A new rumor circulating about Valve's next big project may disappoint those eager for news on Half-Life 3. According to an article posted over the weekend at The Verge, Valve has apparently been developing hardware and software for a potential gaming/PC console, and demoed a hand-built prototype of the supposed "Steam Box" at the 2012 International CES this past January.

Potentially aimed at taking on Apple TV and the current generation of gaming consoles, the rumored Steam Box includes some impressive gaming hardware, with 8 gigs of RAM, a Core i7 CPU and a high-end NVIDIA graphics card. It's been suggested that Alienware may have had a hand in its development, and that its Alienware X51 computer was designed around an early version of Valve's new console.

The Steam Box will come with a proprietary controller that may include biometric sensors (like the ones Valve uses when play testing its games) along with customizable components that allow users to reconfigure the controller based on what game or application they're using. Valve filed a patent on such a design last year.

Another rumor floating around is that Valve isn't intending to build and launch this console on its own, and may be looking for partners to help get its console off the ground. Additionally, the Steam Box will also support Valve's "Big Picture" mode, an upcoming feature that gives users access to Steam via the "biggest screen in the house," a.k.a. their television.

Valve might reveal more information on its Steam Box this week at the Game Developer's Conference, or possibly later in the year at E3.

Source: The Verge

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Well if its Valve we will probably see it a year later than thier planned launch day.

However, all of my Steam games on a console? For some games this rings of a great thing.

So... assuming it runs Steam as its software does that mean that it would be able to run the entire Steam library on the console? That would be pretty awesome. Hopefully Steam's soft-DRM would be rendered softer on a console considering it is much easier for them to control things through hardware.

I have high expectations that this is going to be one hot box.

DVS BSTrD:
I have high expectations that this is going to be one hot box.

Yeah, it'll be positively steamy.
OT: I'll wait and see. Controller looks kind of awkward.

8 gigs of RAM, Core i7 CPU, high-end NVIDIA graphics card, Alienware!
My eyebrows can't get any higher!

Now let's see the price.....

Inb4 EA launches Origin Box.
OT: I really hope this doesn't suck. A console with complete digital distribution integrated using Steam's service sounds great.

So it's basically a glorified PC? I don't see the point in it myself, but to each their own i guess.

On a side note, i can't wait till the name Gabecube catches on.

I hope this is true. Sony Entertainment is going down the pan, so we may not see another Playstation; Nintendo is continuing to make shitty consoles with crappy gimmicks; and Microsoft is trying to go for the "Home Entertainment System" approach. The only way to save the console market is to make a console made by gamers, for gamers. And I think Valve are the right guys for the job.

Hopefully this is true if for no reason other than the required clash of the PC Master Race and the Valve Fanboy Army, particularly given such a large overlap between the two. I can almost smell the coming hypocrisy from here.

nicpic10:
So it's basically a glorified PC? I don't see the point in it myself, but to each their own i guess.

On a side note, i can't wait till the name Gabecube catches on.

An off the shelf PC you know will play all the games off Steam. Depending on price it could take the uncertainty out of buying. Just don't like the forced controller idea though. That is to consoly for me.

If the userbase gets big enough, devs can optimise games for specifically that hardware. Steam games can have a Steam box setting mode where devs have checked the game will keep a good FPS on.

PC power with the lack of confusion and ease of use of consoles. Could be a winner, depending on price.

nicpic10:
So it's basically a glorified PC? I don't see the point in it myself, but to each their own i guess.

Don't say that or else you'll call down the swarms of elitists, who'll tell you that's all a console is anyway.

OK, so this sounds great and all, but most of the biggest Valve fans happen to be PC users so I'm not sure if this will be successful or not. I am on the fence, but I will probably get around to it just to get easier access to my Steam games on a TV.

nicpic10:
So it's basically a glorified PC? I don't see the point in it myself, but to each their own i guess.

On a side note, i can't wait till the name Gabecube catches on.

It doesn't sound like it's aimed at people who already have a gaming PC with wires running to their TV and wireless gamepads. This isn't for enthusiasts who know how to build a PC and keep it up to date (unless they're lazy, like me).

I think Valve is trying to combine the modularity and superior catalog of PC gaming with the ease of use and hardware standardization (which will be awesome for developers) of the console market.

So to say it's just a PC would probably right from a hardware standpoint, but in terms of what the product is actually trying to accomplish, I suspect there's a world of difference.

A pre-built PC with standard hardware, automatically updating drivers, and a UI designed for a television isn't really a PC from a consumer standpoint. Nor is it a console. It's kind of new type of living room product.

JokerboyJordan:

nicpic10:
So it's basically a glorified PC? I don't see the point in it myself, but to each their own i guess.

Don't say that or else you'll call down the swarms of elitists, who'll tell you that's all a console is anyway.

No, they would not say 'glorified' PC but a decrepit 6 year old PC, I imagine.

Doesn't sound much stronger than my current PC, except maybe for the Graphics card which is a bit old on my side.
A machine that is guaranteed to run everything Steam has to offer is compelling, but I don't understand how do they plan to accomplish that without the machine becoming outdated like a regular PC.
Also, as good as it sounds, with future EA games being available only on Origin and certain Steam games not being available in my zone through Steam (but do through retail), I'm not sure I'm willing to buy a machine only for Steam games.

I'm very curious about what's going to become of this.

ph0b0s123:

JokerboyJordan:

nicpic10:
So it's basically a glorified PC? I don't see the point in it myself, but to each their own i guess.

Don't say that or else you'll call down the swarms of elitists, who'll tell you that's all a console is anyway.

No, they would not say 'glorified' PC but a 6 year old one....

Could not resist.

Sigh... I knew that would happen :P

Doom972:
Doesn't sound much stronger than my current PC, except maybe for the Graphics card which is a bit old on my side.
A machine that is guaranteed to run everything Steam has to offer is compelling, but I don't understand how do they plan to accomplish that without the machine becoming outdated like a regular PC.
Also, as good as it sounds, with future EA games being available only on Origin and certain Steam games not being available in my zone through Steam (but do through retail), I'm not sure I'm willing to buy a machine only for Steam games.

I'm very curious about what's going to become of this.

"Doesn't sound much stronger than my current PC"

I imagine you are not the type of customer they are looking at. They are after console users who might be interested in PC gaming, but are put of by the complication of it all, from their POV.

JokerboyJordan:

ph0b0s123:

JokerboyJordan:

Don't say that or else you'll call down the swarms of elitists, who'll tell you that's all a console is anyway.

No, they would not say 'glorified' PC but a 6 year old one....

Could not resist.

Sigh... I knew that would happen :P

Happy to oblige...

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Did anyone happen to see a Steam Box around here? No?

I believe its opening line-up is Half Life 3 as well...

If this is true, then...well, not a bad move, Valve. Not a bad move at all. I think. But what do i know, eh...
Still, I it really seems interesting. Looking forward to more news on this subject.

Being the valve fanboy I am I'd get one but who thinks it may be a smart TV app or similar?

I dunno. As much as the PC fanboys can complain sometimes about it there really isn't much open space between console power and PC power that it would warrant another whole purchase of a system to fit into that small niche for most gamers.

But really wouldn't it be the same as the next console generation when it does come out? I mean to have specs in a console that could surpass the 360 and PS3 I could see happening from Valve easily but what about when the next generation comes out? If it has specs even stronger than those then it'll be way more expensive which is one of the biggest turn offs of PCs in the first place.

Wow...Never expected to read that.

WMDogma:

Another rumor floating around is that Valve isn't intending to build and launch this console on its own, and may be looking for partners to help get its console off the ground.

Because, you know, that worked so freaking well when the 3DO and the CDi did it.

Foolproof:

WMDogma:

Another rumor floating around is that Valve isn't intending to build and launch this console on its own, and may be looking for partners to help get its console off the ground.

Because, you know, that worked so freaking well when the 3DO and the CDi did it.

Can't compare the two.

3DO had nowhere near the resources of Valve. Plus, Steam would have a library of over 2,000 games at launch.

The Commodore 64 would be a little more apt of a comparison, but really, nothing has been done that's quite comparable to this.

This sounds like a good idea to me. It will either be outstanding or a complete flop in my eyes though. I will be watching this.

Sounds like great news. Since it's a spec, we'll be able to tinker a system together like we PC users do.

I guess they have Microsoft on-board. If they plan on moving away from a proper windows platform, I think they'll have some push-back from the aging giant. What with all that talk about open platforms, I mean.

ResonanceGames:

Foolproof:

WMDogma:

Another rumor floating around is that Valve isn't intending to build and launch this console on its own, and may be looking for partners to help get its console off the ground.

Because, you know, that worked so freaking well when the 3DO and the CDi did it.

Can't compare the two.

3DO had nowhere near the resources of Valve. Plus, Steam would have a library of over 2,000 games at launch.

The Commodore 64 would be a little more apt of a comparison, but really, nothing has been done that's quite comparable to this.

Yes it has. We're talking about what amounts to a console that would already be overpriced, that is being manufactured by third parties, and will thus have a huge markup added to the huge price. It is exactly like the CDi and 3DO.

If Valve aren't making it themselves, not only is there no loss leader strategy, there's no at-cost strategy. Making it a more expensive version of the already overpriced PC gaming.

I think that Valve may have the foundation for a good console and that's 3rd party support as they still have the trust of many developers. If they could make hardware that's easily accessible that developers would not choke on development cost but powerful enough to satisfy the graphic whores then this may be the new king of consoles once it comes out.

So does this mean they're not going to make games for the Wii U like they said they were intereseted in doing?
NO, seriously, I'm certain they said that at one point. I guess my memory must be a bit cloudy because they wouldn't say this if they had their own console and thus decided to make all their games exclusive for it.

The_root_of_all_evil:
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Did anyone happen to see a Steam Box around here? No?

I believe its opening line-up is Half Life 3 as well...

Well, if that did happen, could you imagine the fan response?

The_root_of_all_evil:
image
Did anyone happen to see a Steam Box around here? No?

I believe its opening line-up is Half Life 3 as well...

You fool! Now we'll never get this thing!

OT: Seeing as how I don't have a couch or 360 gamepad at my PC (fixing the latter soon), this might be pretty viable for my current and future library of console-y Steam games.

Jailbird408:
So does this mean they're not going to make games for the Wii U like they said they were intereseted in doing?
NO, seriously, I'm certain they said that at one point. I guess my memory must be a bit cloudy because they wouldn't say this if they had their own console and thus decided to make all their games exclusive for it.

Naw, Valve is moving as much as they can toward platform agnosticism. This isn't a push to drop a new, exclusive console onto the market as much as it is to get a hardware standard in place for the living room.

No one has ever really tried anything like that before. The article I read that compared it to being the Android to Apple's "Apple TV" project was on the right track. I'm sure this is much more focused on games, but Apple has a very recent history of accidentally making de facto game platforms that are both ubiquitous and extremely flawed. I think that's part of the concern here.

i don't know how to feel about this i love valve but getting into the console market at the point where in all honesty will only have one or 2 iterations left is a bit strange as well as it will be competing with the wii u and xbox720 and what ever sonny comes up with

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